30 Amazing Super Bowl Facts That'll Blow Your Mind
Sports fan or not, you'll be wowed by these surprising bits of Super Bowl trivia.
On Feb. 7, 2021, Super Bowl LV will take place in Tampa, Florida with a matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While the ongoing pandemic has definitely altered the season in myriad ways, you'll still see many of the same time-honored traditions you're accustomed to this weekend, including elaborate commercials, a halftime show, and (it's almost certain) the annual Gatorade dump. Before the two best teams from the AFC and NFC conferences face off, though, make sure you familiarize yourself with the history of the Super Bowl, ranging from the origin of that iconic Disney World declaration to some of the most mind-blowing team records. Keep reading for our favorite Super Bowl facts, and for a preview of what you'll see between plays, here are All of the Celebrities Starring in 2021 Super Bowl Ads.
This is the first year one team will playing the Super Bowl in their home stadium.
Being that Super Bowl LV is being held at Raymond James Stadium, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the first team play the championship game in their home stadium. The NFL isn't purposely giving the team any type of advantage, however; Super Bowl locations are announced a few years in advance, so the Bucs just happened to get lucky. No doubt the boon would be better if it weren't a pandemic year—this stadium will only be 30% full for safety reasons, so the buzz won't be quite the same as a regular home game. For more trivia to share, here are 40 Facts So Funny They're Hard to Believe.
Players get a bonus for making it to the Super Bowl…even if they lose.
According to The Washington Post, every player on the winning team gets a hefty $130,000 bonus. Althlon Sports notes that the members of the losing team don't walk away fully disappointed either, earning a $65,000 check for their efforts.
The name "Super Bowl" is supposedly derived from a children's toy.
Have you ever wondered why the Super Bowl is called, well, the Super Bowl? According to The New York Times, the name is the brainchild of former Kansas City Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt, and he was inspired by a popular '70s toy: the Super Ball. For its first three years, the game had been called the world championship. That is until Hunt saw his daughter playing with a bouncy ball and asked her what it was called. The rest is Super Bowl history. For more trivia to impress, here are 100 Mind-Blowing Facts You've Never Heard Before.
Americans eat more than a billion wings on Super Bowl Sunday.
Yes, that's billions with a B. This year, the National Chicken Council estimates that Americans will eat a record high 1.42 billion wings during the Super Bowl. The council notes that because wings have always been a food that doesn't lose any of its appeal during delivery, it's the perfect "pandemic-proof" dish to take out while the sports bars are closed.
Super Bowl Sunday is the second-largest food consumption day.
Given how many wings are consumed during the Super Bowl, it's of little surprise that the USDA has deemed the sports holiday the second-largest food consumption day of the year. What's the biggest one? Thanksgiving, of course! For more facts sent right to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
"I'm going to Disney World!" was coined accidentally by the first pilot to complete a non-stop flight around the world.
Every year since 1987, every Super Bowl MVP has had the same post-game plan: to hit up Disney World—or at least say they would. But how did this get started? Well, in his memoir Work in Progress, former Disney CEO Michael Eisner recalled the very moment the now-iconic Super Bowl catchphrase was coined.
Per ABC News, Eisner wrote that the night the phrase was created, he and his wife were at dinner with Star Wars creator George Lucas, and Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager, the first people to fly around the world without stopping.
Eisner wrote: "I asked Dick and Jeana, 'Well, now that you've accomplished the pinnacle of your aspirations, what could you possibly do next?' Rutan responded, without hesitation, 'I'm going to Disneyland.' And of course I go, 'Wow, that's cool! You made the right choice.' But my wife interjects: 'You know, that's a good slogan.'"
Phil Simms was supposedly paid $75,000 to be the first to use the catchphrase.
New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms was the first person to utter the iconic "I'm going to Disney World!" catchphrase in after the 1987 Super Bowl. And according to SB Nation, he was paid a lot of money to do so. How much? A hefty $75,000, which, when adjusted for inflation, is about $170,000. To see how your hometown team fans rank, check out This State Has the Most Hated Sports Fans in America.
The Lombardi Trophy is made by Tiffany & Co.
Tiffany & Co. has been producing the 22-inch, 7-pound Vince Lombardi Super Bowl Trophy since the first Super Bowl in 1967. According to Tiffany's website, it was designed by the company's former vice president Oscar Riedener, who sketched the design on a napkin during a meeting with then-NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle.
Super Bowl performers are not paid.
Given how much money the Super Bowl brings in, one would imagine that the event's halftime performers get paid a hefty fee to strut their stuff on game day. That is far from the case, though. In fact, according to The New York Times, the NFL pays no appearance fee at all. The only thing the organization pays for is "all of the expenses for the band and its often ample entourage of … stagehands, family, and friends." For more on this year's halftime performer, This May Be Why The Weeknd Was Shut Out of the 2021 Grammy Race.
You could attend Super Bowl I for $12.
Nowadays, Super Bowl tickets go for thousands of dollars. During the very first Super Bowl in 1967, though, prices were not nearly as outrageous. According to Bleacher Report, the average cost of a Super Bowl I ticket was $12—and it didn't even sell out!
Super Bowl winners started visiting the White House in 1980.
In 1980, the Pittsburgh Steelers were the first Super Bowl winners to be honored with a visit to the White House, according to The Washington Post. Following their win, the team met with President Jimmy Carter, who waved a Terrible Towel during the victor ceremony.
There's never been a year without a Super Bowl.
It's pretty amazing that Super Bowl LV is going ahead after a full year of a global pandemic, but it just goes to show how much of an institution the big game is. Since the first one in 1967, not a year has gone by where there hasn't been a Super Bowl.
People bet a record $158 million on the Super Bowl in Vegas in 2018.
Gamblers love to bet on the Super Bowl. And in 2018, the Nevada Gaming Control Board saw their most profitable Super Bowl season ever. According to the organization, more than $158 million was wagered on the battle between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots—though when the Eagles shocked everyone by upsetting the Patriots 41-33, the number of winning wagers was less than 1 percent.
Only one Super Bowl MVP has ever been chosen from the losing team.
It makes sense that the player named MVP of the Super Bowl each year would be chosen from the winning team. And for the most part, that's the case. There was one instance, however, in which the honor was actually given to a player on the team that lost the big game.
When Cowboys linebacker Chuck Howley was named MVP, it was after his team lost in Super Bowl V to the Baltimore Colts. With this honor, Howley also became the first MVP who played a position other than quarterback.
The Steelers and the Patriots are tied for the most wins in Super Bowl history.
Up until 2019, the Pittsburgh Steelers alone held the record for the most Super Bowl wins with six total. When the New England Patriots beat the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII, though, they joined the Steelers in a tie for most wins. The Patriots also hold the record of most Super Bowl losses with fellow five-time losers the Denver Broncos.
Twelve teams have never won a Super Bowl.
As of the 2019 season, there are 12 teams that have never won a Super Bowl: the Cincinnati Bengals, the Buffalo Bills, the Cleveland Browns, the Arizona Cardinals, the Los Angeles Chargers, the Atlanta Falcons, the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Detroit Lions, the Carolina Panthers, the Houston Texans, the Tennessee Titans, and the Minnesota Vikings.
Tom Brady is the most successful quarterback in Super Bowl history.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is the only player in NFL history to win four Super Bowl MVP awards. He also has six Super Bowl rings, holds the record for being the oldest quarterback to ever win a Super Bowl, and has started in the Super Bowl nine times—more than any other NFL player. There's a reason why they call him the GOAT—the greatest of all time.
Super Bowl XXIX is the highest scoring game in Super Bowl history.
When the Eagles beat the Patriots in Super Bowl LII, the final score was 41–33 with a combined 74 points, just one shy of the record set in January 1995 when the 49ers and their star cornerback Deion Sanders beat the Chargers 49-26 for a total score of 75 points in Super Bowl XXIX.
Super Bowl ad spots cost over $5 million.
Super Bowl Sunday is famous for the commercials that run during game breaks. For some people, they are a bigger draw than the game itself. And as such, it's no surprise that air time can can be more than a little pricey. According to Newsweek, CBS started the bidding for 30-second commercials at $5.6 million for this Sunday's game.
Super Bowl LI was the first to ever go into overtime.
In 2017, the New England Patriots overcame a 25-point deficit to bring Super Bowl LI into the first-ever overtime in Super Bowl history. Tom Brady and his team ultimately scored another six points in overtime, winning the game and bringing the final score to 34–28.
No sitting president has ever attended the Super Bowl.
President Barack Obama preferred to watch the Super Bowl at the White House. President Donald Trump preferred to watch the game at one of his many golf courses across the country. For some reason, presidents would rather take in the annual sports spectacle anywhere but the roaring stadium it's played in—and to date, not a single sitting president has actually attended the big game.
But a few vice presidents have!
Though no sitting president has ever gone to a Super Bowl game, a few veeps have taken in the game live over the years. According to CBS News, these vice presidents are Al Gore, George H.W. Bush, Spiro Agnew, and, most recently, Mike Pence.
Seven teams have won back-to-back Super Bowls.
According to Sports Illustrated, seven franchises have won back-to-back Super Bowl championships: the Patriots (Super Bowls XXXVIII and XXXIX), the Packers (Super Bowls I and II), the Dolphins (Super Bowls VII and VIII), the Steelers (Super Bowls IX and X and Super Bowls XIII and XIV), the 49ers (Super Bowls XXIII and XXIV), the Cowboys (Super Bowls XXVII and XXVIII), and the Broncos (Super Bowls XXXII and XXXIII).
The "Super Bowl Shuffle" was nominated for a Grammy.
Even people who aren't sports fans know about the "Super Bowl Shuffle." It was the soundtrack of the '85 Chicago Bears, a team considered to be one of the greatest the game has ever seen. The Bears made it to Super Bowl XX, and the song went on to be nominated for a Grammy for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. They won the game, but lost the Grammy to Prince, which seems like the right result on all accounts.
Joe Montana won every single Super Bowl he ever appeared in.
That was Super Bowls XVI, XIX, XXIII, and XXIV, for those keeping track at home. What's more, he didn't throw a single interception in any of them!
Miami Dolphins coach Don Shula was robbed when being carried off the field after winning the Super Bowl.
Following the Miami Dolphins's "perfect" 1972 season and Super Bowl win, coach Don Shula was carried off the field in celebration. And, as Shula told the Los Angeles Times, he managed to get robbed in the process.
"You know, I never said anything to anybody, but when I was being lifted out, somebody stole my watch," he recalled. "I could feel somebody grabbed my hand, and I wasn't sure why they were trying to grab my hand. When I got back to the locker room, I realized my watch was gone. Somebody ripped it off!" What a way to celebrate a Super Bowl win.
During Super Bowl XLVII, the head coaches were brothers.
In 2013, Super Bowl XLVII was all about the Harbaugh family. That's because the two teams that played in the big game that year—the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers—were coached by brothers John and Jim Harbaugh, respectively. Thanks to the family face-off, the game was nicknamed "The Harbaugh Bowl" and "The Harbowl."
Super Bowl I was the only one to ever air on two networks simultaneously.
Since the game brings in more viewers than virtually any other program, airing the Super Bowl is a privilege that networks fight over. And only once in the history did the game air simultaneously on two rival channels. According to a press release from the NFL, this happened during Super Bowl I, since CBS held the rights to broadcast NFL games and NBC held the rights to broadcast American Football League, or AFL, games. The NFL and AFL merged in June 1966 to become the NFL.
Bill Belichick holds the record for most Super Bowl appearances.
The person who holds the record for the most Super Bowl appearances is… a coach. Tom Brady may have appeared in nine Super Bowls, but Patriots coach Bill Belichick has appeared in 11 as either an assistant or head coach. As of the 2018-2019 season, Belichick had appeared in 21.2% of all Super Bowls, according to 247Sports.
In 2020, Patrick Mahomes beat out Tom Brady to become the top seller of NFL merchandise.
The 2019 season closed out in a manner unfamiliar to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. After a shocking 24-27 loss to the 4-11 Miami Dolphins in week 17, the AFC East team came up short in its wild-card game against the Tennessee Titans. With the Patriots' season over, Brady took a hit in the brand department, as well. On Jan. 21, 2020, ahead of his appearance in Super Bowl LIV, Bloomberg reported that Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes had surpassed Brady to become the top seller of NFL merchandise.