4. The third World Championship Game was the first officially designated the Super Bowl
During the 1968 NFL season, the Baltimore Colts won 13 of its 14 games. In the NFL Championship Game against the Cleveland Browns, the Colts prevailed by a score of 34-0. Both Cleveland and Baltimore were scheduled to move to the AFC when the merger took place in 1970, and both were expected to dominate in the new configuration, given their superiority to AFL teams. Facing Baltimore in the Super Bowl were the New York Jets, a team led on offense by a brash young quarterback named Joe Namath. During the 1968 season, Namath had thrown more interceptions than touchdowns (17-15) and completed less than 50% of his passes. Namath was known for a playboy lifestyle and a lack of mobility on the football field. It was widely believed the Colts would dominate the third Super Bowl.
During the week preceding the game, Namath showed up at the Miami Touchdown Club, evidently inebriated, and said, “We’re gonna win the game. I guarantee it”. Namath repeated his “guarantee” to reporters and sportswriters during the week, leading to considerable chastisement from those covering the NFL and the Colts. In the actual game, played on January 12, 1969, Namath set a then-record for pass attempts with 28, completing 17, and led the Jets to a 16-7 victory over the Colts. They had been 18-point underdogs. The following Super Bowl, the last played prior to the merger, saw the Kansas City Chiefs prevail for the AFL. When the leagues merged both claimed two Super Bowl victories, demonstrating parity between them.