Rich Galen

A few days before the BIG GAME, you can't swing a dead Palm Pilot without running into someone or something tied to Super Bowl XLVIII which, for those who might have cut the high school class that taught us Roman Numerals, translates to 48.

The first Super Bowl was officially known as the First World Championship Game and was played in the Los Angeles Coliseum on January 15, 1967 between the NFL champion Green Bay Packers and the AFL champs, the Kansas City Chiefs. Green Bay won that game 35-10. The next year, the game was officially named the Super Bowl and carried the designation II as that first championship game was retroactively designated Super Bowl I.

That first game was broadcast on both CBS (that owned the rights to NFL games) and NBC (which was the home of the AFL). According to that game attracted 65 million viewers. In case you're wondering, a 30-second ad cost $42,500 (about $292,000 in 2014 dollars). That, of course pales before the announced price of a 30-second ad for the 2014 Super Bowl; about $4 million.

If you or your parents were part of those 65 million viewers, the chances were good that they watched the game on a black-and-white television. According to the FCC sales of color TVs didn't exceed 50 percent until 1972. And, it was almost a certainty that their black-and-white TV got its signal from a rooftop or set top over-the-air antenna. Cable was still in its infancy, or at least it's toddler stage, and wasn't even generally known as "cable." In the 1960s it was more commonly known as CATV - Community Access Television.

In 1967 the nation was still heavily involved in the Vietnam War, the first heart transplant was accomplished, the Academy Award for Best Picture was "In the Heat of the Night" starring Rod Steiger (who won for "Best Actor"), and the Monkees' "I'm a Believer" (written by Neil Diamond) topped the Billboard charts.

The first widely accepted personal digital assistant (PDA) known as the Palm Pilot, was still 30 years away. The first smartphone, as we know it now, was four decades in the future. In 1967 the Internet did not exist in any form. ARPAnet - its forerunner - wasn't in existence until 1969. rything from your new tablet to the thermostat in your den to the brakes on the tires of a Boeing 787.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at