KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Friday marked the 49th anniversary of Super Bowl I where the Kansas City Chiefs took on the Green Bay Packers. It also was the first time since fans got a chance to see the game as it re-aired on the NFL Network. NFL Films was able to assemble all the game’s plays into a single broadcast for the first time after what they called an exhaustive search.
The Chiefs actually won the first game ever widely referred to as the Super Bowl at the time, better known now as Super Bowl IV. What we call Super Bowl I, was a battle for respect that might ultimately be the reason the Chiefs are still in Kansas City today.
“The Kansas City Chiefs versus the Green Bay Packers for the Championship of the World.” It's a phrase still echos through the lower concourse of Arrowhead, whenever some fan in search of beverages happens upon the Chiefs Hall of Honor.
Referred to as the World Championship game at the time, Super Bowl I was the first time a team from the AFL would compete with the NFL.
“You were representing the whole league in this game it wasn’t just Kansas City,” Chiefs Coach Hank Stram says in the video.
“Buck Buchanan, who is in the Hall of Fame and Bobby Bell, who is also in the Hall of Fame, had tears in their eyes as they entered the game in the tunnel because they realized how important this was,” Chiefs historian Bob Moore said.
As important as the game was to the Chiefs, photos in the Chiefs Hall of Honor show thousands of empty seats at L.A. Coliseum. It’s the only game in history to air on two networks, but both taped over the game, leaving it mostly lost for generations, save a few highlights playing on the screens at Arrowhead.
“Those are no doubt important games in our team’s history so we’ve seen a lot of the footage that exists from it, it’s been scraps and pieces,” said Moore.
Moore admits the game play and quality of Friday's broadcast might not be what fans are used to, if they were watching the game purely for entertainment. But with the backstory of what that game meant to the NFL as we know it, and Kansas City fans for generations, that technicolor footage might be the best football you’ve ever seen.
“Up until 1966 the team wasn’t making any money. In fact there were rumors already the team might move out of Kansas City prior to that, so 1966 was an important year,” said Moore.
If the Chiefs advance to the AFC Championship, they compete for the Lamar Hunt Trophy. Super Bowl 50's winner will take home the Lombardi Trophy. Hunt of course owned the Chiefs during Super Bowl I and until his death. Vince Lombardi coached the Packers to a 35-10 victory in Super Bowl I.