Some facts about the NFL's championship game.
The Super Bowl is the biggest spectacle in sports, from the pre-game hype to the parties to the annual traditions that fans have around it to the halftime show to, well, the game itself.
But how many facts do you know about the NFL’s annual AFC vs. NFC championship game? You might have some of these already at your fingertips. But others? These will be perfect to drop at your next Super Bowl party — that is, if you have time between eating, watching the game and commenting on the commercials.
Here are 13 fun Super Bowl facts we came up with:
1. Why it’s called the “Super Bowl”
The timing of when the AFC-NFC title game got its name is slightly disputed, but the legend is Kansas City Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt coined it based off the “super ball” toy his daughter and son played with.
2. A total of 12 teams have never won a Super Bowl
That list includes: the Browns, Lions, Jaguars, Texans, Chagers, Titans, Cardinals, Panthers, Falcons, Bengals, Bills and Vikings. Of that group, the Browns, Lions, Jaguars and Texans have never made it to the big game in their existence.
3. There’s only one starting quarterback who has won a Super Bowl title with two different teams
And his name is Peyton Manning.
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
4. Only one man has been named MVP for the losing team
And his name is Chuck Howley. The Dallas Cowboys lost to the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl V, but Howley (two interceptions) was voted most valuable player.
5. The game has gone to overtime once
That was Super Bowl LI, better known as the championship game in which the Falcons blew a 28-3 lead to the Patriots.
6. The AFC team and NFC team take turns being the home team
Also, if you didn’t know there was a designated home and away team despite the fact that it’s played at a neutral site, now you do.
7. The Patriots have appeared in the most Super Bowls
That would 11 as of the 2019 season, three more than the Steelers, Cowboys and Broncos.
8. The Patriots and Broncos have lost the most Super Bowls
As of 2019, they both have five losses under their belts.
9. There’s a good reason why the NFL uses Roman numerals to refer to the Super Bowl
“Lamar Hunt is also credited for introducing Roman numerals to keep track of the championship title bowls…. Super Bowl V was the first such bowl to be numbered using this system. An excerpt from the NFL media guide explains further:
The Roman numerals were adopted to clarify any confusion that may occur because the NFL Championship Game—the Super Bowl—is played in the year following a chronologically recorded season. Numerals I through IV were added later for the first four Super Bowls.”
10. But Super Bowl 50 used numbers and not an “L”
11. Super Bowl LIII was the lowest scoring Super Bowl in the game’s history
The Patriots beat the Rams 13-3.
12. The game has been played in 10 different states
That would be Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey and Texas.
13. The Vince Lombardi Trophy is a football “mounted in a kicking position”
That’s according to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which tells this great story about then-NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle reaching out to Tiffany and Co. to make the trophy:
The only company he contacted was Tiffany, which brought in the company’s design chief, Oscar Riedener, a native of Switzerland who knew nothing about football. Reidener went to FAO Schwartz and bought a football that he put on his kitchen table. The next morning he grabbed a box of Cornflakes, poured them into a bowl, and stared at the football while eating.
Upon finishing his Cornflakes, he took a pair of scissors, started cutting the empty box, and transformed it into a trophy base atop which the football could sit.