Some of Sunday’s media column marking the 50th anniversary of the NFL-AFL championship played at the Coliseum on Jan. 15, 1967 includes remembrances from those who saw the game.
Or try not to misremember things they saw that day versus things they’ve seen in video and film and photographs since then.
I was just a 5-year-old, not sure I even knew how to operate the black-and-white TV at our L.A. home with the needle nosed pliers fully engaged in changing the channels.
In addition to those in the column, we have these submissions:
== Lance Barrow, CBS Sports producer who has been the producer of four Super Bowl broadcasts and part of another eight as an assistant to Pat Summerall:
“I was a fifth-grader at Fort Worth Christian School in Fort Worth, Tex., and one of the families in our neighborhood were the Michener, in the oil and gas business and they were part of the company then called Shamrock. I remember Linda Michener, who was probably a junior in high school at the time, telling me she was going with her dad to this championship game. So I went home and told my dad: We need to go to Los Angeles and see this game. At that time, Los Angeles may as well as been Japan. My dad looked at me like I was crazy.
“I know me and my dad and mom and younger brother we watched from our den at home on TV. My dad, who’s 89 now, was a huge college football fan but we got them to watch this NFL game, thinking there was a possibility that Green Bay could lose this game. We were huge Cowboys fans. I can remember seeing the Coliseum on the color TV and it looked like the greatest thing ever, just like watching the Rose Bowl, in the middle of winder when it’s all dark and dead in Texas. As an 11 year old, I couldn’t understand why the place wasn’t sold out. It was a big deal because people made it a big deal. There was Pat Summerall as a sideline reporter for CBS — I was an NFL guy and a CBS watcher — and who knew I would end up working for him. Never did I even think back then I’d be working on a Super Bowl.”
== Jim Lampley, HBO boxing broadcaster and longtime sports reporter/anchor at ABC and University of North Carolina grad:
“I was 17, midway through freshman year in Chapel Hill. When I first watched NFL football as a kid in the Blue Ridge, we saw either the Redskins or the Colts every Sunday. As a Johnny Unitas worshiper, I hated and feared the Packers. I was also an avid fan and booster of the AFL — higher octane style, insurgency against the establishment, new names. So I was rooting hard for the Chiefs, and the last indignity I thought I might have to suffer would have been that a has-been wide receiver would outlast a righteously earned hangover to emerge as the star of the game. Just another Packer win I preferred ignoring at the time. Turned out Super Bowls I and II said more about Lombardi’s Packers than about the NFC vs the AFC.”
== Norman Chad, ESPN poker analyst, syndicated columnist and sports media critic:
“At the ripe old age of 8, I was a bit confused as to why the game would be broadcast on two networks at once. Wearing my junior TV-critic hat, I told my father that we had to watch the game on Channel 9 (CBS) instead of Channel 4 (NBC) because, being in Washington, we were an NFL city and that’s where we watched all the Redskins games.
“I was not old enough to realize how absurd it was that CBS used one play-by-play guy for the first half (the sublime, incomparable Ray Scott) and another for the second half (the erudite, fabulous Jack Whitaker, who, however, was miscast as a play-by-play persona). I also was not old enough to realize that it made no sense to ever have Frank Gifford near a football broadcast, yet somehow he was the color commentator for both halves.
“I literally have no memory of the game itself, but I believe there were no replay stoppages.”
== Larry Stewart, retired sports media critic for the Los Angeles Times:
“I was 20 and in my junior year as a journalism major at Fresno State. I was home for the weekend and watched the game on a small black-and-white TV alone at my parent’s home, located on a 20-acre orange grove three miles east of the tiny farming community of Strathmore. “Our home, which my father built, was in a rural area about 70 miles south of Fresno near the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Because this was a such a remote area, we only got one TV channel — the NBC affiliate in Fresno. So I had no choice of network. But I probably would have watched the NBC coverage anyway. I idolized Curt Gowdy. I couldn’t have ever envisioned then that after writing a column on Gowdy for the L.A. Herald Examiner in 1974 that I would come close to doing a book with him. The premise was to follow him through all the big events he was scheduled to work in 1975. We had a deal with Little, Brown and Co., but things fell through when Gowdy found out he was being replaced on baseball by Joe Garagiola.
“As for the game that would eventually been known as “Super Bowl I,” I really don’t remember much. I do recall I was pulling for the Chiefs, mainly because I was a Mike Garrett fan. In December of 1965, I had talked my father into going to the East-West Shrine game at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco mainly to see Garrett. I can still envision USC’s first Heisman Trophy winner strolling out onto the field for the first time. That is a vivid memory, much more so than the game Garrett played in three years later as a running back for the Chiefs.”
== Clyle Alt of Monterey Park:
“For Super Bowl I, I was a teenage girl crazy about The Beatles and an avid listener of Dave Hull, The Hullabalooer, on AM 1110 KRLA, the Beatlemaniacs’ radio station in L.A. Hull told us he had instructions for an antenna made from a broomstick and wire coat hangers that would let you see the game. The plan was to hook it up to the TV our next door neighbor’s newly constructed rec room. He had a son and his friends and several sons-in-laws, all of whom wanted to watch the game. We hooked it up there and not much came in. They decided to try our TV. It started coming in, albeit a little snowy.
Dad told me to tell them to move it around a bit. Turns out the guys had attached it to two long boards which they attached to the peak of their garage roof. It was about 60 feet in the air. No moving that around. They all watched the blacked out game in our living room. All were happy football fans. I’ve never forgotten that first Super Bowl. Happy memory!”
== Shawn WIlson of Huntington Beach:
“We lived in Whittier and were huge fans. My dad somehow got the instructions to make an antenna out of broomsticks and coat hangers. Five coat hangers were cut to the specified length and notches were cut in the broomstick for correct hanger spacing. Antenna wire was attached to the second hanger and the makeshift antenna was 30 feet in the air and pointed south. We had our relatives all over and watched the game. Surprisingly it work and we watched the game with pretty darn good reception.”
== Jeff Prescott of LaJolla:
“I was in the KHJ newsroom that day taking a tour with Lyle Kilgore (radio) and Stan Richards (TV)…The game was on a little black & white TV and we glanced at the TV from time to time…but there was no hoopla. I add this Sunday afternoon newspaper from my personal collection:
“Even at that age I realized that football was better seen on TV and thus that was the last NFL game I viewed in person. I do wish I’d picked up some of the discarded tickets and programs on the way out but eBay did not exist then. I now have a goal of being the last person alive to witness the game in person.”
“Like so many others, I’ve watched every Super Bowl (except the Rams-Steelers Super Bowl, which I listened to on the radio while driving back to school at ASU). My recollections of Super Bowl I:
“I grew up in Los Angeles, which means the game was blacked out in our area. I was 7 years old and really wanted to see the game. Thankfully, our good friends invited us to their home in Monterrey Park where my dad’s best friend claimed he knew how to rig his antenna to pick up the on the Santa Barbara station (I think). I seem to recall many trips up to the roof to adjust the antenna and then ultimately resorting to the good old coat hanger and tin foil tricks on the television itself. Eventually we got a beautiful, grainy black and white picture.
“Our families were all big UCLA fans and had a natural interest in watching former USC Heisman Trophy winner Mike Garrett playing for the Chiefs. Most of us rooted for the underdog Chiefs to no avail. For me the rigging of the antenna is more memorable than the game itself. A year later I would fall hard for the Oakland Raiders and was thrilled when they made it to Super Bowl II at age 8. Around Christmas, my grandma bought herself a color TV, becoming the first person in our family to own one. My dad and I drove from our home in Woodland Hills to my grandma’s small apartment in Mar Vista to watch the Super Bowl on TV. The television was better than the game!”
“While the game was officially called the NFL-AFL Championship Game, the Press-Telegram TV listings from that day did refer to it as the Super Bowl. See this attachment (left)”
Also note: It was replayed on tape at midnight on Channel 2 and at 3 p.m. the next day on Channel 4.
More on that
“In 1967, I was a staff director at KNBC Channel 4. Because the NFL-AFL game was not a sellout, KNBC and KNXT (now KCBS) could not televise it live. The earliest they could show the tape was the next day. KNXT chose to run the game at midnight to 3 a.m. that morning. KNBC chose to run it from 3-to-6 p.m. Monday afternoon as a lead-in to their newscast. Ross Porter was selected to host the tape and I was chosen to direct the presentation of Ross, then the tape, then Ross again at the finish. So I have always told people that I directed Super Bowl I. No dissent yet in these 50 years.”