For the first time in 50 years, the Kansas City Chiefs are in the Super Bowl, and on Sunday they will take on the San Francisco 49ers as K.C. goes after its second Super Bowl win. Their first Super Bowl victory came at Super Bowl IV when the Chiefs defeated the Minnesota Vikings 23-7 in 1970. Since that win, the Chiefs have not only not won another, but this is their first visit to the Super Bowl since then.
In that Super Bowl -- which was the last of the AFL-NFL World Championship games before the merger -- Doc Severinsen performed the national anthem with Pat O'Brien, and viewers tuned in to CBS to watch quarterback Len Dawson, who was the game's MVP, lead his team to victory despite the Vikings being favored. The Chiefs were able to get through the "Purple People Eaters," the Vikings' impressive and forever famous defensive line.
A 30-second commercial during the broadcast cost $78,000, which is nothing compared to the current price of $5.5 million to $5.6 million for the same amount of time this year. Jack Buck was on the call for the game and now his son, Joe Buck, will be in the booth for this year's Super Bowl.
To catch the big game in person in 1970, fans paid an average price of $15. Seeing the fourth Super Bowl live was a lot cheaper back then and even adjusted for inflation, it's still only $98 by 2020 standards. These days, it takes a lot more than a single bill to get into the stadium. and on SeatGeek the current average price is $9,031 while the current lowest is $5,844 and the most expensive is $46,302.
Fans were treated to halftime entertainment in the form of a reenactment of the Battle of New Orleans from the War of 1812, as opposed to this year which will see stars. That game took place in, you guessed it, New Orleans at Tulane Stadium.
Life when the Chiefs last were under the lights for the biggest game in football was a bit different. We are hopping in our CBS Sports Time Machine (patent pending) to take a trip down memory lane of what was going on in the world of entertainment, pop culture and sports the last time Chiefs fans were cheering their team on with the NFL title on the line.
Here is what was happening in January 1970:
"M*A*S*H" and "Patton" were the two highest-grossing films at the time, both premiering on Jan. 1, 1970. "The Aristocats" was one of the top Disney movies of the year, but was not released until December.
The top song on Jan. 11, 1970, was "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" by B.J. Thomas, spending most of January in the No. 1 spot of the Billboard Top 100 songs. "I Want You Back" by the Jackson 5 dethroned it as the No. 1 record at the end of the month.
"Abbey Road" by The Beatles, which was released in September 1969, was the top album at the time of Super Bowl IV. Johnny Cash's album "Hello, I'm Johnny Cash" hit shelves January 1970.
"All My Children" premiered in January 1970 and "The Carol Burnett Show" was another major hit of the time.
The way we watch the Super Bowl has changed drastically. Now people gather in front of their 4K, 72-inch televisions with surround sound to watch the players with vibrant colors and impressive graphics. Super Bowl IV saw none of this.
There were only 2,490 cable TV systems in the country back in 1970. There were not nearly as many stations as there are now, to say the least, and there was no DVR or rewind button if you missed any of the action. Now you can catch replays again instantly with that technology or by going online on your phone, a foreign concept 50 years ago.
Average gas price:
The average gas price in 1970 was $0.36, adjusted for inflation coming out to be $2.19. Many were pulling up to the gas stations in their Chevrolet Chevelle, one of the most popular cars of the time. As of this week, the U.S. average price of gas is hovering around $2.49, down from the beginning of the month when it spiked to $2.61.
Defending Super Bowl champions:
Super Bowl III took place between the AFL champion New York Jets and the NFL champion Baltimore Colts. Joe Namath, game MVP, helped take the Jets to a 16-7 victory over quarterback Johnny Unitas and head coach Don Shula, all three of whom are now Hall of Famers.
The Colts were favored by 18 points, but the Jets rolled into the Orange Bowl in Miami with fur coats and confidence and took down the favorites.
That year the Florida A&M University band took center stage at halftime.
Defending NFL MVP:
Roman Gabriel of the Los Angeles Rams was the MVP back in 1969. The quarterback was the NFL's passing leader in 1973, was a two-time passing touchdowns leader and a four-time Pro Bowler. He is also in the College Football Hall of Fame.
Champions in other sports:
- The New York Mets just won the World Series in October, upsetting the Baltimore Orioles
- The Montreal Canadiens were the Stanley Cup champions, defeating the St. Louis Blues in a rematch of the 1968 Stanley Cup Final
- The Boston Celtics were continuing their NBA domination and beat the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1969 NBA Finals, a rivalry that spread through the decade and beyond
- Apollo 11 had just become the first manned mission to land on the moon in July 1969
- Cassette tapes had just been invented eight years before and were becoming a way people listened to and discovered music. The Sony Walkman was another nine years away and the iPod would not come into play for another 31 years
- The first digital camera would come the same decade, but not until 1975. The first handheld mobile phone was three years out, released by Motorola in 1973. The first email would not be sent for another year
Safe to say things have changed quite a bit since the last time the Chiefs ran out of the tunnel for a Super Bowl.