Lamar Hunt is arguably the greatest sports entrepreneur of all-time. The late Hunt is the only person to be inducted as a member of the hall of fame in three different professional sports: football, soccer and tennis. He was, as Michael MacCambridge framed in his Lamar Hunt: A Life in Sports, a gentle giant that “gave rise to the modern American sports landscape.”
Among his storied accomplishments, Hunt is the originator of the term Super Bowl. In the 1960s, one of the most beloved toys was called a Super Ball. It was the catalyst for the Super component of the naming convention. Bowl obviously was, and still is, the term used to refer to games played at the end of the collegiate football season. Super+Bowl=Super Bowl.
Hunt’s Chiefs would play in the first and the fourth contests against the NFC. He would propose Super Bowl in a league meeting as preparations for the inaugural game were being made. Several different names, it is said, were in the mix. World Championship Game. Championship Game. NFL Finals. In the end, NFL leaders would proceed with Hunt’s Super Bowl.
Lamar Hunt was obsessed with the fan experience. He was a proud Texan. And of course, Bud Adams and the old Oilers franchise held founding status in the AFL. We have to assume, then, that Hunt would find much to love about this week down in Houston. No doubt we will too.
This Sunday evening at 630PM, fans (and non-fans alike) will gather for what should be an epic match up between the Tom Brady-led Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons. It should be a Super Bowl.
Not bad, Mr Hunt. Not bad at all.