Then & now ... Jan. 12, 1969 and Feb. 1, 2009
Forty years after his prediction and subsequent upset victory by his New York Jets in Super Bowl III, Joe Namath is expected to take part in the Lombardi Trophy presentation after today's game. A look at how this game has changed between that revolutionary day -- Jan. 12, 1969 -- and today:
Then: 36.0, rating on NBC in 1969.
Today: The record rating of 49.1 was set for SB XVI in 1982 and has been below 40 just once since 1970.
Then: Anita Bryant sang the national anthem, Florida A&M marching band provided the halftime entertainment.
Today: Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson will sing the national anthem, Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Famer Bruce Springsteen will perform at halftime.
Then: The Jets earned $15,000 per man for beating the Baltimore Colts, 16-7, at the end of a season in which the average NFL salary was $19,000.
Today: Each player on the winning team will cash a check for $78,000 and each player on the losing team will pocket $40,000.
Then: Baltimore's Tom Matte averaged 10.5 yards per carry vs. the Jets.
Today: Matte's mark still stands -- the longest-standing Super Bowl record.
Then: At 61 years, 251 days, Weeb Ewbank set the mark as the oldest coach to win a Super Bowl, a record that stood for 31 years.
Today: At 36-323, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin would become the youngest coach to win a Super Bowl if the Steelers defeat the Cardinals.
Then: The Jets' victory represented the first for the AFL/AFC after two losses.
Today: The NFL/NFC owns a 22-20 edge in the series.
Then: Top price for the game at Miami's Orange Bowl was $12.
Today: The face value of a ticket ranges from $500-$1,000, with prices on the secondary market averaging about $2,500, according to a spokesman for StubHub.
Then: The Jets-Colts game wasn't really Super Bowl III. Yes, it was the third NFL/AFL championship, but Roman numerals weren't used until SB V.
Today: Roman numerals continue to be used to clarify confusion that may occur over the fact that the championship game has always been played in the year after a chronologically recorded season.
Then: Cost to air a 30-second commercial during the game cost advertisers $55,000.
Today: A 30-second spot will cost companies $3 million, and, at last check, all had sold.
Then: An estimated 54.5 million viewers tuned into the day's game (many still on black-and-white TV sets).
Today: With the Steelers playing, viewership should approach the 148.3 million of last year (many on digital TV sets).
Then: Fewer than 500 members of the media were credentialed, most from the print side.
Today: Just over 4,500 journalists are in Tampa, where bloggers, streamers, Web producers and videographers likely outnumber the print side.
Then: The Jets hoisted the AFL-NFL World Championship Trophy in the Orange Bowl.
Today: Commissioner Roger Goodell will present the Vince Lombardi Trophy to the winner, a designation it has carried since 1970, the year after the Jets shocked the Colts.
Then: Joe Namath wore No. 12, the first winning quarterback to wear the number.
Today: No. 12 is the most successful quarterback number in Super Bowl history, having been worn by 13 winning QBs.
Then: Because of the leagues' unconditional "home" market blackout rule, the game was not shown in the Miami area, even though the Orange Bowl was sold out.
Today: Steelers-Cardinals will be broadcast to more than 200 countries ... and the Tampa area.
Then: The Colts were still part of the original NFL along with the Steelers and Browns.
Today: The Colts, Steelers and Browns will celebrate their 40th anniversaries in the AFC next season after moving over as part of the AFL/NFL merger that took effect in 1970.
Then: The Steelers and Cardinals played in the same division -- the NFL Century. The Cardinals were 9-4-1 and finished second to the Cleveland Browns. The Steelers finished 2-11-1 and last. They played twice that season, with the Cardinals winning at Pitt Stadium (20-10) and the teams tying in St. Louis (28-28).
Today: The Steelers and Cardinals meet for just the 11th time in the past 40 years. They are 5-5.
First Published February 1, 2009 12:00 am