13 surprising things you probably didn’t know about the Super Bowl

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Some football fans live for the Super Bowl. Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Come February, talk of the Super Bowl is pretty much inescapable. Everywhere you turn, football fans are discussing who will win,who will perform, and which ads will have everyone talking the next day.

No matter what team you’re rooting for, you probably didn’t know these fun facts about the major sporting event.


The Super Bowl has been around since 1967.

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Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi accepts the trophy at the 1967 Super Bowl. AP

In the very first Super Bowl on January 15, 1967, the Green Bay Packers beat the Kansas City Chiefs, 35-10, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Back then, 60 million people tuned in for the first broadcast, a number that’s closer to 100 million today.

After their win, each player on the Packers team took home a $US15,000 bonus. In comparison, every Chiefs player received a $US124,000 bonus for their win at the 2020 Super Bowl.


Super Bowl Sunday is the second-biggest eating day of the year for Americans.

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If you don’t like to watch the game, you can keep busy by eating. Shutterstock

Even if you’re not a sports fan, Super Bowl parties are a great place for good food.

In 2020, the National Chicken Council projected that Americans would eat a record-breaking 1.4 billion chicken wings over Super Bowl weekend

According to the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, this Sunday in February is the second-highest day of food consumption in the US, behind Thanksgiving.


Several NFL teams have never won the Super Bowl.

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The Buffalo Bills have never won the Super Bowl. Adrian Kraus/AP

There are 12 NFL teams that have never taken home the rings, the bonuses, or the big W from the Super Bowl: Browns, Bills, Chargers, Bengals, Cardinals, Falcons, Lions, Jaguars, Panthers, Texans, Titans, and Vikings.

Of those 12 teams, four of them – Browns, Jaguars, Lions, and Texans – have never even made it to a Super Bowl game.


Super Bowl ads are extremely expensive, thanks to the audience the event draws.

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Celebrities often make appearances in Super Bowl ads. Amazon/YouTube

As of 2020, a 30-second Super Bowl ad cost $US5.6 million. In comparison, ads at the first game in 1967 went for about $US40,000.

These ads are so expensive because the games draw in extremely high viewership, which can potentially lead to revenue.

The advertisements have also become a heavily valued tradition over the years.


Fans broke a Super Bowl viewership record in 2015.

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The New England Patriots won Super Bowl XLIX. Jim Rogash/Getty Images

According to CNN, Super Bowl XLIX was the most-watched of all time, bringing in 114.4 million viewers.


Most of the quarterbacks in Super Bowl history come from the same 11 colleges.

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Many Super Bowl quarterbacks share Notre Dame as their alma mater. John Raoux/AP

Though their professional teams may differ, many Super Bowl quarterbacks share the same alma maters.

As of 2017, Notre Dame, Michigan, and Stanford were tied for the most alumni with Super Bowl appearances, each with seven. Purdue came in second with six.


Tom Brady is the most successful quarterback in Super Bowl history.

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Tom Brady after his 2017 Super Bowl win. Adrees Latif/AP

Tom Brady was the quarterback for the New England Patriots for 20 years, and he’s currently playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The 43-year-old player has the most Super Bowl appearances and wins of any quarterback in NFL history, with nine appearances and six wins.

And Brady has a shot at his seventh win at his 10th Super Bowl this month.


The NFL uses Roman numerals when naming the Super Bowl to avoid confusion.

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Lamar Hunt was the owner of the Kansas City Chiefs. Dave Kaup/Reuters

Lamar Hunt, the former owner of the Kansas City Chiefs, came up with the Roman numerals system because NFL officials wanted to avoid confusion – given that the actual championship game is played the year after the corresponding football season.

The professional football season usually starts in the late summer/early fall of one year, but the Super Bowl occurs at the beginning of the next year.

The Roman numeral tradition began with Super Bowl V in 1971 and has continued ever since.


Some Super Bowl tickets can cost more than the average American’s annual salary.

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Super Bowl fans pay a lot to be at the game. Getty Images

A ticket for Super Bowl LIV in 2020 cost between $US4,220 and $US60,000, and that doesn’t even include the cost of getting to the game and accommodations.

By comparison, according to The Balance, the average American income per capita was $US54,129 in 2019.


The NFL does not pay bands or artists to perform at the halftime show.

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Beyoncé performing at the 2013 Super Bowl. Getty Image/Patrick Smith

There have been contradictory reports for years that halftime performers are paid exorbitant amounts to play at the NFL game.

According to the New York Times, the NFL doesn’t pay artists an “appearance fee.” But the organisation does cover all expenses for the performance as well as the cost of things like lighting, bodyguards, and stagehands.


There are a lot of footballs used during the big game, and the inspection process is lengthy.

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Each football is inspected before the game. USA Today Sports/Reuters

One of the NFL’s top concerns is making sure that footballs are properly inflated in order to avoid cheating.

For regular games, each team typically breaks in 12 footballs to be used during the game, according to USA Today. These footballs are presented to officials and inspected for air pressure and proper protocol two hours and 15 minutes before the game.

During Super Bowl XLIX in 2015, each team had 54 balls inspected, making a total of 108 balls for the game.


Two brothers once competed against each other as Super Bowl team coaches.

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Jim and John Harbaugh at Super Bowl XLVII. Dave Martin/AP

In 2013’s Super Bowl XLVII, Jim and John Harbaugh, of the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens, respectively, made history as the first brothers to compete against each other as coaches.

The game earned the nicknames “the Harbaugh Bowl” and “the HarBowl” because of the family’s presence.

The brothers said it was tough to play against each other, and it was a day full of both “elation” and “devastation.”


A lot of thought goes into the Super Bowl location, and the venue is determined way in advance.

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Minneapolis’ US Bank Stadium. Matt Slocum/AP

There are several crucial factors in choosing where to play Super Bowl games, and the stadiums are chosen years in advance. The NFL considers things like weather, the quality of the stadium, and the accommodations available near the location.

In 2020, the game was at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.

This year, the Super Bowl will be at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. And the LA Stadium at Hollywood Park is set to be the site of the Super Bowl in 2022.

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