AHC: U.S. football “Superbowl” never really takes off.

First off, many of the early games were duds.

And then it’s a drinking holiday, and a day of excess and over-eating. And the timing seems to work, for it’s about a month after the more serious holidays.

So, potentially another drinking holiday could outcompete it, right?

PS I’d be curious what people who work in an emergency room or in law enforcement think of “Super” Sunday.
 
You'd need the NFL-AFL merger not to happen, and the Jets and Chiefs to be destroyed in 69 and 70.

I wonder if March Madness could be moved to early Feb, and college basketball being condensed or starting earlier.
 
You'd need the NFL-AFL merger not to happen, and the Jets and Chiefs to be destroyed in 69 and 70.

I wonder if March Madness could be moved to early Feb, and college basketball being condensed or starting earlier.
Even with that, you still have the popular College Bowl games, starting with the Rose Bowl, that was for the Western Conference (Big Ten) and Pacific Coast Conference (Pac-12) before WWI. By 1940, there were five College Bowl games.
Without the Football merger, both had their own Bowl.game, the Pro Bowl, between Eastern Conference and Western, and the AFL.with its own East vs Wesp Playoff, the, aptly named American Football League Championship Game.
It typically had the Pro Bowl, then all the College Bowls with the AFL game last, though some years it flipped, but they tried to be bookends to the College Games., lots of Football between Christmas and Epiphany.
More games were televised on TV and the Bowl Games got more and more popular.
Rather than one event, it was Football for over a week
 
Saying "taking off" implies that the first Super Bowl occurs, but then fails for some reason. This is unavoidable by the time the Super Bowl was established, the AFL-NFL merger was already in place by 1966 and the best teams of each leagues were roughly equal in strength by this time, and the inclusion of the common draft in 1967 means that teams from either league are going to stay competitive with each other. Even if the NFL wins all 4 pre-merger Super Bowls, you're still going to have an AFC v NFC championship game that are going to be competitive. Perhaps the game might be called an "NFL Championship" instead of a "Super Bowl" but it's going to practically be the same in terms of scope.

In order to avoid this, you'd need to prevent American football from being the most popular sport in the US or make the championship a multi-game affair a la the World Series so the singular game and date isn't such a big deal. The latter is impossible, football is such a rough sport that you're never getting a 3 game championship series. The former is doable. A non-nationally televised or shitty 1958 Championship Game might turn casual fans away, that's probably your best latest POD to stop football's rise to become the biggest sport in the States
 
Even with that, you still have the popular College Bowl games, starting with the Rose Bowl, that was for the Western Conference (Big Ten) and Pacific Coast Conference (Pac-12) before WWI. By 1940, there were five College Bowl games. . .
Intrigued by a timeline in which college football remains more popular than pro.

. . . you'd need to prevent American football from being the most popular sport in the US or make the championship a multi-game affair a la the World Series . . .
As well as a timeline in which baseball holds its top position. Which has to involve figuring out how non-growing northern cities can profitably support two terms. That is, even before the disastrous moves of the Dodgers and Giants, prevent the Boston Braves from moving to Milwaukee in 1953.

But . . .
 
Well, considering that collegiate football was being banned in the early 20th century, I imagine if that ban held and TR hadn't created the new rules that saved the sport would butterfly away the rise of the NFL.
 
I think you can get modern American professional football as not existing or as a niche sport. But once the NFL takes off the last chance you have to hold off the Superbowl would be no AFL.
 
I think you can get modern American professional football as not existing or as a niche sport. But once the NFL takes off the last chance you have to hold off the Superbowl would be no AFL.
But with no AFL there will eventually be expansion to areas/cities where AFL teams took hold and while it might take longer, over time the NFL Championship Game will come to resemble the modern Super Bowl, regardless of what you call it.
 

Driftless

Donor
But with no AFL there will eventually be expansion to areas/cities where AFL teams took hold and while it might take longer, over time the NFL Championship Game will come to resemble the modern Super Bowl, regardless of what you call it.
IF no AFL, do you have slower expansion of the NFL? That also implies slower dilution of talent across teams. That in turn, creates other knock-ons regarding the impact of free agency and the football draft.
 

DougM

Donor
What is this “Super Bowl “ of which you talk? As far as I can tell based on my local NFL team Football stops (and has for my whole life) the first week of January..
Then we start watching the Red Wings play hockey. :)
 
Intrigued by a timeline in which college football remains more popular than pro.


As well as a timeline in which baseball holds its top position. Which has to involve figuring out how non-growing northern cities can profitably support two terms. That is, even before the disastrous moves of the Dodgers and Giants, prevent the Boston Braves from moving to Milwaukee in 1953.

But . . .
Problem is these northern cities were still growing in the 50s

Wasnt so much population as new markets that were there's

Baseball was still the sport into the 70s.

If you want the super bowl to fail there are maybe options.

1. Someone is seriouslly hurt or killed
2. Gambling connections..
Besides that, us football is popular with its supporters.

Remove the showman ship and pr blitz, keep big city teams out for a while. Like no Broadway Jo bringing the big city in.

Money talks.. Big city numbers and money go hand in hand.

Also basketball didn't have the market share of baseball or football at the time, nor did hockey
 
Please dive into the aspects:

1) a lot of very casual fans watch and/or attend a viewing party,

2) a guy told me the unofficial rule in his family is that it’s okay to talk during the game, but don’t you dare talk during the commercials.

And all new commercials (high dollar, often very creative) really grabs the eye and the attention. It makes for a very different TV viewing experience, maybe almost unique for modern American TV.
 
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IF no AFL, do you have slower expansion of the NFL? That also implies slower dilution of talent across teams. That in turn, creates other knock-ons regarding the impact of free agency and the football draft.
The AFL was a reaction against the NFL not wanting to expand. Guys like Lamar Hunt and Ralph Wilson wanted majority stakes in NFL teams but couldn't find selling teams and the NFL itself wasn't willing to grant them expansion teams, so they created their own league that would compete against the NFL and eventually force a merger. Pro football by 50's was too lucrative NOT to invest, by that point the NFL was going to expand voluntarily or it would be forced to expand through a merger.
 
Saying "taking off" implies that the first Super Bowl occurs, but then fails for some reason. This is unavoidable by the time the Super Bowl was established, the AFL-NFL merger was already in place by 1966 and the best teams of each leagues were roughly equal in strength by this time, and the inclusion of the common draft in 1967 means that teams from either league are going to stay competitive with each other. Even if the NFL wins all 4 pre-merger Super Bowls, you're still going to have an AFC v NFC championship game that are going to be competitive. Perhaps the game might be called an "NFL Championship" instead of a "Super Bowl" but it's going to practically be the same in terms of scope.

In order to avoid this, you'd need to prevent American football from being the most popular sport in the US or make the championship a multi-game affair a la the World Series so the singular game and date isn't such a big deal. The latter is impossible, football is such a rough sport that you're never getting a 3 game championship series. The former is doable. A non-nationally televised or shitty 1958 Championship Game might turn casual fans away, that's probably your best latest POD to stop football's rise to become the biggest sport in the States
For that to happen, I think you'd need the following

a major death on national TV- maybe Joe Namath in a bowl game
the AFL fails completely, maybe the Pacific Coast League as a major league happens for baseball after WWII and bombs hard, so the AFL doesn't even try.
the NFL gambling scandal of the 60s with the Packers is a lot worse and involves thrown games and links to the Mob, worse than the Black Sox scandal, and perhaps involved other teams.

Something to boost the NBA- like a great white hope. Maybe Pete Maravich goes to the Lakers or Celtics somehow?
 
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DougM

Donor
I realy don’t think even a death in pre 75 is going to stop it. Sports fans while not looking for death were more understanding that death could happen back then. Just look at how many race car drivers died in the 60s and into the 70s. The world just excepted that pe could get killed doing anythin. Basically death ps happened back then.
The (over) reaction to someone dying is a much more modern thing.
 
Super Bowl Monday could cost companies roughly $4 billion


CBS News, Feb. 1, 2019

“ . . . Companies can count on an estimated 17.2 million employees missing work the day after the Super Bowl -- resulting in the loss of roughly $4 billion in productivity, according to the "Super Bowl Fever Survey" commissioned by workforce-services company Kronos Inc. . . ”
This was last year. And I don’t expect this year to be any better.
 
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I am thinking....
.
A notably less popular Super Bowl would pretty much equate to NFL football, or maybe football as a whole being notably less popular. This could raise the possibility of:
  • The less popularity is due to a viable competing football league to the NFL. IOTL, many leagues have been initiated, but none have thrived- or even, well staggered along. The Donald once owned a team in a competing league. Would Trumps team and league be the dominate league?

  • Football as a sport is notably less popular. So, what replaces football? Hockey would seem to be the best choice. But what about an early rise of soccer? Or, what about….. Lacrosse?
 
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