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Photos: A History Of The Super Bowl In Los Angeles
Although Los Angeles was home to the very first game that we now call the Super Bowl, it has been over 22 years since the Super Bowl has been held in Los Angeles. It also has nearly been as long since we've had a team, with the Rams moving to St. Louis and the Raiders moving back to Oakland in 1994.
In celebration of Super Bowl Sunday, we've dug through the archives and come across some great photos of each Super Bowl that Los Angeles has hosted, and as a bonus we've also included photos of the only team to win a Super Bowl while representing L.A.: the 1983 Los Angeles Raiders.
Kansas City placekicker Miker Mercer practices in Long Beach while preparing for the Super Bowl, January 7, 1967. (via the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection)
Super Bowl I: Green Bay Packers 35, Kansas City Chiefs 10The inaugural NFL title game came into existence when the AFL and NFL agreed to a merger in 1966 (the leagues would officially complete the merger in 1970), and sent their league champions to play in what was then called the AFL-NFL Championship Game. L.A.'s Memorial Coliseum was chosen as the site of the first Super Bowl, and was held on January 15, 1967.
Back then the National Football League was superior to the American Football League, and the score in what is retroactively called Super Bowl I reflects this. The Vince Lombardi-coached Green Bay Packers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 35 to 10. The Packers were the best football team of the Sixties, having won NFL Championships in 1961, 1962, 1965, and 1966. The Kansas City Chiefs were one of the charter teams of the AFL, founded in 1960. They were champions of the 1966 AFL season after crushing the defending champion Buffalo Bills.
The Packers squad simply outgunned the Chiefs, featuring 10 future Hall of Famers including star quarterback Bart Starr. Kansas City themselves also had a future Hall of Famer under center, quarterback Len Dawson, but only three others on their roster would be enshrined in the Hall. Although the score remained close at halftime (14-10), and the Chiefs actually outgained the Packers in total yardage in the first half, the Chiefs never held a lead. The Packers defense would suffocate the Chiefs in the second half of the game, allowing the Chiefs to cross midfield only once.
This Super Bowl remains the only one to have been broadcast on two networks at once, since the AFL and NFL each had their own broadcast networks: NBC and CBS, respectively. It is also the only one to not be a sellout in attendance. Of the 94,000 seats in the Los Angeles Coliseum, 33,000 were empty.
Vince Lombardi, making a point to an official at the Coliseum during Super Bowl I (via the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection)
Two consecutive views taken at the 1967 Super Bowl. View l: Under heavy pressure from Packer blitz, Len Dawson fires a pass. View 2: Willie Wood cuts in front of Fred Arbanas and intercepts the ball. (Photo by Tom Courtney/via the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection)
Two consecutive views taken at the 1967 Super Bowl. View 3: Safety Willie Wood intercepts the throw from Len Dawson and directs traffic as he weaves upfield 50 yards. View 4: Mike Garrett drags Willie down on the 5. (Photo by Tom Courtney/via the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection)
Super Bowl VII: Miami Dolphins 14, Washington Redskins 7
The 1972 Miami Dolphins remain the only undefeated team in NFL history, and that perfect season was completed at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum on January 14, 1973. Miami's "No-Name Defense" shut out Washington's offense, which featured MVP Larry Brown at running back. The only scoring for Washington during the game's most memorable play, later known as "Garo's Gaffe." With almost two minutes left in the game, Miami lined up for a 42-yard field goal. The kick was blocked, and instead of just falling on top of the ball, Miami kicker Garo Yepremian decided to attempt a pass. As he frantically searched for an open receiver, Yepremian fumbled the ball, and Washington's Mike Bass returned it for a touchdown.
Miami Dolphins kicker Garo Yepremian frantically searches for an open receiver in an infamous play known as "Garo's Gaffe." (Photo by James Roark/via the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection)
Miami Dolphins kicker Garo Yepremian fumbles the ball in an infamous play now known as "Garo's Gaffe." (Photo by James Roark/via the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection)
Super Bowl XI: Oakland Raiders 32, Minnesota Vikings 14
John Madden's Oakland Raiders defeat the Minnesota Vikings, led by Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton, at the Rose Bowl on January 9, 1977. Wide receiver Fred Biletnikoff took MVP honors.
Oakland Raiders coach John Madden is carried by his players after winning Super Bowl XI at the Rose Bowl (Photo by James Roark/via the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection)
Super Bowl XIV: Pittsburgh Steelers 31, Los Angeles Rams 19
The "Steel Curtain" capped their dominance of the 1970s by winning their fourth Super Bowl in six years on January 20, 1980 at the Rose Bowl. It was the second time the Steelers went back-to-back as champs, and quarterback Terry Bradshaw was named MVP for the second year in a row. Rams defensive end Jack Youngblood played the entire postseason, including this Super Bowl, with a fractured leg and would later be known as the "John Wayne of football" for his gutsy performance.
A vendor counts his take, as customers look over his wares at the park across from the Rose Bowl the day before Super Bowl XIV (via the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection)
Steelers running back Franco Harris vaults over a Rams defender in Super Bowl XIV (Photo by Chris Gulker/via the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection)
Super Bowl XVII: Washington Redskins 27, Miami Dolphins 14
The 1982 NFL season was shortened as a result of a players' strike, cutting down the number of games from 16 to 9. Washington exacted revenge on Miami in Super Bowl XVII on January 30, 1983 at the Rose Bowl. Just a decade earlier, Miami beat Washington at the Coliseum to keep their season perfect. Bolstered by an offensive line nicknamed The Hogs, running back John Riggins was named MVP after rushing for a then-Super Bowl record 166 yards.
Rose Bowl groundskeeper George Toma finds time between storms to mow the Rose Bowl lawn for Super Bowl XVII (Photo by James Reubsamen/via the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection)
Terry Haskins of Ft. Lauderdale, hawks his extra Super Bowl tickets. He sold all 20 tickets in less than an hour at a "moderate" profit in front of the Rose Bowl. (Photo by James Reubsamen/via the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection)
John Riggins avoids the Dolphins' William Judson in the first half. (Photo by Paul Chinn/via the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection)
Super Bowl XVIII: Los Angeles Raiders 38, Washington Redskins 9
Super Bowl XVIII was held in Tampa, Florida on January 22, 1984, but it remains the only Super Bowl a team has won while actually representing Los Angeles. Former USC Trojan Marcus Allen took home MVP honors after rushing for 191 yards and 2 touchdowns. Washington were the favorites, so their crushing at the hands of the Silver & Black came to be known as "Black Sunday."
The Los Angeles Raiders celebrate a touchdown against the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XVIII at Tampa Stadium (Allsport/Getty Images)
The Los Angeles Raiders celebrate after Super Bowl XVIII against the Washington Redskins at Tampa Stadium in Tampa (Getty Images)
Head coach Tom Flores of the Los Angeles Raiders gives his victory speech in the locker room after Super Bowl XVIII (Allsport/Getty Images)
Seated next to Mayor Tom Bradley, Raiders Coach Tom Flores wipes his brow as he holds the Super Bowl trophy at the City Hall ceremony in which officials honored the Super Bowl champions. January 24, 1984. (Photo by Mike Sergieff/via the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection)
View of the stadium from the top north end of the Rose Bowl. Cushions have been set out to make it more comfortable for the fans and the cushions may be taken home as souvenirs. (Photo by Dean Musgrove/via the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection)
Super Bowl XXI: New York Giants 39, Denver Broncos 20
The New York Giants played in their first Super Bowl in franchise history on January 25, 1987 at the Rose Bowl, heavy favorites against John Elway and the Denver Broncos. The Giants team featured many colorful personalities that would go on to define the franchise, including Super Bowl MVP quarterback Phil Simms and leader of the "Big Blue Wrecking Crew" in linebacker Lawrence Taylor, all under coach Bill "Big Tuna" Parcells. The Giants would soundly win what would the first of three Super Bowl losses for Elway.This game became one of the first instances of the "Gatorade Shower" being shown to a national audience, wherein the Giants dunked the famously un-amicable Bill Parcells with the Gatorade cooler once the outcome of the game became obvious. Phil Simms also became the first player to appear in the famous "I'm going to Disney World!" commercial.
New York Giants' linebacker Lawrence Taylor takes questions on Media Day at Orange Coast College (Photo by Paul Chin/via the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection)
Giants lineback Leonard Marshall sacks Broncos quarterback John Elway (Photo by Paul Chinn/via the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection)
At Super Bowl XXI, Giants linebacker Harry Carson dumps water on coach Bill Parcells after the outcome of the game became apparent. (Photo by Paul Chinn/via the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection)
Two fans of the Buffalo Bill pose for a portrait prior to Super Bowl XXVII against the Dallas Cowboys at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, on January 31, 1993. (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)
Super Bowl XXVII: Dallas Cowbys 52, Buffalo Bills 17Held on January 31, 1993, the last Super Bowl held in Los Angeles was mostly forgettable, as the Cowboys crushed the Bills in what would be the third Bills Super Bowl loss in a row. Former UCLA quarterback Troy Aikman took home MVP honors. The two teams would meet again in the following Super Bowl, and the Cowboys would win again.
Outside of overall stellar play by the Cowboys, the most memorable play came as a result of football gaffe-machine Leon Lett. Lett had returned a fumble almost all the way to the endzone, but his showboating at the end of the play resulted in Bills player Don Beebe coming up from behind and knocking the ball out of his hands, denying Lett the touchdown. Lett would have a similar play later that year on Thanksgiving that cost the Cowboys the game.
This Super Bowl marked the first time the NFL would sign top stars to play the halftime show in order to attract more TV viewers. Michael Jackson performed what is still considered one of the best halftime shows of all time, concluding with a performance of "Heal The World" with 3,500 local L.A. children.
A fan is looking to purchase two tickets during the Super Bowl XXVII pre-game between the Buffalo Bills and the Dallas Cowboys at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. (Stephen Dunn/Allsport)
End zone view of the field at the Rose Bowl during pre-game festivities prior to Super Bowl XXVII between the Buffalo Bills and the Dallas Cowboys on January 31, 1993 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)
Linebacker Ken Norton of the Dallas Cowboys (formerly UCLA) tackles Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly during Super Bowl XXVII at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California (Photo by Mike Powell/Getty Images)
Michael Jackson performs during the halftime show at Super Bowl XXVII (George Rose/Getty Images)