Super Bowl – The game and full day of happiness for America
Super Bowl started with the Rose Bowl Game which was played in 1902 in Pasadena, California in “Tournament East-West football game”. It was the original “bowl game.”
The game then moved to the new Rose Bowl Stadium in 1923. The stadium was in the shape of a bowl. And players played the game there, which was a part of the tournament of roses. Then it got the name “ Rose Bowl Stadium”.
Finally, the tournament of roses got the name “Rose Bowl Game.” Following the popularity of the tournament, sports enthusiasts organized many post-season college football contests.
The Orange Bowl in Miami, the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, and the Sun Bowl in El Paso came into play in 1935. Subsequently, the Cotton Bowl in Dallas began in 1937.
Thus, the term ‘bowl’ became popular and it started to represent any major American Football game. By the time, the first Super Bowl game was played, the term ‘bowl’ became a familiar one with the American people.
From its inception in 1920, the National Football League remained competitive and held the top position. It beat many rivals but the American Football League formed in the year 1960, grew to become a tough competitor.
On January 14, 1961, the commissioner of AFL invited the NFL to formulate a plan to fix a “World Playoff” between the two leagues’ champions. And he tried to schedule it in the forthcoming 1961 season. But it happened not immediately and took six more seasons to become a reality.
In one of the meetings, Lamar Hunt who owned AFL’s Kansas City Chiefs used the term “Super Bowl” for the first time to call the AFL-NFL championship game.
Later he said that the name popped up as he watched his children playing with a Super Ball toy. A similar ball is on display at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
In a letter Hunt wrote to NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle, he told that he kiddingly called it “Super Bowl”, which could be obviously improved upon.” But, the league owners chose the name “ AFL-NFL Championship Game.
Then the Kansas City Star quoted the name “Super Bowl” in July 1966. And, the media immediately started using it, and the name set to become a popular one.
In 1967, the league asked suggestions from the people. It tried some other names like “Merger Bowl” and “The Game.” But the name became much popular and there were, “Super Week, Super Sunday, Super Teams, Super Players, etc.” The name Super Bowl became official from the third annual game.
Each game has Roman numerals in the name instead of the year in which the league conducts it. And this practice began in the year 1971, the fifth edition of the game.
But the 50th edition of the game fell on February 7, 2016, got the exemption, and got the name Super Bowl 50. The practice of using Roman Numerals returned in the following season and got the usual naming, Super Bowl LI
The NFL’s Green Bay Packers won the first two Super Bowls. Team owners then had fear about the competitiveness of the AFL and about the future of the merger.
But the AFL’s New York Jets defeated the NFL’s Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III in Miami. Consequently, the AFL’s Kansas City Chiefs defeated the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings 23-7 in Super Bowl IV in New Orleans. It was the last AFL-NFL game before the merger.
In the 1970 season, the teams were merged and realigned. The Baltimore Colts, Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns from NFL and the former AFL teams formed the American Football Conference. And the NFL clubs formed the National Football Conference.
The champion team in the Super Bowl receives the Vince Lombardi Trophy. It was named to honor the coach of the Green Bay Packers, the team that won the first two super bowl games.
He also served as a coach in the preceding NFL championships in 1961, 1962, and 1965. Following Lombardi’s death in 1970, the trophy was named, the Vince Lombardi Trophy. The Baltimore Colts was the team that received the trophy for the first time.
In the Super Bowl championships, out of 54 games 28 games have been played in three cities. It was played eleven times in Miami, ten times in New Orleans, and seven times in Los Angeles.
To host a game, the region should have the presence of an NFL team. For example, Los Angeles hosted seven games up to 1993 but hasn’t hosted any game after the departure of its NFL teams in 1995.
Among the venues, the Louisiana Superdome hosted seven Super Bowls and it is the highest number of games for any venue. And the Orange Bowl is the only stadium where two consecutive Super Bowls, Super Bowls II and III were conducted.
Getting to the Super Bowl
A team has to get into the big game to win the Super Bowl. But it’s a tough task as a team has to pass through the 16 games regular schedule with a worthy score.
It is tough as it requires 10 or more wins to make into the playoffs. But winning 10 games is not a guarantee to get the place in the playoff berth.
The American Football Conference (AFC) and the National Football Conference (NFC) consist of 16 teams each. And the 16 teams are further divided into four groups, with each group consisting of 4 teams – North, South, East, and West.
A winner from each division enters the playoffs. Two more teams with the best overall score also get in as wild card teams.
According to the finish, the teams in each conference are ranked or seeded as follows
The winner with the best record.
The division winner with the second-best record.
The winner with the third-best record.
The division winner with the fourth-best record.
The wild card team with the best record.
The second wild card team.
Further, there are four rounds in the NFL playoffs and both conferences follow the same format. The breakdown of events in each round is given below
Wild card round
The two top teams directly get the place in the divisional playoff round to honor the teams’ success in the regular season.
The two wild card teams have to go to the home grounds of the lower-seeded winners in the division. Then, as per the fixture, the sixth-seeded team faces the third-seeded team and the fifth-seeded team faces the fourth-seeded team.
Divisional playoff round
In this round, the two top seeds will play in their home ground and the results from the wild card round won’t affect it.
In the wild card round, if seed 6 wins, it will face the top-seeded team in the divisional playoff. Instead, if seeds 3 and 4 win their respective games, seed 1 plays seed 4.
Conference championship round
In the conference championship, the two teams that survive the first two rounds meet to play. In the game, the team with the highest seed plays in their home field. Then, the champion team advances to the Super Bowl.
In the Super Bowl, the two conference champions play in a predetermined place. Traditionally, the organization conducts the game on the last Sunday in January or the first Sunday in February. Up To now, no team has ever played the Super Bowl in its home stadium.
The Super Bowl Tickets
It will be hard for everyone to believe that the first Super Bowl game didn’t attract people. The organisers were not able to sell out the tickets for the venue and they didn’t broadcast the game because of restrictions in rules.
The price of the tickets varied from $6 to $12 for the first game. Nowadays, the tickets for the Super Bowl game are the most sought after one in the entire sports world.
The average price is a thousand dollars per ticket. But, the tickets are available for many times its face value in reselling. The conference champions, the host team, the remaining 29 teams, and the NFL divide the tickets between them.
The public gets the ticket by a random drawing conducted by the NFL. The people who get the tickets are the lucky few as the total viewership crosses a billion.
In 2015, 114.4 million people watched the game between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks. It made a record as the most-watched TV broadcast in U.S. history.
Though the number of global audiences is not accurate in the record, the NFL claims it would be around one billion viewers.
Super Bowl and Commercial Advertisements
There is no other sport in the world that keeps the advertisers on their toes to get a commercial slot during the live broadcast, as Super Bowl does. 100 million pairs of eyes watch Super Bowl and so, it has a huge commercial value.
For all enthusiastic Super Bowl lovers, it’s not only a football game. Most of them are willing to see the commercials also and it always remains a hot topic for the next day as the game itself.
As there is no other big event like the Super Bowl, the advertising time during Super Bowl is the most expensive on television.
It was just $42,000 in the beginning. In 2009, NBC charged an average of $3 million for a 30-second ad. In 2017, Fox charged between $5 million-$5.5 million for Super Bowl ad spots.
To cope with the expectations of millions of people and also to make their brand memorable, the advertisers put a lot of effort and spend a lot in making the commercials.
The advantages of being a host
The city that hosts the Super Bowl gains more in terms of financial income. Every year the host city changes and the team owners choose the city years in advance.
The host city wears the festive look during Super Bowl as fans and journalists throng the city in huge numbers. The super hit event brings a lot of dollars to the local economy and it is a day of spending spree.
For example, according to the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee, the Super Bowl LI brought about $347 million into Houston, the city that hosted the event in 2017.
Usually, attractive tourist sites such as Miami, New Orleans, and San Diego become the host cities. The host city gets the nomination three to four years ahead of time and the NFL owners choose it by voting.
The Super Bowl is a unique sporting event and people love the game, the commercials, the festival mood, the food, and more. And the day is a national holiday in America.
Food that makes the day
The Super Bowl is not only a favorite for fans and teams. The restaurants, bars, and food sellers also look forward to the day.
As it is a long day in front of the TV, people gather in large numbers with family and friends and consume food in large quantities. It amounts to double the normal day snack people take and it is second only behind the thanksgiving day.
On average, American people consume 1.3 billion chicken wings, 11.2 million pounds of potato chips, 139 million pounds of avocados, 8.2 million pounds of tortilla chips, 2.8 million pounds of popcorn, and 3 million pounds of nuts on the day.
Super Bowl Champions
Following is the list of champions in Super Bowl from its inception
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