A very smart man, Coach Vince Lombardi was undoubtedly more concerned with winning football titles than when we would be putting men on the moon. He may have personally cared about the US space program, but I couldn’t find any on-the-record remarks from him about the subject. I bring it up only as an excuse to knock out a myth about the first Super Bowl and the false narrative that all Americans were gung-ho about beating the Ruskies to the moon as soon as possible, no matter the cost. Are the two things really connected? Hell no, but when you run through a NY Times archive of that day’s paper to read about the first Super Bowl….. you get a bonus! You are reminded that Republicans are ALWAYS against progress, they ALWAYS have an excuse that involves spending, and they have been and continue to be against the New Deal, the Great Society, and of course, today, Obamacare. Oppose it, derail it, defund it, kill it. It’s all the same to them if it helps people and a Democratic president suggested it.
I hear Joe McCarthy has already been put on retainer to return from the dead to lead a possible presidential campaign against self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist (a redundant term to Joe, of course) Bernie Sanders should he get the nomination. But let’s start with football……
I’ve always heard that “you know, they didn’t even call it the Super Bowl until the third one, when Joe Namath and the Jets beat the heavily favored Baltimore Colts in 1969, the first two years they simply called it the AFL–NFL World Championship Game.” But in the New York Times’ front page writeup about the Lombardi-led Packers 35-10 win over Kansas City on January 15, 1967 in that first game, the final paragraph reads:
Of course, the Times may have retroactively changed the article all these years later, just as the Honolulu newspapers later magically inserted the “birth” announcement of Barack Obama into their archives long after 1961:
Meanwhile, back to Super Bowl Sunday back in 1967 and that NY Times front page, which also featured this piece:
It’s what they do. It’s who Republicans are. Nothing much has changed, but hostility to President Johnson, who, by then was the embattled Vietnam president, knew no domestic bounds even on our striving to land on the moon before the Soviet Union. From the article, check out this 1967 variation on Hillary Clinton’s famous “what difference does it make?” remark to the Benghazi committee:
Everett Dirksen is considered to be a highly thought-of senator. His flippancy about not caring when we finally might make it to the moon was, if anything, consistent. Dirksen is famous for having said, on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, “A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon, you’re talking real money.”