Google Psyche: 'Why is the Super Bowl Called the Super Bowl?'

Great moments in Autocomplete, courtesy of Google search and collective consciousness 

gp_superbowl615.png

The main question on the minds of the Googlesphere as we approach Super Bowl weekend: Why is the Super Bowl, actually, called the Super Bowl?

An answer, via WikiAnswers, offers a possibly-apocryphal-but-still-entertaining-and-therefore-very-Internet-y bit of history:

The Super Bowl was created as part of the merger agreement in 1966 between the National Football League (NFL) and its competitive rival, the American Football League (AFL). One of the conditions of the AFL-NFL Merger was that the winners of each league's championship game would meet in a contest to determine the "world champion of football". Then NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle wanted to call the game "The Big One".

During the discussions to iron out the details, AFL founder and Kansas City Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt is supposed to have jokingly referred to the proposed interleague championship as the "Super Bowl", a play on words from the new Wham-O Super Ball his daughter then liked to play with and college "bowl" games. Hunt apparently only meant his suggested name to be a stopgap until a better one could be found. Nevertheless, the name "Super Bowl" became permanent.

googlepsyche_150 copy.jpg

Google Psyche is an exploration of the stories that the world's Internet searches tell. The company's autocomplete algorithm predicts the word a random web searcher is most likely to type next, providing a statistical probe for our collective consciousness.

Presented by

Megan Garber is a staff writer at The Atlantic.

'How Do You Function Without a Cellphone?'

A short documentary about a San Francisco designer who doesn't own a cellphone, and a teenager who can't imagine life without hers.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A History of Contraception

In the 16th century, men used linen condoms laced shut with ribbons.

Video

'A Music That Has No End'

In Spain, a flamenco guitarist hustles to make a modest living.

Video

What Fifty Shades Left Out

A straightforward guide to BDSM

More in Technology

Just In