Gerald Cohen gcohen at UMR.EDU
Tue Jan 28 16:37:15 UTC 2003

    First, thanx for the clarification about the Woody Allen movie
"Manhattan."  I think I made the final statement in my last e-mail a
bit stronger than I intended.

    Now, to "Superbowl."  I remember the great amount of hype that
accompanied the first Superbowl. The  football announcers had
evidently been told to talk up the upcoming Superbowl, and in the
preceding month or so there was continual mention of "the Superbowl
on Super Sunday" (add emotional overtones of great anticipation; as
one announcer said: "...the Superbowl on Super Sunday. I can't wait!")

    This all got to be a bit too much for one sportswriter, who wrote
a humorous column attaching "super" to as many nouns as he could.  I
only remember one specific quote from this lampoon: "Then the super
coach blew his super whistle,..."

     So, with football announcers talking up the Superbowl (or was it
"the Super Bowl?) and with fans able to refer to it by no other term,
this term was about as official as one could get whether or not a
committee specifically authorized
it.  But football announcers don't go off on their own in talking up
a new term/product/etc.  They clearly had their marching orders.
Those marching orders clearly came from above--from the highest
authorities in football, whoever they were. It's therefore hard to
imagine the term not being official
right from the beginning.

Gerald Cohen

At 1:16 PM -0800 1/27/03, Dave Wilton wrote:
>A question came up about the origin of the term "Superbowl" on my site's
>discussion board. A common tale is that it was coined by a KC Chiefs owner
>Lamar Hunt in 1970 after seeing his daughter playing with a "superball."
>This has all the marks of an apocryphal story, but evidently the name
>"superbowl" was not used officially by the NFL until 1970 or so.
>I know the OED has a cite from 1966 (a reference to the upcoming game in Jan
>67), but is this an isolated use or was the term in general use by
>sportswriters and others before the NFL adopted it? Super + bowl is such an
>obvious coinage that I wouldn't be surprised if there were independent

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