Football WAS life in 2001 as the world watched Super Bowl (XXXV), the match up between the New York Giants and Baltimore Ravens in Tampa, Florida.
"The will to win," said coach Lombardi, "is everything."
The first Super Bowl was played in 1967 before 61,946 in Los Angeles' Memorial Coliseum. Vince Lombardi's Green Bay Packers, led by quarterback Bart Starr (who earned MVP honor) easily defeated the Kansas City Chiefs, 35-10.
Broadcast simultaneously on CBS and NBC, the game was not sold out (only 61,946 of the 100,000 seats were filled), so the game was blacked out in the Los Angeles area.
My, how times have changed.
Reserved seats in 1967 were $10, the 2001 face price was $325. Sports Illustrated estimated that the 2001 extravaganza pumped at least $250 million into the Tampa economy with an estimated 800 million viewers worldwide (201 countries in 26 languages).
"It has become an American holiday, like the Fourth of July in January," observed NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue.
"The game of life is a lot like football," observed Lewis Grizzard. "You have to tackle your problems, block your fears, and score your points when you get the opportunity."
Football is like life...