Fun Facts about the Super Bowl

Home & Family, Sports, Traditions
on January 21, 2010

More than 43 years ago, Kansas City Chiefs founder and owner Lamar Hunt overheard his 8-year-old daughter describe a ball of putty as a "super ball." It didn't take Hunt long to manipulate the phrase to Super Bowl, a name he suggested to fellow pro football team owners as they approached the championship game to officially close the 1966 season.

Since then, the Super Bowl has become an American institution. Enjoy these "super facts" about one of the world's most anticipated annual sporting events!

  • Despite ideal weather and a massive publicity buildup, more than 30,000 seats went unsold for Super Bowl I in Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
  • The Green Bay Packers' winning share for Super Bowl I came to $15,000 per player. Each winning-team member in the 2010 Super Bowl XLIV will collect $83,000.
  • In winning last year's Super Bowl XLIII, the Pittsburgh Steelers claimed their record-breaking sixth Super Bowl trophy, one more than the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys.
  • Scenes in the 1977 movie Black Sunday, which featured a blimp crashing into the Orange Bowl, were filmed during Super Bowl X in Miami.
  • President Richard Nixon involved himself in the play-calling of Super Bowl VI, phoning Miami Dolphins head coach Don Shula late one evening to propose a pass play that the president believed would work against Dallas. The suggested pass to receiver Paul Warfield fell incomplete.
  • One minute of advertising time for Super Bowl VII in 1973 cost $200,000. The price tag for a 30-second ad slot during the 2009 Super Bowl: $3 million.
  • On the day of Super Bowl I, Western Union delivered a $2,000, 550-foot-long, good-luck telegram to the Chiefs, signed by fans in Kansas City. In Green Bay, Wis., police (jokingly?) warned they would issue citations to motorists "who cannot provide an acceptable explanation as to why they are not home watching the game on TV."
  • NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle commissioned renowned jewelers Tiffany & Co. to produce what later would be named the Vince Lombardi Trophy, awarded to the winning team each year from Super Bowl V onward.
  • Two live dolphins were shipped from Miami to New Orleans' Fontainebleau Motor Hotel, where the Dolphins were headquartered for Super Bowl VI, and placed in the hotel's swimming pool.

Super feats

  • Only four players in football history have won both the collegiate Heisman Trophy and the Super Bowl MVP award: Roger Staubach, Jim Plunkett, Marcus Allen and Desmond Howard.
  • Seven Dallas Cowboys players have won the Super Bowl MVP award, the most of any NFL team.
  • Only one player from a losing team has been named Super Bowl MVP: Dallas Cowboys linebacker Chuck Howley, in Super Bowl V.

Super feast

  • Thirteen percent of Americans order takeout or delivery for the Super Bowl, with 58 percent of those preferring pizza. Four percent watch the Super Bowl at a restaurant or bar. An estimated 20 million pounds of potato and tortilla chips, and 8 million pounds of avocados are consumed. Antacid sales increase by 20 percent on Super Bowl weekend.
  • The Food Network aired at least a dozen shows with Super Bowl themes by the end of last year's Super Bowl week.
  • An estimated 50 million American women will watch this year's Super Bowl. The weekend of the Super Bowl is the slowest weekend of the year for weddings.
  • An estimated 58 percent of Super Bowl TV viewers prefer to take bathroom breaks during the game rather than miss the commercials.