published Sunday, February 3rd, 2013

Magnitude super for NFL title game

The Super Bowl has become so big it's actually become a synonym for "grandest." The Super Bowl of meetings or the Super Bowl of Super Bowl parties are not uncommon references.

It's the pinnacle of American sports -- the beacon of the monolith that is NFL broadcasts, which had the top 22 most-watched shows last fall, according to Nielsen ratings. Heck, the NFL is so popular the meaningless Pro Bowl last week had 12.7 million viewers -- more than Games 1, 2 or 3 of last year's World Series.

But the apex that is today's Super Bowl was beyond the dreams and scope of the game that originally was billed as the AFL-NFL championship. Here's how super the current Super Bowl is by comparison.

Ticket prices:

1967 -- Average was $12.

Today -- Face value starts at $850 and Internet purchases start at $1,322 and reach more than $136,000 at ticketexchange.com.

Halftime shows

1967 -- American trumpet player Al Hirt was joined by the marching bands from the University of Arizona and Grambling State.

Today -- International recording star Beyonce will do three songs.

Players' reward

1967 -- The Green Bay Packers received $15,000 each for beating the Kansas City Chiefs, who were paid $7,500.

Today -- The players from the winning teams of the last two Super Bowls received $83,000 apiece.

Commercial time

1967 -- A 30-second spot cost $42,000 on CBS and NBC. The two networks simulcast the game because each had rights with either the NFL or the AFL.

Today -- A 30-second spot costs $3.8 million dollars and will be seen all over the world.

Popularity

1967 -- The first Super Bowl was the only one that was not a sellout. Roughly 51 million viewers watched on the two networks.

Today -- The sports casinos in Las Vegas have set the line on viewership of this Super Bowl at 111 million Americans.

Performance-enhancing drugs du jour

1967 -- The International Olympic Committee established its first list of banned performance-enhancing substances. The first athlete to lose an Olympic medal for banned substance was Swedish pentathlete Hans-Gunnar Liljenwall, who lost a bronze medal for alcohol use.

Today -- Baltimore Ravens star middle linebacker Ray Lewis spent a lot of time answering questions about deer-antler spray, which contains banned substances.

Media representatives

1967 -- There were 338 receiving credentials, according to NFL archives.

Today -- More than 5,000 media members from all over the planet will cover the game.

about Jay Greeson...

Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...

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