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

More

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.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Megan Garber is a staff writer at The Atlantic. She was formerly an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab, where she wrote about innovations in the media.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

The Ghost Trains of America

Can a band of locomotive experts save vintage railcars from ruin?


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

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

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Video

What If Emoji Lived Among Us?

A whimsical ad imagines what life would be like if emoji were real.

Video

Living Alone on a Sailboat

"If you think I'm a dirtbag, then you don't understand the lifestyle."

Video

How Is Social Media Changing Journalism?

How new platforms are transforming radio, TV, print, and digital

Video

The Place Where Silent Movies Sing

How an antique, wind-powered pipe organ brings films to life

Feature

The Future of Iced Coffee

Are artisan businesses like Blue Bottle doomed to fail when they go mainstream?

Writers

Up
Down

More in Technology

Just In