It was January 15, 1967. I had been home from Vietnam for about a month, with little on my mind except catching up on the world of leisure. Being a consummate football fan who had no access to the game for over a year (other than occasional updates about the Philadelphia Eagles from my Uncle Dave’s letters), I was more than happy to join a friend of mine for the first ever SuperBowl, known at that time as the AFL-NFL World Championship. Besides, I could think of no greater delight than an afternoon of football and beer.
As the game began, it occurred to me that the entire 1966 football season had come and gone while I was in the jungles of Vietnam. As such, I had little stake in the game, but hoped the NFL’s Green Bay Packers would win. I recall Curtis McClinton’s touchdown for the Chiefs in the second quarter and watched as the scores edged closer: Packers 14, Chiefs 10. Later in the game, I got my wish; the Packers gained more ground and ultimately won, 35-10.
Though I enjoyed the afternoon’s diversion, there was little about life back in the World that could hold my attention. My mind was drawn back to those who remained in combat in Vietnam. I only wished they were safe at home to watch what has now become America’s most popular annual sporting event.