Do you remember the first Super Bowl you watched?


A lot of times, the network-generated press Q-and-A are fine if you need to fill space in a newspaper or TV guide. For some reason, I read most of this one and got some interesting insight — not so much ego-gratifying blathering from over-paid sportscasters trying to sound like the commonman. But this time, they actually did.

From NBC, a look back at some Super Bowl memories from those covering Sunday’s game:

== Al Michaels, on watching Super Bowl III 40 years ago on NBC: “I was in Hawaii starting my career (as a baseball broadcaster with the Islanders minor-league team) and was watching it with a friend of mine, early in the morning. I was an AFL fan and thought the AFL had been given short shrift and loved the way they played football and was very excited when the Jets won the game. I thought it was neat to have this upstart league come in and say to the NFL, ‘hey, we’re as good as you are.’ ”

== Michaels, on watching the first Super Bowl: “I was there in the Los Angeles Coliseum with my brother David. It was a beautiful day in the middle of January and we had really good seats on the northern side of the Coliseum. There were only about 60,000 people in the staduim and about 30,000 empty seats but I thought it was cool. I had always followed the AFL as a kid and I loved the AFL. You had no idea what was going to happen; would Kansas City even remotely be able to stay in the game or was the NFL so superior and dominant. Even though Green Bay won, and they won it going away, it was a close game at halftime and I remember thinking at halftime, ‘hey this is pretty neat, the AFL can stay with the NFL.’ It was a lot of fun but I had no idea that 43 years later it would evolve into anything like this.”

== Andrea Kremer, on her top Super Bowl memory: “My son Will was born in Atlanta on Jan. 26, 2000 four days before Super Bowl XXXIV, where I was working for ABC and ESPN. Many people have noted he was in such shock that the Rams were about to win the championship he had to see it first hand. I worked the pre-game show that day but watched the actual game with Will from Crawford Long Hospital in Atlanta and gave the infant his first taste of football when I animatedly reacted to Mike Jones’ tackle of Kevin Dyson at the one yard line as the clock expired to preserved the Rams win. For the first few years of his life he thought the Super Bowl was held to celebrate his birthday.”

== Bob Costas on his memory of the first Super Bowl: “I was a couple months shy of my sixteenth birthday and I think, like most fans, although I liked the old AFL and I liked Hank Stram’s Kansas City Chiefs, I really thought that the real NFL title game had taken place between the Cowboys and the Packers. When it was only 14-10 at halftime, I was a little bit surprised. I remember Max McGee’s two touchdowns, and Willie Wood with the interception that kind of broke Kansas City’s back in the second half. I remember Fred “The Hammer” Williamson getting laid out. He had been very talkative before the game and he got carted out off unconscious. I remember that the game was on two networks. I remember that it was on NBC and CBS simultaneously which I thought was really weird.”

== Keith Olbermann on his first Super Bowl memory: “I watched the first game, and remember principally my confusion that it was on two channels at the same time, given that even in New York we only had seven channels. The majesty of Lombardi’s Packers was a little lost on me, but the principle ancillary benefit of sports to kids (it teaches you geography) was in play that Sunday: I had to try to figure out exactly where ‘Green Bay’ was, and why it might be green.”

== Peter King on his favorite Super Bowl Story: “(After Green Bay beat New England in Super Bowl XXXI): I was assigned to find Brett Favre in the crush of the Green Bay Super Bowl party back at the Fairmount Hotel, a few blocks from the Superdome in New Orleans. There were 4,000 people in the hotel ballroom and I spied Favre. I mouthed the words, ‘Five minutes?’ He nodded, and we found a stairwell with a luggage cart and sat on it … for 45 minutes. This was after he’d been to rehab for his Vicodin addiction, and after the death of his best friend in a car accident with his brother, Scott, driving. ‘Trouble never seems to be far away,’ he said that night. ‘The future won’t be all rosy, but they can’t take this away from me. Thirty years from now, kids will be getting ready to watch the Super Bowl, and NFL Films will drag out Steve Sabol — he’ll be about 102 then — and he’ll talk about how Brett Favre fought through such adversity. There will be other players and coaches, and other games, but I know this: We etched our place in history today.’
The great thing about my job is being able to be at the front lines with the biggest players at the biggest games. There’s nothing more fun.”

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