We have some fascinating facts you can whip out to wow your friends the next time the subject of the Super Bowl comes up.
1. The name Super Bowl comes from a children’s toy.
When plans were being put in place for the first-ever championship game between the NFL and the upstart AFL back in 1966, names like The Pro Bowl and The Big One were being touted, but the name that eventually won?
The AFL-NFL World Championship Game.
Hardly an inspiring choice, but Lamar Hunt, owner of the Kansas City Chiefs, came up with a new name – Super Bowl – after recalling a toy his children played with, a Super Ball.
Pete Rozelle, the NFL’s commissioner at the time, hated the name, but it stuck, even though it was only being used on an informal basis.
By the fourth year, however, the words ‘Super Bowl’ were finally printed on tickets for the event, and the rest is history.
2. The first Super Bowl didn’t sell out
Nowadays a ticket to the Super Bowl will set you back $2000 or more, but back in 1967 fans did not like the whopping $12 ticket price for entry into the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
A decision to black out the game on television within 75 miles of the Coliseum also upset fans, which may have contributed to their decision not to turn up.
About a third of the stadium’s seats for the game ended up empty, and to this date it remains the only Super Bowl not to fill up its venue.
3. The Super Bowl originally used different balls and different rules
Because of the slight differences between the rule sets of AFL and NFL, the decision was made to establish a slightly different set of rules for the Super Bowl that would be fair to both teams.
The AFL’s two-point conversion rule was nixed. It would be later be removed altogether when the NFL and AFL merged, only to ironically be reintroduced league-wide in 1994.
A decision was also taken to let each team use their own ball on offense. The AFL ball made by Spalding was slightly longer and narrower, while the NFL ball was made by Wilson.
4. Footage of the first Super Bowls were almost lost
The first two Super Bowls in 1967 and 1968 were almost lost in the annals of time forever, as they were never broadcast and the only known footage of them were thought to be erased.
A visual record of them remains only because a single fan was later found to have recorded the events.
5. SB XLIX was the most watched TV program ever
Super Bowl XLIX, which took place two years ago, is officially considered the most-watched television program in U.S. history.
Over 114 million people looked on intently as Tom Brady and the Patriots secured a last-second victory over the Seahawks.
The half-time show which featured Katy Perry managed to snag even more viewers, with 118 million people watching the songstress strut her stuff.
6. Jerry Rice holds some very special Super Bowl records
Wide receiver Jerry Rice holds the distinction of being the player with both the most touchdowns and most points scored in Super Bowl history.
His 48 points and eight touchdowns are unmatched by any other player.
He is also the first man ever to catch a touchdown pass in four Super Bowls – three of them with the San Francisco 49ers and one with the Oakland Raiders.
7. A Super Bowl ring costs around $5,000
Super Bowl rings are the most coveted prizes in the sport, and they don’t come cheap. The impressive piece of jewelry costs approximately $5,000.
A team will usually gets around 150 for each Super Bowl victory, so you do the math.
8. A Super Bowl ad costs $5 million
Every part of the Super Bowl is an event – even the commercials during the broadcast.
Back in 1967, 30-second commercials for the first Super Bowl cost a measly $42,000, but that rose to $1 million in 1995 and hit a record high of $5 million in 2016.
That works out to about $166,666 per second.
9. Tom Brady is a Super Bowl legend
Tom Brady’s list of Super Bowl records should be considered in a category all of their own, and he’ll have another chance to add to them come Sunday.
Along with Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw, he is one of the only quarterbacks to win four Super Bowls – and the first QB to ever start in seven Super Bowls.
He currently has the most passing yards in Super Bowl history with 1,605.
He also has the record for most consecutive completed passed with 16.
10. Americans party hard on Super Bowl Sunday
It goes without saying, but the Super Bowl forms part of a big celebration weekend in the States.
On Super Bowl Sunday, Americans will drink an estimated 325.5 million gallons of beer and eat 1.25 billion chicken wings. Thanksgiving holiday is the only day when more food is consumed.
Meanwhile, around $120 million will be wagered on the Super Bowl at casinos in Las Vegas.
The Monday after, approximately 1.5 million people will call in sick to work.