This Sunday, you and more than 100 million people are going to watch the Denver Broncos battle the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50. But what teams played in the First AFL-NFL World Championship Game AKA Superbowl 1? And what team won?
If you don’t know the answer, you’re probably going to google “who won super bowl 1?” or “super bowl 1 winner.” Or ask your grandfather because surely he has a recording of the first Super Bowl somewhere in his tape collection, right?
Unless your grandfather is Troy Haupt, a 47-year-old nurse anesthetist from North Carolina, your grandfather doesn’t have it on tape. Because there’s only one known recording of Super Bowl 1, and Troy Haupt has it … collecting dust … in a storage unit.
Yes, a storage unit. A storage unit that’s in a former mine somewhere in upstate New York according to an interview Troy did with the New York Times.
And no, NBC nor CBS saved copies. Not like it was a milestone in American football history or anything.
So how did Troy Haupt, who was born in 1968, a year after Super Bowl I happened, get his hands on the first big game’s only recording?
Troy’s late father, Martin Haupt, taped Super Bowl I while he was at work, but didn’t tell Troy or his mother. They only found out eight years later when Martin was battling cancer and handed Troy’s mom the two tapes. The two tapes that were previously stored in metal cases labeled “Super Bowl I.” In a box. In Martin’s mom’s attic. In Shamokin, Pennsylvania.
The tapes’ worth: $1 million according to an estimate from Sports Illustrated in 2005.
Troy Haupt and his lawyers tried to sell the Super Bowl I recording to the NFL for their full value. To which the NFL unsuccessfully counter-offered $30,000. Along with a threat to sue Troy if he sold the tapes to anyone else.
So unless the NFL strikes a deal with Troy, which doesn’t look like will happen any time soon, the Super Bowl 1 recording will remain in an undisclosed self-storage unit in upstate NY like a buried treasure.
Guess we’ll just have to settle for this Super Bowl 1 video: