The National Football League, also known as the NFL, is America’s best known professional football league. Despite the fact that other organizations have emerged through the years, the NFL remains a fan favorite. The league, which consists of two conferences, including the American Football Conference (AFC) and the National Football Conference (NFC), delivers heated competition even as the temperatures begin to cool down.
In addition to the exhibition and regular season games, fans are treated to an annual event that has more than lived up to its name. In a word, it’s super. Specifically, it’s the Super Bowl and every football fan eagerly anticipates the season’s final competition to determine the top team in the league. The championship contest that we all see today, however, took years to construct.
The 1960s, which welcomed the first Super Bowl competition, marked a big change for the sport. At this time, the National Football League wasn’t the only player in the game, so to speak. The American Football League, also known as the AFL, was another major professional league that helped to bring about the first ever unofficial Super Bowl in 1967. The NFL’s Green Bay Packers defeated the AFL’s Kansas City Chiefs in a 35-10 victory. Coincidentally, the Packers, with coach Vince Lombardi at their side, would also go on to win the 1968 championship. Two years later, in 1970, the two leagues merged and the annual competition officially became known as the Super Bowl.
Once the NFL became the premier football league in America, the teams were divided into the two conferences that are still in existence today, the AFC and the NFC. It is the annual competition between the two conferences that lead us to a new Super Bowl every year. Thanks to the early interest generated into the event by football legends Joe Namath, Joe Montana, Terry Bradshaw and others, the league’s popularity and that of the Super Bowl has remained strong. Teams such as the San Francisco 49ers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers, along with talented coaching staffs, established the building blocks for what is now one of the most famous sporting events in the world. When January rolls around, you can rest assured that football fans are feeling the heat as they gear up for one annual competition that earns it’s name year after year.