1

I've seen some various claims that the Super Bowl was originally called the Super Ball.

Is this true?

5

This is false.

The NFL's Super Bowl History page has the first Super Bowl logo, which calls the game the First World Championship Game AFL vs NFL.

First Super Bowl

The following games are then called "Super Bowl II" and "Super Bowl III", respectively:

Super Bowl II Super Bowl III

  • 3
    It might help to mention that bowl was used to describe an after-season football game as early as 1923. List. The first Super Bowl was played in 1967 with the term being used officially in 1968. – Brythan Feb 4 '18 at 5:02
  • I have a hard time believing those are actual logos from 1967-1969. Further, if these are accurate, it contradicts the claim in the other answer that roman numerals were first used for Super Bowl V. – The Photon Feb 5 '18 at 23:13
  • Reviewing EBay listings for game programs seems to show the first two are totally spurious. The third one, the red and blue text with white stars is accurate, but no roman "III" is evident on the game program. – The Photon Feb 5 '18 at 23:19
5

I found something in Wikipedia: it appears that "Super Bowl" came from children playing with a toy called a "Super Ball":

Lamar Hunt, owner of the AFL's Kansas City Chiefs, first used the term "Super Bowl"[10] to refer to the NFL-AFL championship game in the merger meetings. Hunt later said the name was likely in his head because his children had been playing with a Super Ball toy;[11] a vintage example of the ball is on display at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. In a July 25, 1966, letter to NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle, Hunt wrote, "I have kiddingly called it the 'Super Bowl,' which obviously can be improved upon."

The leagues' owners chose the name "AFL–NFL Championship Game",[12] but in July 1966 the Kansas City Star quoted Hunt in discussing "the Super Bowl — that's my term for the championship game between the two leagues",[13] and the media immediately began using the term.[14] Although the league stated in 1967 that "not many people like it", asking for suggestions and considering alternatives such as "Merger Bowl" and "The Game", the Associated Press reported that "Super Bowl" "grew and grew and grew-until it reached the point that there was Super Week, Super Sunday, Super Teams, Super Players, ad infinitum".[12] "Super Bowl" became official beginning with the third annual game.[15] Roman numerals were first affixed for the fifth edition, in January 1971.[16]

Here's the link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Bowl

So, the idea came from a Super Ball toy, but as GGMG's answer notes, the football game itself was never officially called the Super Ball.

  • 1
    As @Brythan points out in comments on the other answer, the use of "Bowl" in the name of a post-season football game is nearly as old as post-season football. The super ball may have been the source of the "Super" portion of the name, but "ball" was not the source of "bowl". – Rupert Morrish Feb 6 '18 at 22:46

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .