Kicking off the hype: Newspaper Coverage of Super Bowl I
Unformatted Document Text:
The Super Bowl mythology is best encapsulated by Pat Summerall, the
former New York Giants kicker and longtime football broadcaster: “There was none of
the hype that we now associate with the game; in fact, nobody really wanted to play the
But was that really the case?
A look back at contemporary coverage of the first Super Bowl paints a different
picture than the mythology. The game was, in fact, widely covered by the news media.
The goal of this study is to examine exactly how Super Bowl I was covered in
newspapers of the day. The study will be guided by the following research questions:
RQ1: How was coverage of Super Bowl I presented in newspapers?
RQ2: What themes and subjects dominated newspaper coverage of Super Bowl I?
Eight newspapers will be examined as a part of the study; The New York Times;
the Pittsburgh Press; The Post-Standard in Syracuse, N.Y.; the St. Petersburg Times in
Florida; the Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Wash.); the Oakland Tribune; the San Antonio
Express-News and The Washington Post. The papers were selected in part as a
convenience sample because of their availability to the researcher via online databases, as
well as the geographic and circulation disparity they provide. Four of the newspapers
come from cities that had a pro football team in 1967 (New York, Pittsburgh, Oakland,
Washington), while the other four cities did not have pro football. Of the pro football
cities, two had teams in the NFL (Pittsburgh and Washington), one had an AFL team
Kicking off the hype