The Super Bowl is the biggest event in American professional football and is watched by millions of people all over the world.
Over the years, there have been countless unforgettable moments in Super Bowl history that have left a lasting impact on the sport and its fans. From game-winning touchdowns and interceptions to historic comebacks and guarantees, the Super Bowl has provided a stage for some of the most memorable moments in NFL history.
Getting together with friends and family to watch the Super Bowl is one of the greatest highlights of each year. And when the team you’ve been rooting for lands in one of those final two coveted spots, it makes watching the Super Bowl even more enticing.
The 2023 Super Bowl took place on Sunday, February 12, as fans watched the Kansas City Chiefs face off against the Philadelphia Eagles. FYI, the Chiefs defeated the Eagles on a late field goal; Patrick Mahomes named MVP wins the second title. The Chiefs rallied to beat Eagles 38-35 in Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.
Every year, fans flock from across the country to the city where the game is being held. More than 100 million individuals nationwide will tune in to NBC to watch the biggest NFL game of all: the Super Bowl. There’s nothing quite like the annual showdown — fans huddle in front of their televisions, experiencing a rollercoaster of emotions ranging from screaming at the top of their lungs to sobbing on the floor.
Additionally, there are plenty of opportunities to stuff your face with the most delicious snacks and knock back a drink or two. It’s a uniquely American tradition that we hope never fades away.
However, the big game was not always the spectacle it is today; in fact, it took the NFL a few years to even come up with the term “Super Bowl.” If you’re curious why it’s called the Super Bowl, and want to know a bit of history about the event, keep reading to learn more about how the name came to be.
10 interesting facts about the Super Bowl you should know
1. Why is it called the Super Bowl? A toy bouncy ball influenced the Super Bowl event name.
The National Football League emerged in 1920, and for four decades straight, the organization successfully defeated several rival clubs; however, by 1960, the NFL encountered its most ambitious competitor in the American Football League.
Eventually, in 1966, the two leagues agreed upon a merger that stated both factions would combine by 1970. As part of the deal, a game was to occur in which each league’s best team would compete.
At the time, trying to decide what to call the championship game proved tragic; according to Time Magazine, NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle suggested the “Big One” and “Pro Bowl,” but those names didn’t stick for long. He later proposed the “AFL-NFL World Championship Game,” which became the official moniker.
Though that name was good enough, the late Kansas City Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt came up with the term “Super Bowl.” Sports Illustrated reports Lamar’s suggestion was “inspired by his son’s ‘Super Ball’ toy.”
Ultimately, the league owners decided on the “AFL-NFL Championship Game,” but Lamar’s suggestion remained an option. By 1969, the “Super Bowl” became the official title for the third annual game and every subsequent contest.
What does the “bowl” in Super Bowl mean?
Now that we’ve cleared up why the biggest NFL game of the year is called the Super Bowl, there’s one more question on our minds: What the heck does “bowl” mean in the Super Bowl?
As stated by Dictionary.com, the word bowl began to refer to bowl-like stadiums in the early 1900s.
“The first of these stadiums was built for Yale in 1914, and the Rose Bowl in Pasadena was soon to follow. Soon enough, football games held in similarly designed stadiums were called bowl games,” reads the Dictionary.com entry.
2. How exactly is a Super Bowl stadium chosen? Critical conditions are taken place before choosing the stadium to hold games.
Per CNN, the promise of warm weather used to be a major factor in how stadiums were chosen for the Super Bowl. But warm locales no longer get dibs, partly because hosting the Super Bowl is a pretty sweet deal that everyone wants in on.
Think about it — thousands will arrive in that city, spending cash on hotel rooms, food, tours, and shops. In 2017, CNBC reported Houston, which hosted the Super Bowl, brought in an estimated $350 million to the local economy.
Cities used to have to be invited to bid for the honor of hosting the Super Bowl, but now, the NFL reaches out to a city that fulfills the requirements and asks if it will host. Then, the chosen city has to negotiate the terms of the hosting gig with the NFL.
3. Why does the Super Bowl use Roman numerals to name its games?
To make sure we’re all on the same page, LVII stands for 57. The 57th Superbowl took place in 2023 between the Chiefs and Eagles. The Chiefs rallied to beat Eagles 38-35 in Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.
But if you’re sitting here wondering why the Super Bowl wasn’t just named Super Bowl 57 or Super Bowl 2023, you’re not alone. That’s a great question.
According to the NFL, “The Roman numerals were adopted to clarify any confusion that may occur because the NFL Championship Game — the Super Bowl — is played in the year following a chronologically recorded season. Numerals I through IV were added later for the first four Super Bowls.”
OK, cool, but what does all that mean exactly?
Let’s break it down: Each Super Bowl game takes place at the beginning of a new calendar year (typically in January, but sometimes February). But get this? The game is actually being counted for the season prior. For example, when the Los Angeles Rams won the last Super Bowl last year in 2022, they actually won the culminating game of the 2021 football season.
Therefore, it would get awfully confusing if the NFL opted to name each game by the season it was played.
Furthermore, the late Lamar Hunt, who founded the Kansas City Chiefs and came up with the name Super Bowl, opted for using Roman numerals because they add “pomp and gravitas to the public mind.” Not to mention, Roman numerals are internationally recognized, which makes it easier for people from all over the world to understand the event.
4. The largest crowd in Super Bowl history was Super Bowl XIV in 1980, which was attended by 103,985 people.
The battle between the Los Angeles Rams and the Pittsburgh Steelers marked the fourteenth-ever Super Bowl event. This remains the highest-attended Super Bowl in football history.
It was the Rams who had the nearest thing to home advantage during this Super Bowl, being based in nearby Los Angeles. In fact, it wasn’t until 2020 that a team was finally able to play a Super Bowl in their home stadium.
However, this was not enough of a home market advantage to prevent the Steelers from achieving a second consecutive Super Bowl win.
Pittsburgh won the award for the highest-ever attended event in the history of the NFL and also remains tied for the most Super Bowls won by a single franchise.
Per Daily Iowan, the remaining record-breaking attendance includes the Super Bowl XVII — Rose Bowl Stadium (dated 9 January 1977 with 103,438 people in attendance), Super Bowl XLV – Cowboys Stadium (dated 6 February 2011 with 103,219 people in attendance), and Super Bowl XXI — Rose Bowl Stadium (dated January 25, 1987, with 101,063 people in attendance).
5. The most fun part of the Super Bowl is The Halftime Show – Popular musicians perform for fans at the stadium.
The Super Bowl halftime show was created as a way to entertain the crowd during the break in the game, but it has since become a cultural phenomenon in its own right. The halftime show has featured some of the biggest names in music, including Madonna, Prince, Michael Jackson, and the Black Eyed Peas.
Rihanna, Chris Stapleton, and Sheryl Lee Ralph headlined Sunday’s Super Bowl performances. The Super Bowl 2023 halftime show which was watched by well over 100 million people a magical performance from Rihanna who was carrying a baby bump for her and Asap Rocky’s second baby.
Rolling Stone ranks Rihanna’s 2023 performance as the 8th-best Super Bowl Halftime show ever.
NFL vice president of communications Brian McCarthy told Newsweek that the league doesn’t pay halftime performers an “appearance fee, but the artists are indeed paid union scale.”
6. And if you keep hearing Super Bowl Sunday, it is simply the day (always a Sunday in February) that the games take place.
Super Bowl Sunday has become a national holiday in the United States, with millions of people gathering with friends and family to watch the game, eat food, and drink beer. It is estimated that the Super Bowl generates more than $14 billion in economic activity each year.
7. Super Bowl winners are awarded gold and diamond-plated Rings which are worth thousands to million. Bill Belichick has the most rings with eight and Tom Brady has the second most with seven.
The winning team of the Super Bowl receives a Super Bowl ring, which is one of the most coveted awards in sports. Bill Belichick has the most rings with eight and Tom Brady has the second most with seven.
These rings are made of gold and diamonds, and they are worth thousands of dollars. The price varies, of course, depending on how blinged out the hardware is. In 2015, the New England Patriots gave players a ring with 205 diamonds, which reportedly cost $5.475 million, an estimated $36,500 each (according to ESPN).
What about the losers? They also get a ring – though not one to commemorate their presence at the Super Bowl. Super Bowl losers still get a ring honoring them as champions of their respective conference, the AFC or NFC.
8. Victorious teams on Super Bowl Sunday are awarded The Lombardi Trophy.
The winning team of the Super Bowl also receives the Vince Lombardi Trophy, named after the legendary head coach of the Green Bay Packers.
The trophy is made of sterling silver and is worth more than $50,000. In strict commercial terms, a team Lombardi Trophy is worth about $10,000. That’s because the Lombardi Trophy is made from sterling silver in an elaborate, months-long process by Tiffany & Co.
The 2023 Lombardi Trophy was given to the Kansas City Chiefs after they became victorious over the Philadelphia Eagles. The Chiefs rallied to beat Eagles 38-35 in Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.
9. New technologies and innovations make the future of the Super Bowl bright as Companies spend millions to make Super Bowl advertisements.
Super Bowl commercials, colloquially known as Super Bowl ads, are high-profile television commercials featured in the U.S. television broadcast of the Super Bowl, the championship game of the National Football League (NFL).
The Super Bowl is also famous for its advertisements, with companies spending millions of dollars on a 30-second ad during the broadcast. Some of the most famous Super Bowl ads include Apple’s “1984” commercial and Coca-Cola’s “Mean Joe Greene” commercial.
Most 30-second ad spots cost between $6 million and $7 million, Fox Sports told the Associated Press this week. A few sold for more than $7 million. That doesn’t include the cost of making the ads in the first place; elaborate, star-studded commercials aren’t cheap.
And while those prices may be eye-watering, Fox reports they are all sold out. The reason companies are willing to pay an arm and a leg for a time during the game is pretty simple — a lot of people watch the Super Bowl. Last year (2022), 99.18 million tuned in to see the Rams take on the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Super Bowl continues to grow in popularity each year, and it is likely to remain the biggest event in American football for many years to come. With new technologies and innovations, the Super Bowl will continue to evolve, but its place in American culture is secure.
10. The Super Bowl MVP award is given to the player who has the biggest impact on the game.
The Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Award, or Super Bowl MVP, is presented annually to the most valuable player of the Super Bowl, the National Football League’s championship game. The winner is chosen by a panel of 16 football writers and broadcasters, and, since Super Bowl XXXV in 2001, fans voting electronically.
Ottis Anderson of the New York Giants was the first to win the trophy. Some of the most famous Super Bowl MVPs include Joe Montana, Terry Bradshaw, and Tom Brady.
Now-retired legend Tom Brady holds the record for most awards as Super Bowl MVP, having been named on five occasions.
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was named Super Bowl LVII MVP.