On January 15, 1967, the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League (NFL) smash the American Football League (AFL)’s Kansas City Chiefs, 35-10, in the first-ever AFL-NFL World Championship, later known as Super Bowl I, at Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles.
Founded in 1960 as a rival to the NFL, the AFL was still finding its way in 1967, and the Packers had been heavily favoured to win the game. As 60 million people tuned in to watch the action unfold on television, the Chiefs managed to keep it close for the first half, and by halftime, Green Bay was ahead just 14-10. The Chiefs’ only touchdown came in the second quarter, on a seven-yard pass from quarterback Len Dawson to Curtis McClinton.
The Packers, however, proceeded to break the game wide open, after safety Willie Wood intercepted a Dawson pass and returned the ball 50 yards to set up a touchdown. Green Bay scored three more times in the second half, as Elijah Pitts ran in two touchdowns and backup end Max McGee–who came on the field after the starter Boyd Dowler was injured on the sixth play of the game–caught his second touchdown pass of the day. Prior to the game, McGee had made only four receptions all season; he made seven that night, for a total of 138 yards.
The Packers’ famed quarterback, Bryan Bartlett “Bart” Starr, completed 16 of 23 passes on the night. The score at the game’s end stood at 35-10, and Starr was named Most Valuable Player. Asked to comment on the match-up after the game, Green Bay Coach Vince Lombardi expressed the common opinion that even the best of the AFL—the Chiefs—“doesn’t compare with the top NFL teams.”
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