Fifth Excerpt From: When It Was
Just a Game,
Remembering the First Super
By Harvey Frommer
GIVE A LISTEN! (turn up your speakers :)
With Super Bowl Gold (Number 50) poised
to soon take center stage, we flash back again to the first one whose
officially was the AFL-NFL Championship Game. My book has many oral
memories. What follows is how just a few of those who were there at the
game remember the time:
BROOKER: I was back in Tuscaloosa with my wife and a bunch of
friends and that was where I watched the game.
It was a Super Bowl party, probably one of the original
watched the game on a 25 inch television, it was in color. The set was
dining room-den combination, one big room. It wasn't any fun watching
but I didn't have any choice because I was on injured reserve for the
City Chiefs. That ‘66 season I was
kicking in Boston, and somebody forgot to block. And they came into me,
leg that was raised up.
the first Super Bowl I
always thought Kansas City had a chance to win that game, but that
something else. When a guy catches one behind the back and fumbles it
and finally holds on, when a guy catches the football in the neck area,
You can't expect the ball to tumble in the
right direction every time.
was not believing it as I watched and neither were all the people in my
There was a lot of shouting, a lot of “damns!”
GOLENBOCK: I was the sports editor of The Dartmouth.
I had predicted that the Packers would blow
the Chiefs out. I was a serious New York Giants fan and was rooting for
A married couple by the name of Ray
and Velda owned the Midget Diner, a stone's throw from the Dartmouth
Green. I would go there every morning to eat steak and eggs for a
dollar. Ray and Velda had become part of my Dartmouth family, so
was announced that the Green Bay Packers
would play the AFL's Kansas City Chiefs, they invited me and my
Hall roommate to their house for dinner and to watch the game on their
somehow knew that
the biggest screen around then was a 25
inch console that featured one speaker. I also knew that there were
available but adjusting the set while the game was in progress was part
drill. My hosts did not have color nor did they have a very big screen.
knew the game was
important. The NFL was risking its reputation playing the game.
didn't much care who won.
and Velda served an interesting,
unidentified meat dish, which I ate.
"Delicious," I said. "What is it?"
"It's venison," Ray
said. "I shot the deer myself."
It was all I could do to
down. The idea of eating Bambi really revolted me.
The game itself was rather
anti-climactic. The Packer offense was as good as
They only ran a few plays, but they ran them often and very
wasn't spectacular, but he was very efficient. His touchdown
I thanked Ray and Velda profusely after the game was over. I never ate
BROWNE: I have often told my two
sons that I played a very significant role in the AFL-NFL merger
in 1966. Jim Kensil, who was Pete Rozelle’s right hand man, called
Hadhazy and me into his office the afternoon of June 8. He told
was a very important press release that he wanted us to deliver by hand
our Rockefeller Plaza league office to AP and UPI. Hadhazy
AP assignment because it was closer. I had to walk all the way
East 42nd street to the UPI offices. Hadhazy would
for years that he got the more important assignment to deliver to AP,
served more papers than UPI in those days.
told us to call him when we reached our respective offices so he could
synchronize and the big news would be given to both wire services at
same time. We did that, dropped the press releases on the sports
and the rest is history.
There had been no news leaks about the merger
announcement so it received wide newspaper coverage the next day.
I was a
college sophomore at the time and only a part-time NFL worker.
not take the news that seriously. I remember upsetting Kensil because I
for a Nedicks hot dog on the way back to the office from 42nd street.
He wanted to know how the news was received at UPI. I was more
that my lunch that day had been delayed due to the historical
The press release contained these main points:
Pete Rozelle will be the
A world championship game this
All existing franchises
No franchises transferred from
Two new franchises no later
Two more teams as soon
thereafter as practical.
Inter-league pre-season games
Single league schedule in 1970.
A common draft next January.
Continued two-network TV
copies of WHEN IT WAS JUST A GAME are available direct from the author)
by acclaimed sports author
and oral historian Harvey Frommer, with an introduction by pro football
Famer Frank Gifford, When It Was Just a Game tells the fascinating
story of the
ground-breaking AFL–NFL World Championship Football game played on
1967: Packers vs. Chiefs. Filled with new insights, containing
the unpublished memoir of Kansas City Chiefs coach Hank Stram,
history from many who were at the game—media, players, coaches,
is mainly in the words of those who lived it and saw it go on to become
Super Bowl, the greatest sports attraction the world has ever known.
photographs and drawings help bring the event to life.
Harvey Frommer is in his 40th
year of writing books. A noted oral historian and sports journalist,
of 43 sports books including the classics: best-selling New York City
1947-1957 and best-selling “Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball. He also
the acclaimed Remembering Yankee Stadium and best-selling Remembering
Park. The prolific Frommer is working on “the Ultimate Yankee book” to