Super Bowl 2012: What's in the Giants, Patriots, 49ers and Ravens' Name?
football in the air for a few more weeks, with phrases like Super Bowl,
New York Giants, New England Patriots, San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore
Ravens occupying headlines for a while now—the back story of these names
and a few others have a lot of history and a lot of interesting
BOWL: The merger of the American Football League and the National
Football League created a need for a championship game. On January 15,
1967, the first contest was played. As the story goes, at an owner’s
meeting there had been a discussion as to what to call the contest.
Agreement was reached on “National Football League Championship Game.”
of the owners had no fondness for the long, and in his view, unexciting
name. He had a “super ball” in his pocket that he had taken away from
his youngster earlier that day.
Squeezing the super ball, he came up with an idea. Call the big
although the National Football League Championship Game was the official
name. The “unofficial” name, the Super Bowl, was used in the media, fans
and the players.The name stuck. The name has remained through all the
decades and has even gotten glossier, grander and more glamorous.
beginning, each Super Bowl was designated with a Roman numeral rather
than by a year. This was a brilliant idea on the part of National
Football League Commissioner Pete Rozelle to give the ultimate game a
sense of class, a feeling of continuity.
first Super Bowl saw the first dual-network color-coverage simulcast of
a sporting event in history and attracted the largest viewership ever to
witness a sporting event up to that time. The Nielsen rating indicated
that 73 million fans watched all or part of that game on one of the two
networks, CBS or NBC.
was a contest between the two leagues and two television networks. The
CBS allegiance was to the NFL,
and NBC was allied with the American Football League, which it had
virtually created with its network dollars.
other names in the news as the world awaits Super Bowl 46,oops, XLVI ,
came to be are also interesting.
GIANTS: Back in 1925 owner Tim Mara adopted the name “Giants” from the
baseball team of the same name that played in New York. It was a common
practice back in the day.
ENGLAND PATRIOTS: A group of sportswriters from New England came up
with the name Patriots, a tip of the cap to Patriot’s Day, celebrated in
Boston for Paul Revere's ride. The team, which moved to Foxborough,
Mass., was originally located in Boston. It began life on November 16,
1959 as the eighth and final club in the American Football League.
FRANCISCO 49ers: The franchise entered pro football in 1946 as a member
of the All-America Football Conference. Their name originated from the
gold diggers during the gold rush in northern California of 1849.
BALTIMORE RAVENS: The poem “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe, who lived the
last few years of his life in Baltimore, was the inspiration for the
nickname for the Baltimore team. The name was chosen in a contest among
fans in 1996. The three Ravens' mascots include “Edgar,” “Allan,” and
# # #
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About the Author:
Harvey Frommer is in his 38th year of writing books.
A noted oral historian and sports journalist, the author of 42 sports
books including the classics: "New York City Baseball,1947-1957" and
"Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball," his acclaimed REMEMBERING YANKEE
STADIUM was published in 2008 and his REMEMBERING FENWAY PARK: AN ORAL
AND NARRATIVE HISTORY OF THE HOME OF RED SOX NATION was published to
acclaim in 2011. The prolific Frommer is at work on When It Was
Just a Game, An Oral History on Super Bowel One.
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