It’s time for the biggest game of the year! Roll out your best recipes that look like miniature footballs, throw your game day gear on, and get ready to finally enjoy the commercials because Super Bowl 50 is here!
You may have noticed that in every NFL game this season, the 50-yard line number has been painted gold, instead of white. That’s because this is a milestone year for the NFL as they celebrate and honor 50 years of the Super Bowl.
To give you some background, the Super Bowl began when the American Football League (AFL) and the National Football League (NFL) went head to head.
The AFL was formed in 1960 and became a huge rival to the NFL, their players, and their fans. As the AFL continued to gain popularity and become a serious competitor with the NFL, discussion began on merging the two leagues into one.
The discourse continued and eventually culminated in June of 1966 as the two leagues agreed they would merge and be called the National Football League. They would then be divided into two conferences, the American Football Conference (AFC) and the National Football Conference (NFC).
Although plans to merge were set, the leagues maintained their own regular season schedules until 1969, playing against each other only during the preseason games and the championship game, which pitted the top team from the AFL against the top team from the NFL. In 1967, the first championship game, now called the Super Bowl, was played between the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs.
During meetings with the league owners throughout the merger process, Lamar Hunt, owner of the AFL’s Kansas City Chiefs, jokingly referred to the game as the “Super Bowl.”
He first thought of the name because his children were playing with a very popular toy at the time, the high-bouncing Super Ball. Knowing that college championship games were commonly referred to as bowl games, Mr. Hunt coined the phrase, Super Bowl—the bowl game of all bowl games.
Hunt was later quoted as saying, “Nobody ever said let’s make that the name of the game. Far from it, we all agreed it was far too corny to be the name of the new title game” (source).
Well not only did the name stick, but the game has gone on to become one of the world’s biggest events. The Super Bowl is now broadcast in more than 30 languages, in over 200 countries, and more than 110 million people annually tune in. Not only is the game a marquee event, but so are the commercials. Some analysts are projecting that the average cost for a 30-second commercial spot in Super Bowl 50 will be nearly $5 million.
2016 Super Bowl
This year, it’s the NFC’s #1 seeded Carolina Panthers against the AFC’s #1 seeded Denver Broncos competing in Super Bowl 50!
Who: Denver Broncos vs. the Carolina Panthers
When: Sunday, February 7th at 6:30PM ET
Where: Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California
Halftime Performance: Coldplay, Bruno Mars, and Beyoncé
More Info: CBSSports.com
10 Fun Facts
Here are some nuggets that you can drop on your friends at this year’s party to impress them all.
1) This will be the first Super Bowl matchup between two quarterbacks who were drafted number one overall.
2) This will be Denver QB Peyton Manning’s fourth Super Bowl appearance, which is tied for third-most all-time among quarterbacks.
3) Manning is the first quarterback in NFL history to take multiple teams to multiple Super Bowls.
4) Panthers QB Cam Newton will be the fourth quarterback to win the Heisman, be drafted number one overall, and compete in a Super Bowl.
5) Newton was nine years old when Peyton Manning made his NFL debut.
6) Speaking of age, Manning is 39-years-old and will be the oldest quarterback to ever start a Super Bowl.
7) The age difference between Manning and Newton is the largest between starting quarterbacks in Super Bowl history.
8) Panthers head coach Ron Rivera joins Tom Flores as the only head coaches of Hispanic descent to reach the Super Bowl (source).
9) Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak is the first man in NFL history to appear in a Super Bowl for the same team as a player and a coach.
10) Norma Hunt, the widow of Lamar Hunt, has attended every single Super Bowl game and is believed to be the only woman who has been to every single Super Bowl over the last 49 years. Obviously, she plans to keep her streak alive and will be attending Super Bowl 50!