The History of the Super Bowl in Los Angeles

The History of the Super Bowl in Los Angeles
Fri 11th February 2022

For the first time after nearly 30 years, the Super Bowl, the biggest annual sporting event in the United States, is returning to Los Angeles. 

The very first Super Bowl was played at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in 1967 when the Green Bay Packers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 35-10. Back then, the game wasn’t even named the Super Bowl, it was known as AFL-NFL World Championship Game.

Since then, the ‘City of Angels’ hosted the Super Bowl eight times, most recently in 1993. That January 31, the Dallas Cowboys demolished the Buffalo Bills by 52-17 in Super Bowl XXVII at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. Only Miami and New Orleans have hosted the Super Bowl on more occasions than Los Angeles.

The previous seven Super Bowls in the Los Angeles area have brought many unforgettable moments. The most famous of them happened in 1973 when the Miami Dolphins crowned the only perfect season in NFL history with a 14-7 win over Washington Commanders (then known as the Redskins) at the Coliseum in Super Bowl VII.

Before the spotlight shines over Los Angeles on Sunday, let’s take a look back at the previous Super Bowls held in Los Angeles.

1. Super Bowl I

Score: Green Bay Packers vs Kansas City Chiefs – 35-10
Year: 1967
Venue: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

The Green Bay Packers entered the game as a major favorite and didn’t even take the Chiefs seriously. The funny story is that Packers wide receiver Max McGee didn’t expect to play in the game and used the visit to Los Angeles to enjoy what Hollywood had to offer. The story goes that McGee told the starting wide receiver Boyd Dowler not to get hurt.

Of course, that Dowler got hurt and left the game which threw McGee into the heat. Somehow, McGee found a helmet that fit him and went on the field to catch two touchdowns for the Packers. That was the first of two Super Bowl wins for the legendary coach Vince Lombardi. McGee went on to win four more with the Packers.

2. Super Bowl VII

Score: Miami Dolphins vs Washington Commanders (then known as the Redskins) – 14-7
Year: 1973
Venue: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

The Miami Dolphins and coach Don Shula came into the game with a 16-0 record. The Dolphins went on to a 14-0 lead at halftime and managed to hold the lead for the final 14-7 win over Washington in the lowest-scoring Super Bowl to this day. 

When coach Shula was carried out in celebration after the time expired, someone stole the watch off his wrist. Shula chased down the thief and reclaimed what he owned.

This was the first time in Super Bowl history a team who has lost in the previous Super Bowl to bounce back with a win next year. To this day, this is the only perfect season in NFL history by any team.
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3. Super Bowl XI

Score: Las Vegas Raiders (then known as the Oakland Raiders) vs Minnesota Vikings – 32-14
Year: 1977
Venue: Rose Bowl

The Oakland Raiders lost the three previous AFC games and once they went over that hump, they managed to go all the way. They finished the regular season with a 13-1 record and then defeated New England and Pittsburgh on their way to the Super Bowl.

The Minnesota Vikings became the first team to appear in four Super Bowls but they failed to win any of them. Coach John Madden won the title after six unsuccessful playoff runs in the previous seven seasons.

4. Super Bowl XIV

Score: Pittsburgh Steelers vs Los Angeles Rams – 31-19
Year: 1980
Venue: Rose Bowl

This was the first time one team played the biggest game of the sport on home field. Still, the Rams failed to the Steelers team that dominated the decade. That was the Steeler’s fourth Super Bowl in the past six seasons and that experience helped them to turn things around after a 13-10 halftime deficit.

The future Hall of Fame wide receiver John Stallworth made two catches in the final period to seal the deal for Pittsburgh. The first one was a 73-yard touchdown and then a 45-yard reception that set up Harris’ to score.  The Steelers became the first NFL team to win four Super Bowls.

5. Super Bowl XVII

Score: Washington Commanders (then known as the Redskins) vs Miami Dolphins – 27-17
Year: 1983
Venue: Rose Bowl

This Super Bowl came after a shortened season in which teams played only 9 games because of players strike. This was the second rematch in the Super Bowl history. Washington had 8-1 record in the regular season while the Dolphins were 7-2. Miami built a 17-10 halftime lead but Washington went on to score 17 unanswered points to win their first Super Bowl.

6. Super Bowl XXI

Score: New York Giants vs Denver Broncos – 39-20
Year: 1987
Venue: Rose Bowl

This was New York Giants’ first Super Bowl appearance and their first NFL title since 1956. This was also the first of back-to-back Super Bowl losses for the Broncos. The Giants got to the Super Bowl after a 14-2 regular season and were huge favorites against the Broncos who were 11-5.

The game was tight in the first half with the Broncos lead 10-9 at the break but the Giants went to score 26 unanswered points and lift the Lombardi trophy.

7. Super Bowl XXVII

Score: Dallas Cowboys vs Buffalo Bills – 52-17
Year: 1993
Venue: Rose Bowl

The Super Bowl that is remembered by Michael Jackson’s halftime performance marked the beginning of the Dallas Cowboys’ dominance in the ‘90s.

This was the first of three Dallas titles in the next four years. The Buffalo Bills didn’t stand any chance against the team that featured future Hall of Famers Michael Irvin, Troy Aikman and Emmitt Smith.

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Marko is a former athlete who meanwhile got his law degree. He has followed basketball since the ‘90s and is very familiar with all levels of the game, from the NBA, and the NCAA, all down to European leagues and international competitions. He is also very fond of tennis, soccer, NHL and MLB and can provide reliable previews and analysis that will lead you to placing a winning bet.