52 Super Facts for Your Super Bowl Party
Want to be the smartest person in the room at this year's Super Bowl party? Bust out a few of these fun facts about Big Games past.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Super Bowl Sunday is America’s "second-largest food consumption day." (Only Thanksgiving Day beats it.)
A persistent rumor says that sewage systems in major cities occasionally fail during Super Bowl halftimes, because a large volume of people supposedly all flush their toilets simultaneously. Don’t worry! There’s absolutely no evidence to support this claim.
Peyton Manning is the only starting quarterback to win a Super Bowl with two different teams: the Indianapolis Colts in 2007 and the Denver Broncos in 2016.
Phil Simms was paid $75,000 to shout “I’m going to Disney World” on the field moments after his Giants won Super Bowl XXI. Disney also paid Denver’s John Elway the same amount of money to yell the same thing—just in case his team won.
The Pittsburgh Steelers hold the record for most Super Bowl wins, having captured six Vince Lombardi Trophies. The San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, and New England Patriots have each won five.
Which team has lost the most? That would be the Denver Broncos, who’ve dropped five Super Bowl matchups.
A 2014 Change.org petition to “Have Weird Al Yankovic Headline the Super Bowl XLIX Halftime Show” received more than 100,000 signatures.
The priciest tickets to Super Bowl I, which was played on January 15, 1967, cost $12. Adjusted for inflation, that’s the equivalent of about $89 today. And even at that bargain price, the event still didn't sell out. If you're thinking about buying tickets for this year's event, you'd better be prepared to shell out at least $3200 per ticket (at press time).
In 1980, the Pittsburgh Steelers were the first Super Bowl-winning team to visit the White House. They visited with Jimmy Carter in a joint ceremony with the Pittsburgh Pirates, who had won the 1979 World Series.
When Jacksonville, Florida, hosted Super Bowl XXXIX in 2005, the city didn’t have enough hotel rooms to meet the NFL’s requirements. So in their bid to serve as the Big Game's host, they had to recruit five docked cruise ships as “floating hotels” for the event.
Maryland sports fans must have really hated the Big Apple in 1969. On January 12 of that year, the New York Jets upset the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III. Nine months later, the New York Mets prevailed over the heavily favored Baltimore Orioles in the '69 World Series.
The Super Bowl I halftime show consisted of two marching bands, acclaimed trumpeter Al Hirt, two men in jet packs, and 300 pigeons.
Western Pennsylvania is quarterback country. Six Hall of Fame QBs hail from this region, five of whom (Johnny Unitas, Joe Namath, Joe Montana, Dan Marino, and Jim Kelly) played in at least one Super Bowl each as quarterbacks. The sixth, George Blanda, competed as a placekicker in Super Bowl II.
In odd-numbered Super Bowls, the NFC team is the designated “home” team while AFC teams enjoy that honor during the even-numbered Super Bowls.
In 1983, 105.97 million people tuned in to the final episode of M*A*S*H, making it the most-watched TV broadcast in American history. It took more than a quarter-century, but in February 2010, Super Bowl XLIV finally broke that record when 106.5 million people watched the New Orleans Saints beat the Indianapolis Colts. Subsequent Super Bowls have broken even that record
, with Super Bowl XLIX—which was played on February 1, 2015—currently holding the top spot, with 114.4 million viewers on average.
In Las Vegas, more than $115 million is (legally) bet on the Super Bowl every year.
Although the Baltimore Colts beat Dallas in Super Bowl V in 1971, Cowboys linebacker Chuck Howley was named the game’s MVP. He’s the only player in history to earn this honor as a member of the losing team.
The Vince Lombardi Trophies—a new one of which is handed out every year—are made by Tiffany & Co. out of sterling silver.
A power outage at New Orleans’s Superdome put Super Bowl XLVII on hold for 34 minutes.
A fresh layer of high-quality, natural sod is installed on the field prior to each Super Bowl played on natural grass. For Super Bowl 50, the company West Coast Turf harvested 75,000 square feet of premium grass on the NFL’s behalf.
In 2008, then-Boston Mayor Thomas Menino lost a high-stakes bet to his Gotham counterpart when the Giants upset the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. Because of New England’s defeat, Menino had to send a truckload of Massachusetts delicacies—including 42 pounds of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee (because it was the 42nd Super Bowl) and 12 dozen Boston cream pies (a reference to Tom Brady's number)—to New York City, where the food was donated to charity.
A few days before Super Bowl XX in 1986, Bears QB Jim McMahon mooned a TV news helicopter that was flying over one of Chicago’s practice sessions.
There has never been a shutout in the Super Bowl. The Miami Dolphins hold the record for fewest points scored in a Super Bowl; in 1972, they lost to Dallas, 24-3.
Last year’s Super Bowl (LI) was the first one to ever go into overtime. The Patriots defeated the Atlanta Falcons 34-28.
Super Bowl XLV was the first one in history that didn’t include cheerleaders. That’s because neither of the game’s participating teams—the Pittsburgh Steelers nor the Green Bay Packers—has a professional cheerleading squad.
During Super Bowl I in 1967, NBC was still in commercial when the second half kicked off. Officials asked the Packers to kick off again.
The 1989 Super Bowl halftime show was broadcast in 3D (a novelty for the time). In it, a magician dressed like Elvis Presley ("Elvis Presto") had the entire stadium participate in a round of the classic “Is this your card?” trick.
Another unusual spectacle was the 1977 Super Bowl pre-game show, which included a Frisbee-catching dog named Ashley Whippet.
Springfield’s resident wunderkind really knows her football. In an episode of The Simpsons which aired on January 23, 1992, Lisa correctly guessed that Washington would beat Buffalo in Super Bowl XXVI, which was played three days later.
No sitting president has ever attended a Super Bowl. However, four sitting vice presidents—Spiro Agnew, George H.W. Bush, Al Gore, and Mike Pence—have made Big Game appearances.
From 1985 to 1997, the NFC won 13 straight Super Bowls. During that streak, the NFC clubs outscored their AFC opponents by a cumulative score of 490-219.
While celebrating the Giants’ Super Bowl XXI victory with President Reagan at the White House, linebacker Harry Carson emptied a Gatorade tub of popcorn over the Gipper’s head.
On San Francisco’s Super Bowl XXIII game-winning drive in 1989, Joe Montana saw a celebrity spectator; in mid-huddle, he nonchalantly asked his teammates, “Hey, isn’t that John Candy over there?”
On Super Bowl Media Day in 2000, a reporter asked Titans defensive tackle Joe Salave’a, “What’s your relationship with the football?” He replied: “I’d say it’s strictly platonic.”
Back-to-back Super Bowl victories aren’t as rare as you might think. The Packers, Dolphins, 49ers, Cowboys, Broncos, Patriots, and Steelers have all pulled off this feat. In fact, Pittsburgh has won back-to-back Super Bowls on two separate occasions.
The Wonder Years, Family Guy, and Undercover Boss all premiered immediately after the Super Bowl.
The 1985 Bears recorded a hit rap song called “Super Bowl Shuffle,” which was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rhythm and Blues Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. (It lost to Prince & the Revolution's "Kiss.")
Joe Montana not only emerged victorious from all four of his Super Bowl appearances, he did it without throwing a single interception in any of those games.
Just before the second-half kickoff in the 2004 Super Bowl, a man disguised as a referee stripped down to a G-string and streaked across the field. Patriots linebacker Matt Chatham was able to knock him to the ground, enabling security to apprehend the hooligan.
In 2010, Super Bowl XLIV featured an unusual piece of memorabilia: The coin that was flipped right before the game had previously spent 11 days orbiting the Earth on a NASA space mission.
The Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California, hosts an annual Otter Bowl on Super Bowl Sunday. At the event, a group of these adorable mammals play around with a football while a staffer narrates the action. This year will mark the fourth annual event.
The New England Patriots’ Tom Brady has currently won five Super Bowls, more than any other starting quarterback. Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana won four apiece.
The very first Super Bowl touchdown was scored in 1967 by Packers wide receiver Max McGee (who was hungover at the time).
Super Bowl bonuses are a thing. In 2017, every player on the Pats’ championship roster earned $107,000 for winning. The defeated Falcons received $53,000 each as a consolation prize.
Two colleges have produced three Super Bowl-winning starting quarterbacks: the University of Alabama (Bart Starr, Joe Namath, and Ken Stabler) and Purdue University (Len Dawson, Bob Griese, and Drew Brees).
The event we now call the “Super Bowl” originally went by a duller name: “The AFL-NFL World Championship Game.” Although "Super Bowl" has been used unofficially since the very first game, the term wasn’t officially recognized by the league until a few years later, with the name first appearing on the cover of the program in 1969 and on the ticket in 1970.
In 2013, 40 years after winning Super Bowl VII, the famous perfect-season Miami Dolphins were invited to the White House by Barack Obama.
As Don Shula was being carried off the field after the Dolphins’ Super Bowl win in 1973, a fan reached up to shake his hand—and stole his watch.
During the 1995-1996 season, some proxy servers blocked the Super Bowl website because it was Super Bowl XXX.
In 1993, Michael Jackson’s halftime performance had higher ratings than the game itself.