The AFL-NFL World Championship Game has been known as the Super Bowl from its inception 1967, according to Super Bowl History. The Title was coined effortlessly one day when Lamar Hunt, architect of the AFL, came across his daughter's 'Super Ball' . "Why not," he wondered, "call our championship game the Super Bowl?"Naming of the Super BowlThe Super Bowl was created as part of the merger agreement between the National Football League (NFL) and its rival, the American Football League (AFL). After its inception in 1920, the NFL fended off several rival leagues before the AFL began play in 1960. The intense competitive war for players and fans led to serious merger talks between the two leagues in 1966 (See AFL-NFL Merger for more information).
One of the conditions of the agreement was that the winners of each league's championship game would meet in a contest to determine the "world champion of football". During the discussions to iron out the details, AFL founder and Kansas City Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt had jokingly referred to the proposed interleague championship as the "Super Bowl." Hunt thought of the name after seeing his daughter playing with a toy called a Super Ball. The ball is now on display at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. The name was feasible because postseason college football games had long been known as "bowl games" (The term originates with the Rose Bowl game, which was in turn named for the bowl-shaped stadium in which it is played). Hunt only meant his suggested name to be a stopgap until a better one could be found. Not having thought of one, the owners named the contest the NFL-AFL World Championship Game. Unsurprisingly, fans and media tended to use the shorter, unofficial name. Starting with the third contest in 1969, the name "Super Bowl" became official.
Sometimes two isn't always better than one and that was the lesson learned by two rival professional football leagues - the American Football League and the National Football League.
Since 1920, the NFL was the unchallenged leader of professional football leagues in the country. Smaller leagues came and went, but it wasn't until 1960 that another league was able to achieve some of the success enjoyed by the NFL. The AFL did this by recruiting exciting star players that the NFL passed on, gaining a large fan base in the process.
During the 1960s, the two leagues became rivals and competed intensely, with the champions of each league playing in what would eventually be known as the Super Bowl. Finally in 1966, the two leagues began to discuss combining their strength and allowing fans to cheer for a larger expanded field of 28 teams.
In 1970, the AFL and NFL officially merged, both under the National Football League name. The NFL adopted several AFL rules and policies that before the merger were exclusive to the AFL, like placing players' names on jerseys, an official scoreboard clock and the two-point conversion. As you might have guessed, these two different leagues came to be known as the NFC and AFC and they still meet in the Super Bowl every year. In addition, the conferences meet at the Pro Bowl every year to showcase their most talented players.
Supposedly, Lamar Hunt got the name from watching his daughter bounce a super ball
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