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Super Bowl History
The Super Bowl is the championship game of the NFL, that is played between the winner from the AFC and NFC. The first Super Bowl was played on January 15th, 1967 as the game to determine the Champion between the AFL and NFL. The Green Bay Packers won, and Bart Starr was named MVP of Super Bowl I.
A condition of the AFL-NFL Merger was that the winners of each leagues championship game would meet to determine the world champion of American football. But after the NFL's Green Bay Packers convincingly won the first two Super Bowls, some team owners feared that AFL teams could compete with their NFL counterparts. That all changed with perhaps the biggest upset in Super Bowl history, the AFL's New York Jets, led by Joe Namath, defeated the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III in Miami. The next year, the AFL's Kansas City Chiefs defeated the NFL's Minnesota Vikings 23-7 and won Super Bowl IV in New Orleans. Since the leagues merged into one in 1970, the Super Bowl has featured the champions of the AFC and NFC.
The team who wins the Super Bowl receives the Vince Lombardi Trophy, named for the coach of the Green Bay Packers, who won the first two Super Bowl games. Following his death in September 1970, the trophy was named the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
It is estimated that some 130-140 million people tune in to watch, at least, some part of the Super Bowl.
Looking to provide a service to the game, Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts decided to host an annual tournament at Augusta National, the Club they co-founded in 1933. They made the final decision at a meeting in New York at the office of Club member W. Alton Jones. Roberts proposed that the event be called the Masters Tournament, but Jones objected, considering it presumptuous. The name Augusta National Invitation Tournament was adopted, and the title was used for five years until 1939 when Jones relented and the name was officially changed to the Masters. Another early issue was whether Jones would play in the Tournament or serve as an official. Jones preferred not to compete, but the Club's members persuaded him to join the field. In the 12 Masters he played, his best finish was 13th in 1934.
Many innovative policies Jones and Roberts started early on remain in place today. These include: playing 18 holes on each of four days instead of 36 holes on the third and final day, as was standard at the time; eliminating qualifying rounds; and denying permission for anyone except players and caddies to be inside the playing area. Also, the Club provided a complimentary pairing sheet and a spectator booklet, and limited commercialization of the Tournament in any form.
The first Masters began on March 22, 1934, and was won by Horton Smith. In the fall of that year, the course's two nines were reversed. Beginning in 1940, the Masters was scheduled each year during the first full week in April. The most famous shot ever made at the Masters happened in 1935 when Gene Sarazen holed a four-wood approach from 235 yards out for a double eagle on the par-five 15th hole. Sarazen went on to tie Craig Wood and force a 36-hole playoff the following day, which Sarazen won by five strokes. In 1942, Byron Nelson defeated Ben Hogan, 69-70, in an 18-hole playoff. The Masters was not played the following three years during the war. To assist the war effort, cattle and turkeys were raised on the Augusta National grounds.
The 1950s brought two victories by Ben Hogan, and the first of four for Arnold Palmer. Palmer's 1958 win began the tradition of Amen Corner. In 1960, the Par 3 Contest was begun, and in 1966 Jack Nicklaus became the first Masters champion to defend his title successfully. During the 1970s, the two founders of the Masters Tournament passed away. Both Jones and Roberts left indelible impressions on the Masters and on the world of golf. The following decade, Spaniard Seve Ballesteros won twice and Tom Watson prevailed for his second title. In 1986, at age 46, Nicklaus surged to his record sixth Green Jacket. And in 1997, Tiger Woods broke the Tournament's four-day scoring record, which had stood for 32 years. At the 2001 Masters, Woods won his fourth consecutive professional major, and in 2002 he became only the third player to win consecutive Masters titles, after Nicklaus and Nick Faldo. In 2005, Woods became the third person to win at least four Masters
FIFA World Cup History
In the early 1930s, the football World Cup was run by Jules Rimet from France. These pre-FIFA games awarded a magnificent statue to the winners of the tournament, the Golden Nike. The sculpture featured Nike of Samothrace, also known as Winged Victory, and was a visual indication that the winners were the world champions of football. Each winning team was allowed to keep the Golden Nike for four years - and if a team ever won three times they would be allowed to keep the statue forever. In 1970 Brazil was able to achieve this coveted goal, thought the award was stolen in 1983 and has yet to be recovered.
FIFA Steps In
In 1971 FIFA, the Federation Internationale de Football Association, took over the operation of the World Cup tournament. With the new organizers, a new award was created - the FIFA Cup. This trophy depicts winning players holding a golden globe above their heads in victory. Each team that wins the World Cup has the privilege of keeping the statue for four years, after which they have to pass it on to the next world championship team. Replica World Cups are made for each winning country to keep forever, though the original is passed from team to team. Winners of the FIFA World Cup also benefit financially, taking home large cash awards as well as the more symbolic trophy.
Truly a Worldwide Phenomenon
The World Cup is one of the most international tournaments played in the world today. It truly is a collection of football teams that represent several diverse nations, from Korea to England to Uruguay. The same country rarely wins the tournament two years in a row. In fact, the chances of a single country dominating the World Cup tournament for any length of time are very slim. In the nine tournaments played between 1930 and 1970, the winners were Uruguay, Italy, France, Brazil, Switzerland, Sweden, Chile, England, and Mexico.
The World Cup has always been a symbol of pride for the competing nations, and fans can become a little outrageous about the games. The popularity of football hasn't waned over the decades, and the game is probably more now than it ever has been.