Super Bowl Sunday History
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All about the
Bowl Sunday has always
been on a Sunday and is usually the last Sunday in January. However, for
the first time in it's history, it was held in February = February 3,
2002. The reason is, due to the September 11, 2001 attacks, the television
schedules were all delayed by one week. The super bowl was shown on the
Fox network and not on one of the main television stations ABC, CBS or NBC also.
It was also held on Sunday, February 1st for 2004. And, on Sunday, February 6,
2005. I see a new pattern!
So, I'm not sure why,
but it now seems that the Super Bowl has been set for the first Sunday in
February now for the next several years as follows:
February 3, 2013 (New Orleans, LA)
February 2, 2014 ( E. Rutherford, NJ)
February 1, 2015 (Phoenix,
February 7, 2016 (50th Superbowl!) (?)
It is solely a
United States celebration. Just like in the old old days when the old king was
dethroned and a new king crowned at the start of the new year, the Super Bowl
determines who wears the crown in football after a long series of elimination
The opponents are the
winning teams from the AFL (American Football League) and the NFL (National
Football League) that play each other at a pre-selected city (usually in a
warmer climate or one with a covered stadium).
Super Bowl Sunday has
become more than just a championship play-off event. In some cases, it is
a national holiday. It is said that even the criminals take Super Bowl
Sunday off. LOL :) In 1985, when the San Francisco 49ers played the Super
Bowl in Palo Alto, CA, the crime rate in San Francisco dropped 75%.
some wives, it seems that the Super Bowl has gone on forever! But, it
actually all began on January 15, 1967 in the Los Angeles Coliseum with the
Green Bay Packers beating the Kansas City Chiefs 35-10.
the Super Bowl got started?
How did the name
"Super Bowl" get started? Originally, many suggested it be
titled, "The Big One" or "The Final Game." But a Texas
financier and owner of the Kansas City Chiefs, Lamar Hunt, came up with
the idea of calling it "The Super Bowl" after watching his daughter
play with a Super Ball - a small, high-bouncing ball very popular at that
time. Ironic, that it's a woman that was responsible for naming this
well-loved, beloved male annual event!
The games have always
been identified with Roman numerals rather than numbers. It wasn't until
Super Bowl IV in 1970 that the title, "Super Bowl" actually appeared
It took a few years
before the pre-game show became a tradition. In 1976, Super Bowl X
broadcasted it on television. And Super Bowl XII in 1978 was the first indoor
game and drew the largest crowd at that time to have ever watched a sporting
event on television also. Super Bowl XV in 1981, displayed a huge yellow
ribbon (bow) over the main entrance of the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans to
commemorate the 52 American hostages who had just been released by Iran after
444 days in captivity.
It was NFL Commissioner
Pete Rozelle who made sure that the Super Bowl provided entertainment on a big
razzle dazzle scale. The first pre-game show released 4,000 pigeons and
continuing pre-game shows have featured top Hollywood celebrities, jets with
tailing plumes of dyed smoke of red, white and blue.
Another tradition of
the pre-game show is who will sing the "Star Spangled Banner"?
It is usually sung by a well-known American pop singer. Usually, but there
have been exceptions. (Scroll down and we have more about the singers of
our national anthem.)
Losers & Gamblers
The NFL's Green Bay
Packers dominated winning the Super Bowl for the few years. Then, the New
York Jets and their infamous star quarterback, Joe Namath aka "Broadway
Joe" for his celebrity status, won Super Bowl III, proving that the NFL and
AFL could compete equally and increasing it's popularity even more.
More popular = more
money! The price of television advertising during the Super Bowl went from
$85,000 a minute to $200,000. And by Super Bowl XIX, advertising was
around $1 million. Today a Super Bowl ad will run $2 million or more,
depending on how long, and what time slot of the game it's shown. As of
2012, a 30-second ad cost $3.5 million.
It is estimated
that 45% of all US homes have TV sets and tune in to watch the Super Bowl.
Today, the ads and even the half-time show entertainment has become just as
important as the game itself. (For more on the Super Bowl ads, scroll
down.) Ironically, some advertisers start running promos of their ads days
before the Super Bowl to promote their ads because they paid so much! One
example is Apple Computer during Super Bowl XVIII, with a memorable commercial
introducing it's Macintosh. And, if companies aren't buying
commercials, well there is still the subtle approach to getting yourself seen
during the Super Bowl. Companies put their logos on seat cushions,
hats, mugs, to as high in the sky as the Goodyear Blimp! In some cases,
the US government has used the Super Bowl as a kickoff event for it's
bicentennial celebration in 1976.
Super Bowl Sunday is
because it is always held on a Sunday. Ironically, religious leaders have never
complained about it. Norman Vincent Peale is quoted as saying, "If
Jesus were alive today, He would be at the Super Bowl." Even some of
the US Presidents get involved in the game, recommending plays before hand, and
sending congratulations to the winning team by telephone.
It has become a
tradition in many groups such as clubs, bars, offices and schools (colleges) to
place bets on the Super Bowl. How the betting is done varies. Some do it
on a "point spread" between the two scores. Sometimes people
draw slips of paper with numerical outcomes and the owner of the correct score
will win. This is popular because it gives everyone a chance to win and
it's not necessarily based on knowledge of any team. There are also
"Football Boards" in which there is a huge board with numbers along
the top from 0 to 9 and along the side 0 to 9.
However, they are
covered up and they aren't sequential. Betters write their names in a square
they feel is lucky not knowing the co-ordinates of that square until all bets
are placed. Once the card is filled with bets, the side numbers are exposed
(usually taped up) and then players can see their co-ordinates. An example
is if you picked a square with 0 on top and 7 at bottom. The winners are
determined by the score and who has the matching numbers with the scores for the
1st half, halftime, 3rd quarter and final. If you had 0-7 well you could
win say twice? You could win with 0-7 for the first quarter and by the end of
the game it could be 10-7 or even 20-17. They key is that the
numbers end 0-7. Now someone else might have 7-0 as their
co-ordinates. Some people feel that 0-0 is the best number because you
start out a winner when the game begins! :)
Just how does a husband
validate the cost of a Super Bowl ticket to his wife?
Answer: He can't. He just must grovel and be nice! :D
Tickets to the Super Bowl weren't always pricey. The cost of tickets to
the very first game was around $6. But, each year they seem to get more
and more outrageous. Just keep adding zeros and more digits and well...OUCH! A
big financial OUCH!
$9,850 was the highest
price paid for a ticket. This was for the 2008 XLII game.
Tickets prices can be
competitive, depending on where you buy them and when you buy them.
Sometimes waiting for the last minute "might" get you a cheaper
However, there is a
major difference between the "face value" of a ticket and the
"demand value." For example, tickets for Super Bowl XLV (2011)
had a face value of $900. But, the actual demand value (depending on where the
seat was) ranged from $5,500 to $11,000! As of 2012, the face value is
about $1,200. But the demand is around $3000. So, ticket prices are
flexible depending on the game, teams, location and also the economy.
Did you know that every year the NFL has a lottery in which 500 names are drawn
out of hat for a chance to buy a pair of Super Bowl tickets at their face
value? This happens sometimes between February 1 and June 1st. The
details for this are posted on the NFC's official website in advance. So check
Below is a list of
ticket prices through the years:
Also, when it
comes to the tickets, it's obvious that the prices vary by the seat location.
For example, for the 2013 tickets, the cheap seats are around $1,300. But,
if you want a good seat by the 40-yard line, those are running $4,056.
And, as the game gets closer, ticket prices also change based on the demand.
The Super Bowl is
the most watched American TV show. That means a lot of viewers for those
commercials. Today, there is approximately 45 minutes of commercials
compared to 60 minutes of actual game time. The Super Bowl, it seems, has gotten
to be the premiere event for TV commercials. Many products will wait to
present their latest and best commercial during the game because they know that
this is when they'll get the most viewers. Super Bowl XLV had 111 million
viewers and was the most watched (as of 2011.) However, this also
means that the cost for this captured audience attention is also very pricey for
a 30 second commercial. For 2012, the cost has now risen 17% from 2011 and so a
commercial is now $3.5 million for 30 seconds. This is double what the
commercial ads cost for the Oscars even! And, the ad agencies that create
these commercials also look forward to the Super Bowl, when people vote for the
best one. This seems to be the time when the ad people compete on TV, while the
football players compete on the field.
The 2012 Super Bowl
Game will be broadcast to 185 countries around the world in 35 different
Below is a chart
showing the Super Bowl ad costs through the years and how they've increased.
Information by Ocean Media, Inc.
These commercials live
on long after the Super Bowl they premiere in. Some stick in our memories and
many can be seen over and over on-line as You Tube videos, and on other websites
Bowl National Anthem Singers
Every Super Bowl has
had the national anthem performed at it, except Super Bowl XI, when
"America The Beautiful" was sung by Vicki Carr. The person(s)
who performs the national anthem will create a reputation, good or bad.
Whitney Houston's version in 1991 at Super Bowl XXV is considered the best (or
one of the best) ever done. I have a page with her performance on it here.
However, a few days after her performance it was said that she lip-synched.
Apparently her mic was dead and so they broadcast a prerecorded version. This
still didn't diminish her version heard by millions. All performers are
required to have a back-up take since 1993. (Before that no tape was
required.) The reason is due to Garth Brooks having a fight with NBC prior
to the game and walking out. They almost got Jon Bon Jovi to perform (who
was in the audience.) But then NBC agreed to air "We Shall Be Free"
video by Garth Brooks during the game and so he came back and performed.
have sung at the Super Bowl twice. They are: Grambling State University Marching
Band (II, IX); US Air Force Academy Chorale (VI, XXXIX); Aaron Neville (XXIV,
XL); Billy Joel (XXIII,XLI) and Marlee Matlin in sign language (XXVII, XLI).
Here is a list of all
performers at the Super Bowl who have performed the "Star Spangled
Banner" throughout the years:
The "Star Spangled
Banner" is a song that most of us can't sing very well. But, in 2011,
Christina Aguilera got noticed not for her voice, but for the fact she forgot
Having the "Star
Spangled Banner" performed in sign language began in 1992 for Super Bowl
XXVI. Lori Hilary was the signer. Since then, there has been a sign
language performer as well as a vocal performer to do the national anthem at the
Super Bowl every year.
Bowl Halftime Show
The halftime show for the
first ten years was pretty mediocre. It consisted of
marching bands. Then the entertainment grew with a group called "Up
With People" which featured talented students (18-29) from all over the
world performing, as well as Walt Disney produced entertainment. But, slowly
single performers became the halftime show, with one of the most talked about
events being Super Bowl XXVII (1993) with Michael Jackson performing. Ever
since, top performers from pop, country, jazz, rock, etc. have all performed
during Super Bowl halftime.
The most memorable
half-time show was in 2004 at Super Bowl XXXVIII when Janet Jackson's top
exposed on of her breasts during a "wardrobe malfunction" during a
performance with Justin Timberlake. Even though the nipple was covered,
this situation caused the FCC to change its rules and the nature of live
television events ever since. Previously, fines were as high as $27,500.
But, due to the outcry of this 30 second exposed breast on national television,
the FCC raised its fine to $325,000. However, the FCC fined CBS which
broadcast the Super Bowl that year $550,000. This was an all-time
record. CBS challenged this fine and in 2008 the Third Circuit US Court of
Appeals voided the fine. But, the Supreme Court in 2009 overruled it and sent
the case back to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals for reconsideration.
So, in November of 2011, the court said that CBS's broadcast of the Super Bowl
and this "wardrobe malfunction" was legal because it was unintentional
and at the time it happened, the FCC had a rule about "fleeting
indecency" on television (streakers?). Therefore, it was unfair for the FCC
to suddenly change its rules due to specific incident. As a result of the
public outcry and the FCC fines, networks now have a 10 second delay on all live
broadcasts (whether sports or not) to prevent any public obscenity, nudity, etc.
from ever being broadcast again.
MTV produced the Janet
Jackson - Justin Timberlake show and due to the incident was banned from ever
producing another Super Bowl Halftime show again, by the NFL (not the FCC.)
Bowl Food & Parties
Just a few weeks after
New Years Day, comes the Super Bowl Sunday. These are typically day-long events
held in private homes with fast foods or even a potluck supper. The
highlight of the party is the game and finding out who won the money in the pool
or on the board. Because this is in the dead of winter, it is also enjoyed
by those who don't even like football just as an emotional excitement and social
enjoyment break from the cold winter days.
Super Bowl Sunday is
also the day where more food is eaten in the US, second only to Thanksgiving
Day. But, one could say it's the most "junk food" holiday in the
US. Pizza places all over the country offer special deals for the game to
vie for customers that night. It is estimated that 1 billion chicken wings
are eaten during the game as well. There's also a boost in sales for beer,
chips, and pop. Sales can even boost for condiments such as salsa, dips
and sauces. A 2012 estimate of 71.4 lbs. of avocadoes will be purchased for the
game for guacamole.
Partying may be fun,
but local police and highway patrols also increase their manpower and buckle
down on drunk drivers on this day as well.
Super Bowl Trophy
The trophy is given to
the winning team and is named after Vince Lombardi, whose game plan was
"Attack, Attack, Attack!" The trophy is symbolic of the values
Lombardi exemplified and the excellence he demanded of his players.
As I said earlier, the Green Bay Packers dominated the Super Bowl for the first
few years under coach Lombardi. So for many years the team and the coach
symbolized the game because Lombardi took over the Green Bay Packers in 1959,
where they had lost almost every single game during the previous season.
Within 2 years, Lombardi turned the Green Bay Packers from losers to winners of
the NFL. And they won the first two Super Bowls in a row.
Now, other teams have
had greater winning streaks such as the San Francisco 49ers, the Pittsburgh
Steelers and the Dallas Cowboys, it is the Green Bay Packers and Vince Lombardi
who stands are as symbolizing what the Super Bowl represents to it's fans and
the United States of America.
Winners 1967 to 2013
Everyone wins at the
Super Bowl you might say. For Super Bowl XLVI (46 - 2012), members
of the winning team each receive $88,000. But, the losing team also gets
paid as well. Each losing team member receive half that or
Correct National Football League
What if the
National Football League became politically correct? Then the team
playing schedule would sound like this:
Native Americans will host the New York Very Tall People on opening day.
Other key games include the Dallas Western-style Laborers versus the St.
Louis Uninvited Guests, and the Minnesota Plundering Norsemen versus the
Green Bay Meat Industry Workers. In week two, there are several key
matchups, highlighted by the showdown between the San Francisco Precious
Metal Enthusiasts and the New Orleans Good People. Also, the Atlanta Birds
of Prey versus the Philadelphia National Birds of Symbolic Patriotism, and
the Seattle Birds of Prey versus the Phoenix Male Finches.
night game will pit the Miami Pelagic Percoid Food Fishes against the
Denver Untamed Beasts of Burden, the Cincinnati Large Bangladeshi
Carnivorous Mammals versus Tampa Bay's West Indies Free Booters, and the
Detroit Large Carnivorous Cats versus the Chicago
Security-Traders-in-a-Declining-Market. Week nine will feature the
Indianapolis Young Male Horses verses the New England Zealous Lovers of
"The 365 Clean Joke Book" Barbour Publishing, Inc. © 2006
Learn how the game of football began.
The Ancient History of Football.
Check on the history of some other sports.
Source: "Holiday Symbols, 2nd Ed"
Sue Ellen Thompson
Omnigraphics, Inc © 2000
the MONTH FEBRUARY
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