Super Bowl Essentials: Know the History, Fun Facts, and Schedule

Petr Novák

A European might think of a brown, oval-shaped ball when they hear the term American football, and that’s about it. In the USA, however, football (known as soccer in Europe) reigns as the number one sport. Trailing behind it are baseball’s MLB, basketball’s NBA, and the well-known NHL. The Super Bowl is the final game of the entire American football season.

Super Bowl Essentials: Know the History, Fun Facts, and Schedule | © djanimal / Flickr.com, © Unsplash.com

  1. Table of Contents
    1. Super Bowl History
    2. Super Bowl is the Most Watched Television Event of the Year
    3. Super Bowl Fun Facts

    Super Bowl History

    The first-ever Super Bowl was played on January 15, 1967, in Los Angeles, where the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs competed against each other. At the time, there were two American football leagues: The National Football League and the American Football League. It was the Super Bowl that determined the sole champion.
    In 1970, the two leagues merged and the format changed. Interestingly, the teams retained their original league division, so there are still two conferences today that encompass teams from across the USA. Therefore, from the 1971 Super Bowl to the present day, the American Football Conference (AFC) champion and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion have competed against each other.

    The Super Bowl venue is always selected several years in advance, similar to how the Champions League location is chosen in soccer. Nevertheless, it’s always hosted in the USA, specifically in a region with at least one NFL team. Only in 2021 did the Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the Super Bowl at their home stadium. The following year, the Los Angeles Rams did the same.

  2. Super Bowl is the Most Watched Television Event of the Year

    Every year in January or February, the Super Bowl captivates even those Americans who typically steer clear of sports. No other event tops the Super Bowl’s television ratings throughout the year. Although viewership tends to fluctuate, it consistently hovers around 100 million.
    Ad rates for commercial slots during the Super Bowl halftime are set accordingly. For a 30-second spot in 2023, broadcasters raked in an average of $7,000,000. The most expensive commercial—a 90-second Google Assistant ad in 2020—cost $16,800,000.

    Halftime commercials have become both a tradition and a status symbol. Advertisers invest heavily in advertisements, some of which linger in people’s subconscious for years.

  3. Super Bowl Fun Facts

    • Super Bowl game day always falls on a Sunday in late January or early February.
    • The Super Bowl is primarily referred to by its Roman numeral, not the year in which it’s held. So, in 2023, it’s Super Bowl LVII, and in 2024, it’s Super Bowl LVIII, etc. Roman numerals are used because the football season straddles two calendar years, which could otherwise cause confusion.
    • On Super Bowl night, 14,500 tons of chips and 3,600 tons of guacamole are consumed across the USA. The number of chicken wings devoured is estimated at 1.23 billion. Only Thanksgiving outdoes the Super Bowl in terms of nationwide feasting.
    • Large quantities of food are also consumed at the stadium. For example, during Super Bowl XLIII in 2009, 55,200 hot dogs were sold in Tampa Bay. At Super Bowl LIII in 2019, spectators downed 117,400 beers.
    • Eight of the top ten most-watched telecasts in USA history are Super Bowl games. The only exceptions are the Apollo 11 moon landing and Richard Nixon’s resignation speech.
    • About 18,090 footballs are used each NFL season, 228 of which are reserved for the Super Bowl.
    • One of the many criteria for choosing a Super Bowl venue is the region’s average temperature, which must not fall below 10°C (50°F) in January or February. A retractable roof on the stadium provides the only exception.
    • Hosting the Super Bowl generates substantial revenue for a city. For Indianapolis, the 2012 Super Bowl brought in an estimated $150,000,000 from sponsors, fans, media, and the like.
    • The Super Bowl champion receives the Vince Lombardi Trophy, topped by a silver football. Vincent Thomas Lombardi is often regarded as the greatest coach in American football history.

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