In honor of the American holiday Super Bowl Sunday, I’ve compiled some fun facts that you may not know about the game. Okay, so it’s not an official holiday, but it might as well be.
- Good Company: In 2010 106.5 million people watched the Superbowl, making it the most watched program in US history, beating out the 105.97 million viewers of the 1983 M.A.S.H. finale.
- Preferred Seating: Prices for tickets this year start in the low $2000’s, and go to $179,850 for seats in the ‘touchdown suite,’ a private 29 person catered touchdown suite elevated 6 feet into the air in the end zone.
- Sell Me Something: The cost of a 30-second advertisement will run advertisers $3,000,000 this year, up from $2,800,000 last year. That is $100,000 per second or $100 per millisecond. To put that into perspective, blinking takes 400 milliseconds. That’s right, if you blink during a commercial you’ve missed $40,000 worth of premium advertisement.
- Human Depravity: The Super bowl is the largest human trafficking event of the year. An estimated 50,000 people are trafficked into the US each year, with Texas accounting for a whopping 25% of that figure. The Texas Human Trafficking Prevention Force estimates an 80% increase in sexual exploitation of young women and children during Super Bowl weekend. They are expecting some 40,000 people to come to the Super Bowl that do not have a ticket to the event.
- National Security: In the wake of the September 11th attacks, the Super Bowl has been designated as a National Special Security Event by the Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security. Special security measures are taken, task forces brought in, and extra precautions are taken, including banning of blimps and all aircraft flyovers.
- The Big One: The original name of the Super Bowl was going to be “The Big One” per then NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle. Kansas City Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt proposed the name “Super Bowl” after watching his child play with a bouncy ball known as the “Super Ball.” The committee agreed to use Super Bowl as a temporary name until they thought of something better.
- Food For Thought: The Super Bowl is second only to Thanksgiving for food consumption in a single day. Fifteen tons of chips and four tons of popcorn are consumed. That enough chips span the distance to the moon 1 ½ times when lined end to end, and enough popcorn to ring the earth 5 ½ times. Twelve million pounds of avocado are sold to produce 8 million pounds of guacamole. That’s enough guacamole to cover a football field end zone to end zone and 40 inches deep. The 7-11 franchise posts a 20% increase in antacids sold the following Monday and an estimated 6% of Americans (7 million people) will not show up to work. Staying off the roads is advised as well. An estimated 49 million cases (325 million gallons) of beer were consumed during last years super bowl.
- Warm Enough?: The NFL has a policy of only awarding the Super Bowl to cities that have an average temperature above 50 degrees, or have an indoor stadium.
- Halftime Entertainment: The halftime show has grown as much as the game itself. In early years the halftime show consisted of a college marching band, evolving into a group of acts performing. Michael Jackson was the first solo act in 1993. In 2002, U2 performed a very moving tribute to the September 11th victims. The most controversial halftime show was 2004’s performance by Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake that included a ‘wardrobe malfunction’ which exposed the world to Ms. Jackson’s nipple. That event, sometimes referred to as “nipplegate” cost CBS almost 1 million in fines by the FCC and led many commentators to speculate on the moral decline of America.
- Manly Jewelry: The NFL pays for 150 Super Bowl rings to be crafted for the winning team, both players and staff, valued around $5,000 each. Neal Dahlen owns 7 of the rings, earning five while on staff with the 49ers, and two as General Manager of the Broncos. Charles Haley is the player with the most rings, five. He won two with 49ers and 3 with the Cowboys.
- Never Happened: These things have never happened during a Super Bowl. No Super Bowl has gone to overtime. No team has ever ended the game with 0 points. No punt return has ended in a touchdown. It has never snowed during a Super Bowl, no offensive play has gone for more than 90 yards, and there has never been a match-up between two wild-card teams.
- Big Winners: The Pittsburgh Steelers hold the record for most Super Bowl wins, 6. They will be trying for a 7th this weekend.
- Try and Try and Try again: The Los Angeles Rams hold the record for the most Super Bowl losses at 7 losses.
- Half Time Flush: The legend that some cities have had sewage problems stemming from millions of people flushing all at once is false. Waste and Water Works does report an increase in volume, but nothing that cannot be easily handled by the system. The origin of this myth stems from the breaking of a 16-inch waterline in Salt Lake City during the 1984 game, but the events were unrelated.
- Super Bowl Legends: Other Super Bowl Legends include an increase in domestic violence, false, Disneyland is deserted during the Super Bowl, false, and a rise in auto accidents after the game, true.
So, there you have fifteen new and exciting bits of trivia to wow your friends with during the game. Enjoy your newly found fame as a Super Bowl trivia fan. Stay off the roads if you can, and drink responsibly. This year AAA is offering its Tipsy Tow service for free from 6pm Sunday through 6am Monday. Just call 800-222-4357 (AAA-HELP) if you need a ride and they will come tow you up to 10 miles free.