MARY BRASWELL: A look at the biggest football game of the year

From food to fans, here is a hodgepodge of information about the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl games have always been identified with Roman numerals rather than numbers. It wasn’t, however, until Super Bowl IV in 1970 that the words “Super Bowl” actually appeared on the tickets. Enjoy this snack of facts about the biggest football game of the year.

— The first Super Bowl was played on January 15, 1967. The Green Bay Packers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 35-10. It was actually called the AFL-NFL World Championship Game, a hastily organized affair played before a half-full stadium in Los Angeles

— Tickets for the first Super Bowl cost $6, $8 and $12. Today tickets are priced between $500 and $2,600…face value.

— Super Bowl X (1976) saw the introduction of a new 90-minute “Super Bowl Special” before kickoff. The show moved to two hours long in 1984 and featured 11 broadcasters, 13 producers and four directors.

— The main entrance of the Louisiana Superdome displayed a huge yellow ribbon bow at Super Bowl XV (1981). The ribbon was to commerate the 52 American hostages just released by Iran after 444 days in captivity.

— Only one Super Bowl so far has not had the national anthem performed. That game was in 1977 when Vicki Carr sang “America the Beautiful.”

— An average fan will take in 1,200 calories and 50 grams of fat on game day…just from snacks.

— In 1993, Garth Brooks had a disagreement with NBC before he was to sing the national anthem and walked out. He came back and performed after NBC agreed to air his “We Shall Be Free” video during the game. Since that time, every performer is required to have a back up, pre-recorded tape or CD.

— In 1967, a 30-second TV commercial cost in the neighborhood of $40,000. The same, at least in length, commercial hit $1 million in 1995. The commercials seen today, Feb. 2, 2014 have set their companies back a cool $4 million.

— No Super Bowl has ever gone into overtime. Super Bowl XXXIV came close but the Tennessee Titans were stopped one yard short of a game -tying touchdown against the St. Louis Rams as time expired.

— Super Bowl VI was the coldest outdoor game on record. It was 39 degrees in New Orleans in 1972 (before the Superdome opened). That record could well be broken as the teams take to the open field for Super Bowl XLVIII.

— Fans are expected to consume approximately 11.2 million pounds of potato chips on Super Bowl Sunday.

— The Minnesota Vikings have played in four Super Bowls but have never led at any point of any of those games.

— Close to 50 percent of all televisions turned on today will be tuned to the Super Bowl. Commercials will take up an estimated 45 minutes compared to 60 minutes of actual game time.

— No NFL team has ever played in a Super Bowl in the same year that it has been held in their home stadium. The next three will be held in Arizona, San Francisco and Houston.

— Super Bowl XLIV (2010) unseated the M*ASH series finale as the most-watch show in television history with 106.5 million viewers. New Orleans beat Indianapolis , 37-17.

— The Vince Lombardi Trophy stands 20 3/4 inches tall, weighs 6.7 pounds and is valued at more than $25,000. It is made of sterling silver by Tiffany & Company.

— Prices for Super Bowl tickets remained under $100 until 1988 when they jumped to that price from $75 the previous year.

— Every year the NFL has a lottery in which names are drawn for a chance to buy Super Bowl tickets at face value. The winners are required to pick up their tickets at the gate on game day and not permitted to return to the parking lot (and not be tempted to scalp them).

— The Dallas Cowboys and the Pittsburgh Steelers are tied at eight for the most appearances in the Super Bowl. The Steelers, however, have the most wins at six.

— Despite being the most watched musical event of the year, the NFL’s policy is to not pay performers for their halftime shows, though the league covers all costs.

— Just over one-third of the people who attend the Super Bowl will write it off as a corporate expense on their tax return.

Michael Jackson’s halftime show at Super Bowl XXVII (1993) held more viewers to the television than any other, including that of his sister Janet and her wardrobe malfunction in 2004.

— The NFL pays for up to 150 rings at $5,000 per ring, plus adjustments for increases in price in gold and diamonds, for the winning team. The league also pays for 150 pieces of jewelry for the losing team which may not exceed one-half the price of the Super Bowl ring.

— In 1985, San Francisco law enforcement reported a 75 percent drop in crime rate, even though the game was not played at home. The 49ers defeated Miami, 38-16.

— Lodging for the Super Bowl has seen $100 rooms go for $1,000 each. A current Craigslist advertisement lists a room in a private home for $1,800 per night.

— Super Bowl Sunday is second only to Thanksgiving in food consumption by Americans. Antacid sales usually increase at convenience stores by 20 percent on the Monday after.

— According to ESPN, 228 official footballs are produced for the Super Bowl. Of those, 108 balls go to each team. They use 54 for practice and 54 for the actual game. There are 12 special balls designated for kicking plays. All official NFL footballs are made by Wilson Sporting Goods.

— It takes 223,000 football fields of farmland to grow the snacks eaten on Super Bowl Sunday.

— The first time the Disney advertisement “I’m going to Disneyworld” was filmed was at the end of Super Bowl XXI, in 1987. Phil Simms, the New York Giants quarterback who was also the MVP of the game in which the Giants won over the Denver Broncos, was paid $75,000 to utter the now famous phrase.

— Approximately seven million people will call in sick on the Monday following the Super Bowl.


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