IN THE WORKS FOR FALL 2015:
Written by acclaimed sports author and
oral historian Harvey Frommer, with an
intro by pro football Hall of Famer
Frank Gifford, When It Was Just a Game
tells the fascinating story of the
ground-breaking AFL–NFL World
Championship Football game played on
January 15, 1967: Packers vs. Chiefs.
Filled with new insights, containing
commentary from the unpublished memoir
of Kansas City Chiefs coach Hank Stram,
featuring oral history from many who
were at the game—media, players,
coaches, fans—the book is mainly in the
words of those who lived it and saw it
go on to become the Super Bowl, the
greatest sports attraction the world has
ever known. Archival photographs and
drawings help bring the event to life.
The big news is that the NFL Los
Angeles has emerged as a contender to once again
host the Super Bowl --- if it happens it would be in
2020 providing a franchise is in LA by the beginning
of the 2018 season and a new stadium built. The City
of Angeles has hosted seven
Five have been played at the Rose Bowl and two at
the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, including
I in 1967.
The scenario is just a bit
reminiscent of details I dealt with in writing my
newest sports epic - -WHEN IT WAS JUST A GAME:
REMEMBERING THE FIRST SUPER BOWL.
That first (and second game) was
officially known as the AFL-NFL World Championship
Game although from the start fans and media called
it Super Bowl. The ultimate game was the result of
the merger in June 1966 of the upstart AFL and the
establishment NFL. The creation of this game of
games was one of the provisions of the merger.
The Los Angeles Coliseum was
finally selected as the site for the main event.
Ground for the impressive and gigantic Coliseum had
been broken on December 21, 1921. Designed
originally as a memorial to World War I veterans,
built at a cost of $954,873, it opened May 1,
1923 on 18 acres in the architectural style of art
The Coliseum had a long history of
playing host to all manner of events including the
1932 Summer Olympics. In 1967, the USC Trojans first
began playing there and have used the facility ever
since. After the Dodgers left Brooklyn at the end of
the 1957 season, they played at the Coliseum as the
Los Angeles Dodgers from 1958 to 1961.
Now it was going to be the
environment for the football game of all football
games. Maximum effort had been expended decorating
the field of play. At the 50-yard line, a large
brown football capped with a crown of gold was the
central motif. The NFL insignia in blue and the AFL
in red, were on each side of the football. “Packers”
was spelled out in green on a gold background with
the NFL insignia on each side of the west end zone.
The east zone bore the word “Chiefs” in red on a
gold background, the AFL insignia on each side.
(There is much more in my book coming
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