It’s Super Bowl Sunday. And while all of the intellectual types can criticize Americans for being football enthusiasts, the fans themselves know what to tell those critics.
This day is like a holiday, and it should be celebrated. The two best NFL teams are about to go at it, beat the crap out of each other, or better yet, violently assault each other legally to figure out which team stands at the top.
Even though this website is dedicated to educating people about history, current events and how both are related, professional football – or the NFL – has its own very rich history. The National Football League is 97 years old, having been established in 1920 as the American Professional Football Conference. Two years later the title was changed to the NFL.
Nearly all of the teams that existed back in those days no longer exist. How many people are around today that remember the Decatur Staleys and the Columbus Panhandles? The Staleys are known today as the Chicago Bears; and out of the other 13 teams of the inaugural APFC, there is only one other team that still exists in today’s NFL – the Arizona Cardinals, although in 1920, the team was located in Chicago.
Every year since 1920, the NFL crowned a champion, but it never received the same fanfare as baseball. That is, until league executives created the Super Bowl in the late 1960s.
Since then, professional football has become equal to baseball as a national pastime; and some sports authorities have said that pro football has passed baseball as America’s favorite sport. Perhaps that’s true since baseball teams need to win four games to become a champion while a football team needs to win one. There are no second or third chances to be the best in the NFL.
In the early years of the Super Bowl era, there have been one or two teams that have dominated over the course of a few years. And the team that wins the most Super Bowls have been honored with the “Team of the Decade’’ title. Most people who have watched the Super Bowl for years knows who those teams are:
1960s – Green Bay Packers (Two Super Bowl wins and three NFL titles before the Super Bowl was created.)
1970s – Pittsburgh Steelers (Four Super Bowl wins.)
1980s – San Francisco 49ers (Four Super Bowl wins.)
1990s – Dallas Cowboys (Three Super Bowl wins.)
2000s – New England Patriots (Three Super Bowl wins.)
The Patriots have been the most dominant for the longest time, and are about to make an NFL record ninth appearance. But the franchise with the most wins is the Pittsburgh Steelers with six, followed by the Cowboys and 49ers with five apiece.