10 Things About the Super Bowl

Super Bowl XLIX (49) will take place on February 1, 2015 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. Super Bowl Sunday has become almost like a national holiday in the U.S.–celebrated by football fans and non-fans alike. Whether you tune in to actually watch the game, see the commercials, be entertained by the half-time show, are one of the 70,000 people to attend in person (at an average 2015 ticket price of $4,675.99), or just use it as an excuse to have a party, it is undeniably one of the biggest events of the year.

Lombardi Super Bowl Trophy

“Lombardi Super Bowl Trophy”
by Erik Drost on Flickr licensed under CC BY 2.0

Here are a few randomly-compiled facts about the big game:

1. The first Super Bowl was played at Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles on January 15, 1967, and was called the AFL-NFL World Championship Game. It matched the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League and the Kansas City Chiefs of the American Football League, with the Packers winning 35-10. It was the only Super Bowl that was not a sellout. The “Super Bowl” name was not adopted until 1969.

2. The Super Bowl is the world’s most viewed single day sporting event. According to results from The Nielsen Company, the broadcast of Super Bowl XLVIII (2014) had an average audience of 111.5 million viewers, which surpassed the previous year’s Super Bowl, and became the most watched television program of all time.

3. The winner of the game is awarded the Lombardi Trophy, named in honor of legendary Green Bay Packers Coach Vince Lombardi, who won the first two Super Bowls. The trophy is made entirely of sterling silver by Tiffany & Co., takes about four months and 72 man-hours to produce, and costs $12,500. Two trophies are brought to each Super Bowl game, just in case one gets damaged or destroyed as the winning team celebrates.

4. No NFL team has ever played the Super Bowl on its own home field, and no Super Bowl game has ever gone into overtime play

5. Linebacker Chuck Howley of the Dallas Cowboys was the first defensive player and only member of a losing team to ever win the MVP trophy in Super Bowl V (1971). The Baltimore Colts won 16-13 on a last-second field goal, but Dallas committed ten penalties, and Baltimore turned the ball over an incredible seven times. The game is often referred to as the “Blunder Bowl.”

6. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Super Bowl Sunday is the second highest day of food consumption in the U.S., after Thanksgiving. And it’s mostly junk food–Estimates for game day 2014 were 104.2 million pounds of avocados and 8.2 million pounds of tortilla chips for guacamole, 11.2 million pounds of potato chips, 1.25 billion chicken wings, and 325 million gallons of beer.

7. The average rate for a 30-second commercial spot during the big game has increased 75% over the past decade and totaled $4.2 million in 2014, according to Kantar Media. Advertising time for this year’s game will be a new record–roughly $4.5 million for 30 seconds. Anheuser-Busch has spent more on Super Bowl advertising than any other marketer over the past five years.

8. Three teams have reached the Super Bowl 8 times–the Pittsburgh Steelers, Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots. The Steelers have the most wins, with 6. Four of the NFL’s 32 active teams have never appeared in a Super Bowl–the Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars.

9. Only three men–Tom Flores (played for Kansas City Chiefs/coached Oakland Raiders), Tony Dungy (played for Pittsburgh Steelers/coached Indianapolis Colts) and Mike Ditka (played for Dallas Cowboys/coached Chicago Bears)–have won Super Bowl rings as both a player and head coach.

10. The NFL has used a Roman numeral to denote every title game since Super Bowl V. Instead of using a sole “L” for the 50th Super Bowl logo, the 2016 NFL championship will be known as Super Bowl 50. Roman numerals will return for the 2017 game.

Enjoy the game!

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