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Super Bowl I Tickets Cost $12 and Still Didn't Sell Out

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NFL

According to the Wall Street Journal, tickets for Super Bowl XLVIII in New Jersey next February will top out at $2,600. That's a huge jump from the previous Super Bowl, when the most expensive tickets cost $1,250. The NFL has come a long way since the first Super Bowl in 1967, when the league charged $6, $10, and $12*—and couldn't even sell out the game.

The week before the Green Bay Packers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs at the Los Angeles Coliseum, the New York Times wasn't sold on this Super Bowl business, especially the decision to not broadcast the game live in Los Angeles:

"With all the hoopla, however, some critics have questioned whether this is the Dream Game to end all dream games. With tickets ranging from $6 behind the end zone to $12 top, the Super Bowl is a nightmare to many fans. For every buff willing to shell out at those Broadway prices, there appear to be two fans bemoaning the TV blackout and threatening to stay home anyway."

NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle admitted the prices may have been too steep. "If we had to do it all over again," he told the Times the day before the game, "we probably would scale the seats lower." To get around the blackout—the game was shown in LA on tape-delay at midnight and again at 3pm Monday—a local radio station provided instructions for getting the live TV signal from San Diego. These instructions included a broomstick and five wire coat-hangers.

Super Bowl I was the only Super Bowl that didn't sell out. Fans and corporations will surely snatch up this season's $2,600 tickets, too. And as the Journal reports, indoor suites, which come with 30 tickets, are going for $500,000 and up.

If you choose to watch at home, you'll be in good company. According to Nielsen, 108 million people watched the Baltimore Ravens defeat the San Francisco 49ers and hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy back in February. And probably none of them required a broomstick or five wire coat-hangers.

* Adjusted for inflation, that's about $42, $70, and $84 today.

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What's the Kennection? #159
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11 Classic Facts About Converse Chucks
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Converse’s Chuck Taylor sneakers have been around since the early 20th century, but they haven’t changed much—until recently. In 2015, The Chuck II—a new line of Converse that looks much the same as the original shoe but with a little more padding and arch support—hit stores. In honor of the kicks' staying power, here are 11 facts about Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars.  

1. They were originally athletic shoes. 

The Converse All-Star debuted in 1917 as an athletic sneaker. It quickly became the number one shoe for basketball, then a relatively new sport (basketball was invented by James Naismith in 1891, but the NBA wasn't founded until 1946). By the late 1940s, most of the NBA sported Chucks. They remain the best-selling basketball shoes of all time, even though very few people wear them for basketball anymore. (Many teams switched to leather Adidas in the late ‘60s.)

2. Converse previously made rain boots.

The company started in 1908 as a rubber shoe company that produced galoshes.  

3. The All-Star design hasn’t really changed since 1917.

The updated Chuck II is Converse’s first real attempt to update its flagship product since the early 20th century. The company is understandably reticent to shake things up: All-Stars make up the majority of the company’s revenue, and like any classic design, its fans can be die-hards. In the 1990s, when the company tried to introduce All-Stars that were more comfortable and had slightly fewer design inconsistencies, hardcore aficionados rebelled. “They missed the imperfections in the rubber tape that lines the base of the shoe,” according to the Washington Post. The company went back to making a slightly imperfect shoe.

4. Chuck Taylor was a basketball player and trainer ...

Chuck Taylor in 1921. Image Credit: North Carolina State University via Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Taylor was a Converse salesman and former professional basketball player who traveled around the country teaching basketball clinics (and selling shoes) starting in the 1920s. His name was added onto an ankle patch on the sneaker in 1932

5. ... And though he sold a lot of Chucks, he wasn't always a great coach.

Taylor is in large part responsible for the shoe’s popularity with athletes (the company rewarded him with an unlimited expense account), but his training advice wasn’t always the best. As former University of North Carolina player Larry Brown told Spin in an oral history of the shoe:

My greatest memory of Chuck Taylor—probably ’61 or ’62—is that he told Coach [Dean] Smith that he’d make us special weighted shoes in Carolina blue. The idea was that we’d wear the weighted shoes in practice, and then during the games, we’d run faster and jump higher. Well, we tried them for one practice and everyone pulled a hamstring.

6. Converse didn’t intend for their shoes to be punk.

“We always thought of ourselves as an athletic shoe company,” John O’Neil, who oversaw Converse’s marketing from 1983 to 1997, told Spin. “We wanted to sell a wholesome shoe.” The company was still touting its shoes as basketball sneakers as late as 2012, and some of its non-Chucks sneakers still have pro endorsers.

7. The company owns a recording studio.

Finally embracing its role in the music scene, the company launched Rubber Tracks, a Brooklyn-based recording studio where bands can record for free, in 2011.

8. Not all the Ramones were fans. 

Chuck Taylors are associated with punk rockers, especially the Ramones, but not everyone in the band wore them. “Dee Dee and I switched over to the Chuck Taylors because they stopped making [the style of] U.S. Keds and Pro-Keds [that we liked],” Marky Ramone told Spin. “Joey never wore them. He needed a lot of arch support and Chuck Taylors are bad for that.”

9. Chucks were initially only high tops. 

In 1962, Converse rolled out its first oxford Chuck Taylor All-Stars. Previously, it had just been a high-top shoe. Four years later, the company would introduce the first colors other than black and white.

10. Rocky ran in them.

In 1976, All-Stars were still considered a viable athletic shoe. If you look closely at the training montage from Rocky, you’ll see the boxer is wearing Chucks. 

11. Wiz Khalifa loves them. 

The rapper named his record label Taylor Ganag Records, in part due to his appreciation for Chuck Taylors. In 2013, he launched a shoe collection with Converse featuring 12 styles. 

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