Rare Super Bowl I Photographs

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hank stram

Hank Stram

I was looking around the internet the other day, searching for information on the Chiefs postcards that I recently wrote about, when I came  across a site called Vintage Everyday.  The site features article on all sorts of historic topics, and is something in which readers can easily lose themselves for hours.  The particular article that caught my attention, however, showed a number of rare photographs of the first AFL-NFL World Championship Game (Super Bowl I), taken by a photographer for Life Magazine.  The photo that I found most interesting was a shot of a downtrodden Hank Stram.  It was just such a drastic difference from the way the normally ebullient coach was typically portrayed.  Enjoy!

Todd Tobias (789 Posts)

Todd Tobias's interest in the American Football League began in 1998, when he wrote my master's thesis about Sid Gillman. He created this site to educate and entertain football fans with the stories of the American Football League, 1960-1969. You can follow Todd and get more AFL history on Twitter @TalesfromtheAFL.

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23 Responses to Rare Super Bowl I Photographs

  1. 1967 says:

    Frozen in time (like Hank’s face) the buildup to Superbowl I – AFL vs NFL – there was nothing like it before and frankly there has been nothing like it since.

    Nice pics and in lieu recently found actual network telecast ever being available for sale, will have to suffice. A dvd with the NBC radio audio & game highlights spliced in with coaches film was put together a few years ago (available on the internet variously & missing only 9 total plays from the game visually, though the audio for those plays is present.)

    * Vince Lombardi looks in picture #8 before the game how Hank Stram looked during much of it. According reports, Lombardi was “shaking” before the game – as in nervous/fearful of failure; at halftime and well beyond till near the end of the 3rd quarter, he had reason to be.

    * Contrast the difference 1967 to 2013: 6th pic down from the top shows #55 LB EJ Holub drinking water (I presume) out of a ladle, shared by all players. 1967 was not so far removed from the days separate drinking means blacks & whites some places, and in fact said was still en vogue certain places the US.

    * For what it’s worth, the 13th picture down is not DE Jerry Mays (#75) as listed, but rather OG Denny Biodrowski (#61).

    * 16th picture of #16 QB Len Dawson puffing away a stogie, Fresca also in tow, reminds me that Dawson was the 7th son of a 7th son… but on this day, Starr was #15 in your game program & the #1 son on the field, Packers. To this day, these guys remain my two favorite QBs of all time.

    And if KC & GB played that game 10 times, my Chiefs win half of them…

    : )

    • Howard says:

      I enjoy how most of the players looked “normal”. They were athletes, but not steroid. gym freaks, or huge, fat slobs like the majority of today’s players.

      What do Len Dawson, Max McGee and Hank Aaron have in common? They all enjoyed a smoke! So politically incorrect.
      Dawson and Starr had very similar statistics over their careers. Their QB ratings were much higher than the mean average of QB’s during their era. They threw far fewer interceptions than the average QB, and they were both very efficient with their passing. Both great winners; in sports and in life!

  2. Jeffrey J Miller says:

    Excellent photos freezing for all time a great moment in American sports history. Just wish it had been my Bills there ….

  3. Ted Machnik says:

    Great photos. I remember watching this game on TV in Chicago (with the option of viewing it on NBC or CBS) when I was ten years old.

    Brings back many special memories. Loved how simple everything was back then. Interesting seeing so many empty seats at the Coliseum. Loved the photo of the trainer wearing that plain “Kansas City Chiefs” tee-shirt.

    Now, the Super Bowl is too much of an “EVENT,” too much hype, etc.

  4. John Spoulos says:

    I was at that first Super Bowl!! I remember my father buying the tickets at I believe was a hotel in LA. I was 13 then and the tickets were ten dollars each and it was 1.50 to park. I especially remember the two flyers one from the AFL one from the NFL flying around the stadium with backpacks on. I also remember the huge AFL NFL inflatable players each representing the two leagues in the parking lot. I was a Chiefs fan then and I think the score at halftime was 14-10 Greenbay before the packers came out and figured out Strams multiple offense and moving pocket along with the play action pass, then they laid it on the Chiefs. I also remeber that the stadium was fairly empty but then you must remember that it was the LA coliseum so even if there were 60,000 fans that day, there would have been many empty seats. I also remember the hammer Fred Williamson getting hammered himself and carried off the field lol. As a thirteen year old I was overjoyed by this great spectacle and to say that I was at the first one is more than special. January 15the 1967 seems like ancient history, but, I remember it with great enthusiasm more so than the games today Great day!

  5. billd says:

    Note the Chiefs in the tunnel with police officer saluting in the background. Jerrel Wilson looks like he is standing at attention. Could it be the National Anthem was played without the players on the field?

  6. Tom says:

    The photo of Andy Rice sitting alone head down on the bench with the band member over his right shoulder squinting as the sun moved west with a look of grimace in his face speaks volumes and directly to how the game has changed.
    No longer do you see the hand and forearm protection as it’s unnecessary as it is illegal to head slap or forearm shiver. If you notice Rices right middle finger is taped to the next finger with two pieces of tape. That indicates that he had previously dislocated one or both fingers, a most painful, common and annoying injury that never heals, but taping them together is very effective and keeps them from popping out…ouch I can still feel mine.
    Rice is wearing Spot Built football cleats.

  7. Rick Wigington says:

    I was a big AFL fan, so I was rooting hard for the Chiefs. I remember watching the first half at a friend’s house on CBS and then the second half at home on NBC. Or vise versa.

    • Howard says:

      The television feed for that game was recorded by CBS. So both networks announcers were looking at the same view of the game. I was an NFL kid back then, so i watched the CBS version. It made sense the way Rick watched each half on a different network.
      I actually was a big Curt Gowdy fan. I thought he was one of the best all-purpose announcers. His American Sportsman show on ABC was outstanding during the 1970’s. For AFL games he teamed with Paul Christman, a great player and color man. Later he was with Al Derogatis. When I think of the AFL, I think of Curt Gowdy and Chrysler.

      • When I think of Curt Gowdy, I think of Curt saying the Jets had an excellent chance to beat the Colts in Super Bowl III, and catching a lot of flack for it. What a great call that turned out to be ! ! ! Vince Lombardi also thought the Jets might win.

        I know that from reading about it–I’m not sure I’ve actually heard Gowdy announce. I may have heard him on video clips.

        • John Spoulos says:

          Actually Al DeroGatis the color commentator to Gowdy said if the Jets can gain 100 yards on the ground, they will win. Derogatis was pin point accurate! That Super Bowl 111 was one of the best coached games in history. Weeb Ewbank deserved the trophy as much as his platers..

  8. Tom says:

    The Packers in 1967 were a big team, on average the tallest NFL team 6’3″ and had the heaviest linebackers 241 lbs and DB’s 195. KC’s acquisition of Ernie Ladd in 67 made them a mammoth team but a serious knee injury cut the Big Cat down to size and hastened his move to the ring and the Sleeper hold.

    • Howard says:

      It’s interesting that today’s linebackers, secondary, back, and receivers are about the same size as their 1960’s counterparts. Only linemen have “grown” larger. The early 1980’s Redskins had the “Hogs”. They had one 300 pounder, one 290 pounder, and the rest were around 260. Today, the smallest offensive linemen are 305.

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