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The Super Bowl is the championship game of the National Football League, the premier association of professional American football. In most years, the Super Bowl is the most-watched American television broadcast. Many popular singers and musicians have performed during the event’s pre-game and halftime ceremonies. The day on which the Super Bowl is played is now considered to be a de facto American national holiday, called Super Bowl Sunday. Super Bowl Sunday is the second-largest U.S. food consumption day, after Thanksgiving Day.

Exclusive television broadcast rights for the Super Bowl rotate each year among the major American television networks. Because of its high viewership, commercial airtime for the Super Bowl broadcast is the most expensive of the year. Due to the high cost of investing in advertising on the Super Bowl, companies regularly develop their most expensive (and ostensibly, best) advertisements for this broadcast. As a result, watching and discussing the broadcast’s commercials has become a significant aspect of the event as well.

The Super Bowl was first played on January 15, 1967, as part of a merger agreement between the NFL and a rival league, the American Football League (AFL). It was agreed that the two leagues’ champion teams would play in an AFL–NFL World Championship Game, until the merger was consummated. After the merger of the two leagues in the 1970s, each league became a "conference", and the game was played between conference champions. Lamar Hunt, former owner of the Kansas City Chiefs and founding member of the American Football League, coined the name Super Bowl after watching his children playing with a Super Ball. The Super Bowl uses Roman numerals to identify each game, rather than the year in which it is held. Super Bowl I was played in 1967 to determine the championship of the regular season played in 1966, and Super Bowl XLIV will be played in 2010 to determine the champion of the 2009 regular season.

The Dallas Cowboys have appeared in the greatest number of Super Bowls (8). With six victories, the Pittsburgh Steelers teams have won more Super Bowls than any other franchise; seventeen of the NFL's 32 teams have won at least one Super Bowl. Only five active NFL franchises have not appeared in the Super Bowl. They are the Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, New Orleans Saints, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Houston Texans. The Browns and Lions won NFL championships in the pre-Super Bowl era; the Saints, Jaguars, and Texans have all joined the league after the kickoff of the Super Bowl era.


The Super Bowl was created as part of the merger agreement between the National Football League (NFL) and its competitive rival, the American Football League (AFL). After its inception in 1920, the NFL fended off several rival leagues before the AFL began play in 1960. The intense competitive war for players and fans led to serious merger talks between the two leagues in 1966, culminating in a merger agreement announcement on June 8, 1966.One of the conditions of the AFL–NFL merger was that the winners of each league's championship game would meet in a contest to determine the "world champion of football". According to NFL Films President Steve Sabol, then NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle wanted to call the game "The Big One". During the discussions to iron out the details, AFC founder and Kansas City Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt had jokingly referred to the proposed inter league championship as the "Super Bowl". Hunt thought of the name after seeing his children playing with a toy called a Super Ball; the small, round ball is now on display at the Pro Football Hall of Famemarker in Canton, Ohiomarker. The name was consistent with postseason college football games which had long been known as "bowl games." Hunt only meant his suggested name to be a stopgap until a better one could be found. Nevertheless, the name "Super Bowl" became permanent.

After the NFL's Green Bay Packers convincingly won the first two Super Bowls, some team owners feared for the future of the merger. At the time, many doubted the competitiveness of AFL teams compared with NFL counterparts. That perception all changed with the AFL's New York Jets' defeat of the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III in Miamimarker. One year later, the AFL's Kansas City Chiefs defeated the NFL's Minnesota Vikings 23-7 and won Super Bowl IV in New Orleansmarker, the last World Championship game played between the champions of the two leagues, as the league merger finally took place later that year.

The game is played annually on a Sunday as the final game of the NFL Playoffs. Originally the game took place in early to mid-January following a 14-game regular season and playoffs. Over the years the date of the Super Bowl has progressed from the second Sunday in January, to the third, then the fourth Sunday in January; the game is now played on the first Sunday in February, given the current 17-week (16 games and one bye week) regular season and three rounds of playoffs. This progression of the date of the Super Bowl has been caused by the following: the expansion of the NFL regular season in 1978 from 14 games to 16, the expansion of the pre-Super Bowl playoffs from two rounds to three (also in 1978), the addition of the regular season bye-week in the 1990s, and the decision prior to the 2003 season to start the regular season the week after Labor Day, moving the start of the season to a week later than it had been (in 1997, for example, the regular season started on Sunday, August 31). Former NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle is often considered the mastermind of both the merger and the Super Bowl. His leadership guided the two competitors into the merger agreement and cemented the preeminence of the Super Bowl.

The winning team receives the Vince Lombardi Trophy, named for the coach of the Green Bay Packers, who won the first two Super Bowl games and 3 of the 5 preceding NFL championships (1961, 1962, 1965). Following his death in September 1970, the trophy was named the Vince Lombardi Trophy, and was first awarded as such to the Baltimore Colts at Super Bowl V in Miami. Super Bowl III was the first to be numbered. Super Bowls I and II were not known as such until the game's third year and were named "The AFL-NFL World Championship Game" when they were played.

Game history

1966–1967: Packers' early success

The Green Bay Packers won the first two Super Bowls, defeating the Kansas City Chiefs and the Oakland Raiders. The Packers were led by quarterback Bart Starr, who was named MVP for both games. These two championships, along with the Packers' NFL championships in , , and have led many people to consider the Packers to be the "Team of the 60s." Green Bay, Wisconsinmarker is often referred to as "Title Town" by its own residents due to the five championships the Packers won in the 1960s and its twelve championships since the team began playing in 1919, the most of any NFL franchise.

1968–1980 AFL/AFC dominance

In Super Bowl III, behind the guarantee of Joe Namath, the New York Jets defeated the 18-point favorite Baltimore Colts 16–7. The win helped solidify the AFL as a legitimate contender with the NFL. And as it turned out, the 1970s were dominated by the AFC (although the Steelers and Colts, who won five Super Bowls in the decade as AFC franchises, were originally in the NFL). Only one NFC franchise won a Super Bowl during the decade: the Dallas Cowboys. Dallas appeared in five Super Bowls and won Super Bowls VI and XII.


During the 1970s, a majority of the Super Bowls were won by just two teams, the Miami Dolphins and the Pittsburgh Steelers, winning a combined six championships in the decade. Miami won Super Bowls VII and VIII. The first of these Super Bowl wins capped the only undefeated and untied season in the history of the NFL.

The Steelers Dynasty

Pittsburgh won four Super Bowls between 1974 and 1980 (IX, X, XIII, and XIV) behind the coaching of Chuck Noll and play of Terry Bradshaw, Lynn Swann, and Franco Harris—each receiving at least one MVP award—and their "Steel Curtain" defense led by "Mean" Joe Greene. The Steelers were the first team to win four Super Bowls.

1981-1996: The NFC's winning streak

NFC teams won fifteen of sixteen Super Bowls in this stretch, including thirteen in a row from 1984 to 1996.

The 49ers dynasty lead the NFC domination of the 1980s

The most successful franchise of the 1980s was the San Francisco 49ers, who won four Super Bowls in the decade (XVI, XIX, XXIII, and XXIV). They were known for using Bill Walsh's west coast offense. The 1980s also included the 1985 Chicago Bears who finished the season with an 18–1 record (a feat accomplished the prior year by the 49ers), and two championships for the Washington Redskins. The Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders were the only AFC franchise to win a Super Bowl in the 1980s, winning Super Bowls XV and XVIII. The remaining Super Bowl from the decade was won by the New York Giants following the 1986 season.

The Cowboys dominate the early 1990s

The Dallas Cowboys became the dominant team in the NFL in the early 1990s. After championships by division rivals New York and Washington to start the decade, the Cowboys won three of the next four Super Bowls. With Super Bowl XXIX, the 49ers became the first team to win five Super Bowls. The Cowboys also won their fifth title ( Super Bowl XXX ) in the decade and appeared in four NFC championship games as well, winning with both a balanced offense and dominant defense. The 49ers and the Cowboys faced each other in three consecutive NFC championships. As both teams began to lose their dominance late into the decade, another NFC powerhouse, the Green Bay Packers, led by three time MVP quarterback Brett Favre, emerged, winning Super Bowl XXXI following the 1996 season, appearing in three NFC championship games in the decade, losing to the Cowboys in 1995, defeating the Panthers in 1996, and defeating the 49ers in 1997.

The early 1990s also featured the Buffalo Bills, who became the only team to date to appear in four consecutive Super Bowls. However, they lost all of them.

1997–Present: The AFC Rises Again

In Super Bowl XXXII, quarterback John Elway led the Denver Broncos to an upset victory over the defending champion Packers, snapping the NFC's 13-game winning streak, and beginning a streak in which the AFC would win nine of the next twelve Super Bowls. The Broncos would go on to win Super Bowl XXXIII the next year, over the Atlanta Falcons, in Elway's final game before retiring. After an NFC win by the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXIV, the AFC continued its winning ways, with wins by the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots.

The Patriots dominate the early 2000s

The Patriots became the dominant team through the early 2000s, winning the championship in three of the first five years of the decade. In Super Bowl XXXVI Super Bowl MVP quarterback Tom Brady led his team to a 20-17 upset victory over the Rams. The Patriots also went on to win Super Bowls XXXVIII and XXXIX, though they lost Super Bowl XLII to the New York Giants in 2008. (Had they won they would have been the first team to finish a season 19-0)

Beside the Patriots' championships, other AFC Super Bowl wins were logged by Indianapolis in Super Bowl XLI, and Pittsburgh, who won Super Bowls XL and XLIII. With this most recent championship, the Steelers became the only team with six Super Bowl victories.


The Super Bowl has been designated a National Special Security Event by the United Statesmarker Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Securitymarker every year since Super Bowl XXXVI, which was the first Bowl played following the September 11 attacks. That means that the stadium and surrounding area face increased security measures, especially on game day. Among other things, this means that the once-ubiquitous blimps (according to NFL Films' Steven Sabol, Super Bowl XIX had four of them) have been grounded.

Television coverage and ratings

For many years, the Super Bowl has had a very large television audience in the U.S., and it is often the most watched television program of the year. The game tends to have high Nielsen television ratings which usually come in around a 40 rating and 60 share (i.e., on average, 40 percent of all U.S. households, and 60 percent of all homes tuned into television during the game). This means that on average, 80 to 90 million Americansmarker are tuned into the Super Bowl at any given moment. It is also estimated that 130-140 million tune into some part of the game.

A frequently-misquoted figure from NFL press releases has led to the common perception that the Super Bowl has an annual global audience of around one billion people. In fact, the NFL states one billion as the game's potential worldwide audience – i.e. the number of people able to watch the game. Independent studies suggest that the average global viewership is just over 100 million, the vast majority of whom are U.S. viewers.

The highest-rated game according to Nielsen was Super Bowl XVI in 1982, which was watched in 49.1 percent of households (73 share) or 40,020,000 households at the time. Ratings for that game, a San Francisco victory over Cincinnati, may have been boosted by a large blizzard that affected much of the northeastern United States on game day, keeping even more people than usual at home in front of the TV. Super Bowl XVI still ranks #4 on Nielsen's list of top-rated programs of all time, and 3 other Super Bowls (XII, XVII, and XX) made the top 10. Super Bowl XLIII in 2009 holds the record for total U.S. viewership, attracting an average audience of 98.7 million and ranking second only to the final episode of M*A*S*H in 1983. Although the proliferation of cable and satellite television has undercut broadcast ratings somewhat in recent years, the game is still sufficiently popular that a number of networks actually schedule original programming during the game, such as independently produced halftime entertainment, simply to take advantage of a large audience already in front of the television. Other networks air reruns or syndicated programming to avoid wasting a potentially highly rated new episode.

Following Apple Computermarker's 1984 commercial introducing the Macintosh computer, directed by Ridley Scott, the broadcast of the Super Bowl became the premier showcase for high concept or simply extravagantly expensive commercials. Famous commercial campaigns include the Budweiser "Bud Bowl" campaign, and the 1999 and 2000 dot-com ads. Prices have increased each year, with advertisers paying as much as $3 million for a 30-second spot during Super Bowl XLIII in 2009. A segment of the audience tunes in to the Super Bowl solely to watch the creative commercials .

Super Bowl on TV

Network Number broadcast Years broadcast Future scheduled telecasts
ABC 7 1985, 1988, 1991, 1995, 2000, 2003, 2006
CBS 16 1967, 1968, 1970, 1972, 1974, 1976, 1978, 1980, 1982, 1984, 1987, 1990, 1992, 2001, 2004, 2007 2010
FOX 5 1997, 1999, 2002, 2005, 2008 2011
NBC 16 1967, 1969, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1979, 1981, 1983, 1986, 1989, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2009 2012

The first Super Bowl was simultaneously broadcast by CBS and NBC, with each network using the same video feed but providing its own commentary teams for the audio portion. Super Bowls I–VI were blacked out in the television markets of the host cities, due to league restrictions then in place.

Lead-out programming

The network that airs the Super Bowl typically takes advantage of the large audience to air an episode of a hit series or to premiere the pilot of a promising new series in the lead-out slot, immediately following the Super Bowl and the post-game coverage. [4688]


See also List of Super Bowl halftime shows

Early Super Bowls featured a halftime show consisting of marching bands from local colleges or high schools. But as the popularity of the game increased, so did the potential of exposure. This has led to the trend of popular singers and musicians performing during its pre-game ceremonies, the halftime show, or even just singing the national anthem of the United States, "The Star-Spangled Banner". Unlike regular season or playoff games, thirty minutes are allocated for the Super Bowl halftime. One especially memorable performance came in 2002, when U2 performed. During their second song, "Where the Streets Have No Name" the band played under a large projection screen which scrolled through names of the victims of the September 11 attacks.

The halftime show of Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004 generated controversy, when Justin Timberlake removed a piece of Janet Jackson's top, exposing her right breast with a star-shaped ring around the nipple. Timberlake and Jackson have maintained that the incident was accidental, calling it a "wardrobe malfunction." The game was airing live on CBS, and MTV (at the time, a corporate sister company of CBS within Viacom) produced the halftime show. Immediately after that moment, the director cut to a very wide-angle shot and cut to a commercial break. However, video captures of the moment in detail circulated quickly on the Internet. The NFL, embarrassed by the incident, permanently banned MTV from doing another halftime show in any capacity. This also led to the FCC tightening controls on indecency and fining CBS and CBS-owned stations a total of US $550,000 for the incident. The fine was later reversed in July, 2008.

Except for Super Bowl XXXIX, the famous "I'm Going to Disney World/Disneyland" advertising campaign took place at every Super Bowl since Super Bowl XXI, when quarterback Phil Simms from the New York Giants became the first player to say the now-famous tagline. Typically, Disney ran the ad several times during the game showing several players from both teams practicing the catch-phrase.


Twenty-five out of forty-two Super Bowls have been played in one of three locations: New Orleans, Louisianamarker (nine times), the Greater Miamimarker area (nine times), and the Greater Los Angeles area (seven times). These three "big" hosts are then followed by Tampa, Floridamarker and San Diego, Californiamarker: San Diego has hosted three games, and Tampa has hosted four.

Current NFL policy is to hold Super Bowls only in cities which have an NFL franchise. The last time the Los Angeles area hosted the game was Super Bowl XXVII in 1993. The league's two teams vacated the city in 1995: the Raiders moved back to Oakland, Californiamarker, and the Rams moved to St. Louis, Missourimarker.

In the San Diego Super Bowl football games, the AFC teams were from the AFC West Division (Denver twice, Oakland 2003).

In the Northern venue stadia, the teams wearing their white jerseys won the Super Bowl Football game (San Francisco 1982, Washington 1992, Pittsburgh 2006).

The Dallas Cowboys lost all three of their Super Bowl football games in the Miami Orange Bowl (Baltimore 1971, Pittsburgh 1976 and 1979). These losses are the franchise's only Super Bowl football game defeats. Oddly, each of these games was decided on the last play of the game.

The Colts franchise have played all their Super Bowl Football games in South Florida.

No team has played the Super Bowl in their home stadium. The closest have been the San Francisco 49ers who played Super Bowl XIX in Stanford Stadiummarker rather than Candlestick Parkmarker, and the Los Angeles Rams who played Super Bowl XIV in the Rose Bowlmarker rather than the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseummarker. The only other Super Bowl venue which wasn't the home stadium to an NFL team at the time was Rice Stadiummarker in Houston, Texasmarker and the Rose Bowl: the Houston Oilers had played there previously, but had moved to the Astrodomemarker several years prior to Super Bowl VIII. The Orange Bowl was the only AFL stadium to host a Super Bowl, II and III. It is also the only stadium to host consecutive Super Bowls. Tulane Stadiummarker was the first of three Super Bowl venues to have been demolished: it was torn down in 1979. The others are Tampa Stadiummarker (demolished in 1999) and the Miami Orange Bowlmarker (demolished 2008).

Only three Super Bowls have been played in northern cities; two in the Detroitmarker area (Super Bowl XVI at Pontiac Silverdomemarker in Pontiacmarker, and Super Bowl XL at Ford Fieldmarker in Detroit), and one in Minneapolismarker (Super Bowl XXVI). However, all three were played inside domed stadiums. There has never been a Super Bowl scheduled to be played outside in cold temperatures. The northernmost Super Bowl ever played outdoors was Super Bowl XIX, hosted by Stanford Stadiummarker in the San Francisco Bay Areamarker.

Super Bowl XLVI will also be played in a northern city, Indianapolis, Indianamarker. The new Lucas Oil Stadiummarker has a retractable roof, which presumably will not be retracted when the game is played in February 2012.

On March 5, 2006, Arrowhead Stadiummarker in Kansas City, Missourimarker, a "cold weather" city, was awarded the rights to host Super Bowl XLIX in 2015. However, the game was contingent on the successful passage of two sales taxes in Jackson County, Missourimarker on April 4, 2006. The first tax would have funded improvements to Arrowhead, home of the Chiefs and neighboring Kauffman Stadiummarker, home of the Kansas City Royals Major League Baseball team. The second tax would have allowed the construction of a "rolling roof" between the two stadiums. However, the second tax failed to pass. With increased opposition by local business leaders and politicians, Kansas City eventually withdrew its request to host the game by May 25, 2006. Before that, Super Bowl XLIV, scheduled for January 2010, was withdrawn from New York City's proposed West Side Stadiummarker, also to have been a retractable roof facility, because the city, statemarker, and proposed tenants New York Jets could not agree on funding. The game was then awarded to LandShark Stadiummarker in Miami Gardens, Floridamarker.

Selection process

The location of the Super Bowl is chosen by the NFL well in advance, usually three to five years before the game. Cities place bids to host a Super Bowl. Candidate cities are evaluated in terms of stadium renovation and ability to host a Super Bowl. Then the NFL owners meet to make a selection on the site. The sites for the next four Super Bowls have been determined, up to Super Bowl XLVII in 2013. On October 16, 2007, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell suggested that a Super Bowl might be played in London, probably at Wembley Stadiummarker. The game has never been played in a region which lacks an NFL franchise. (Seven Super Bowls have been played in Los Angeles, but none since the Los Angeles Raiders and Los Angeles Rams both relocated elsewhere in 1995.)

Home team designation

The designated "home team" alternates between the NFC team in odd-numbered games (the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII in February 2009), and the AFC team in even-numbered games (the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII in February 2008). This alternation was initiated with the first Super Bowl, when the Green Bay Packers of the NFL were the designated home team.

Since Super Bowl XIII in January 1979, the home team is given the choice of jerseys, colored or white. Formerly, the designated home team was specified to wear their colored jerseys; this resulted in Dallas donning their less familiar dark blue jerseys for Super Bowl V.

While most of the home teams in the Super Bowl have chosen to wear their colored jerseys, there have been four exceptions; the Cowboys twice (XIII & XXVII), the Washington Redskins (XVII), and the Pittsburgh Steelers (XL). The Cowboys (since ) and Redskins (since the arrival of coach Joe Gibbs in ) have traditionally worn white jerseys at home. Meanwhile, the Steelers, who have always worn their black jerseys at home since the AFL-NFL merger in , opted for the white jerseys after winning three consecutive playoff games on the road, wearing white. The Steelers' decision was compared with the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX. The Patriots had worn white jerseys at home during the season, but after winning road playoff games against the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins wearing red jerseys, New England opted to wear red for the Super Bowl as the designated home team. Strangely, the Dallas Cowboys (Super Bowl V) and the Washington Redskins (Super Bowl VII) have lost their Super Bowl Football games in which they wore their colored jerseys, although the Redskins wore their burgundy jerseys at home throughout the 1972 season leading up to Super Bowl VII.

Stadiums to host the Super Bowl

Name Location # hosted Years hosted
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseummarker Los Angeles, Californiamarker 2 1967, 1973
Miami Orange Bowlmarker Miami, Floridamarker 5 1968, 1969, 1971, 1976, 1979
Tulane Stadiummarker New Orleans, Louisianamarker 3 1970, 1972, 1975
Rice Stadiummarker Houston, Texasmarker 1 1974
Rose Bowlmarker Pasadena, Californiamarker 5 1977, 1980, 1983, 1987, 1993
Louisiana Superdomemarker New Orleans, Louisianamarker 7 1978, 1981, 1986, 1990, 1997, 2002, 2013
Pontiac Silverdomemarker Pontiac, Michiganmarker 1 1982
Tampa Stadiummarker Tampa, Floridamarker 2 1984, 1991
Jack Murphy/Qualcomm Stadiummarker San Diego, Californiamarker 3 1988, 1998, 2003
Joe Robbie/Pro Player/Dolphin/Landshark Stadiummarker Miami Gardens, Floridamarker 5 1989, 1995, 1999, 2007, 2010
Hubert H.marker Humphrey Metrodomemarker Minneapolis, Minnesotamarker 1 1992
Georgia Domemarker Atlanta, Georgiamarker 2 1994, 2000
Sun Devil Stadiummarker Tempe, Arizonamarker 1 1996
Raymond James Stadiummarker Tampa, Floridamarker 2 2001, 2009
Reliant Stadiummarker Houston, Texasmarker 1 2004
ALLTEL/Jacksonville Municipal Stadiummarker Jacksonville, Floridamarker 1 2005
Ford Fieldmarker Detroit, Michiganmarker 1 2006
University of Phoenix Stadiummarker Glendale, Arizonamarker 1 2008
Stanford Stadiummarker Palo Alto, Californiamarker 1 1985
Cowboys Stadiummarker Arlington, Texasmarker 1 2011
Lucas Oil Stadiummarker Indianapolis, Indianamarker 1 2012
italics indicate a now-demolished stadium

Future Super Bowl host stadiums

The city of New Orleansmarker submitted a bid to host Super Bowl XLVII in 2013 at the Louisiana Superdomemarker. and was selected by NFL owners on May 19, 2009. It will be the first Super Bowl hosted in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina damaged the stadium.

Tampa Bay and Miami are in the running to host Super Bowl XLVIII in 2014.

The game has never been played in a region which lacks an NFL franchise, though cities without NFL teams are not categorically ineligible to host the event.

Londonmarker, Englandmarker has occasionally been mentioned as a host city for a Super Bowl in the near future, perhaps as early as 2014. The most likely venue would be Wembley Stadiummarker, which has hosted several NFL games in the past. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has openly discussed the possibility a few times.

Even though the Los Angelesmarker area currently lacks a NFL franchise, the league is considering holding Super Bowl L there, to mark the fiftieth anniversary of Super Bowl I at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseummarker . If Los Angeles were to host the game, it could be held at the Coliseum, the Rose Bowlmarker, or a new stadium such as the proposed Los Angeles Stadiummarker in the City of Industrymarker. The NFL has not had an NFL franchise in the city since the 1995 NFL season and has not played a Super Bowl in the city since 1993.

Cities/Regions to host Super Bowl

Name # hosted Years hosted
Miamimarker Areamarker 9 1968, 1969, 1971, 1976, 1979, 1989, 1995, 1999, 2007
New Orleansmarker 9 1970, 1972, 1975, 1978, 1981, 1986, 1990, 1997, 2002
Greater Los Angeles Area 7 1967, 1973, 1977, 1980, 1983, 1987, 1993
Tampamarker 4 1984, 1991, 2001, 2009
San Diegomarker 3 1988, 1998, 2003
Houstonmarker 2 1974, 2004
Detroitmarker Area 2 1982, 2006
Atlantamarker 2 1994, 2000
Phoenixmarker area 2 1996, 2008
Minneapolismarker 1 1992
Jacksonvillemarker 1 2005
San Francisco Bay Areamarker 1 1985
Future Super Bowl host cities/regions

2010 - Miamimarker (10)

2011 - Arlingtonmarker (Dallas-Ft.Worth Metro) (1)

2012 - Indianapolismarker (1)

2013 - New Orleansmarker (10)

NFL trademark issues

The NFL is vigilant on stopping what it says is unauthorized commercial use of its trademarked terms "NFL," "Super Bowl," or "Super Sunday"; as a result, many events and promotions tied to the game but not sanctioned by the NFL are forced to refer to it with colloquialisms such as "The Big Game," or other generic descriptions.

The NFL claims that the use of the phrase "Super Bowl" implies an NFL affiliation, and on this basis the league asserts broad rights to restrict how the game may be shown publicly; for example, the league says Super Bowl showings are prohibited in churches or at other events that "promote a message"; and venues that do not regularly show sporting events cannot show the Super Bowl on any television screen larger than 55 inches. Some critics say the NFL is exaggerating its ownership rights by stating that "any use is prohibited", as this contradicts the broad doctrine of fair use in the United States.

In 2008, legislation was proposed by Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) "to provide an exemption from exclusive rights in copyright for certain nonprofit organizations to display live football games, and "for other purposes."

In 2006, the NFL made an attempt to trademark "The Big Game" as well. However, it withdrew the application in 2007 due to growing commercial opposition to the move, mostly from fans of both Stanford and Cal who compete in The Big Game which concludes their Pac-10 season.

Trends and statistics

The following trends have been noted regarding Super Bowl games.

Relationships between pre-game perceptions and winning
  • Teams with lower-numbered seeds are 14–12 (.538) and NFC teams have won 6 of 8 Super Bowls matching same-numbered seeds, which thus far have always been #1 vs. #1. Playoff seedings were first instituted in the 1975 season.
  • When the game matches two teams that played each other during the regular season, the regular season loser is 7–5 (.583), and 5–1 (.833) the last six times this has happened.

Relationships between leads and winning
  • Teams scoring first are 28–15 (.651); 14–7 (.667) with a touchdown, 13–8 (.619) with a field goal and 1–1 with a safety.
  • Teams scoring 32+ points are 18–0; 30+ points, 21–1 (.955); 20+ points, 38–11 (.776); under 20 points, 5–32 (.135); under 14 points, 0–17.
  • Teams leading after one quarter are 22–10 (.688). Eleven Super Bowls have been tied at the end of the first quarter.
  • Teams leading at halftime are 33–8 (.805). Two Super Bowls have been tied at halftime.
  • Teams leading after three quarters are 36–6 (.857). One Super Bowl has been tied at the end of the third quarter.
  • Teams shutout in the first half are 0–11; in the second half 1–7 (.125).
  • Teams gaining a double-digit lead (10 points or more) during the game are 38–1 (.974). Four Super Bowls haven't had such a point difference.

One-time wonders
  • One player has the distinction of playing on three straight Super Bowl winners. Ken Norton, Jr. played on the Dallas Cowboy teams that won Super Bowls XXVII and XXVIII, then moved to San Francisco for the 1994 season, playing on that team that won Super Bowl XXIX.
  • Another player has the distinction of playing on five straight Super Bowl losers. Gale Gilbert was on the Buffalo Bills teams that lost Super Bowls XXV through XXVIII, then went to the San Diego Chargers who lost Super Bowl XXIX.

  • There has never been a Super Bowl overtime, although three games have been tied in the final minute.
  • There has never been a Super Bowl shutout; every Super Bowl participant to date has scored at least 3 points.
  • No Super Bowl has ever been scoreless at halftime.
  • No coach has ever won a Super Bowl with two different clubs.
  • No starting quarterback has ever won Super Bowls on two different teams. (Twice starting QBs have have played on different teams but each has only won once.)

  • Touchdowns have been scored in every game to date.
  • Field goals have been converted in 41 of 43 Super Bowls to date.
  • Twenty-three Super Bowls have seen both teams hold the lead at least once.
  • Five coaches have taken two different clubs to the Super Bowl.
  • Peyton and Eli Manning became the first brother quarterbacks to lead their respective teams to Super Bowl victories, as well earning Super Bowl MVP.
  • The San Francisco 49ers, New York Jets, Baltimore Ravens and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the only undefeated Super Bowl teams.
For other Super Bowl facts and records, see List of Super Bowl records.

See also


Further reading

  • Chris Jones (February 2, 2005). "NFL tightens restrictions on Super Bowl advertisements". Las Vegas Review-Journal.
  • John Branch (February 4, 2006). "Build It and They Will Come". The New York Times.
  • Super Bowl play-by-plays from USA Today. Last accessed September 28, 2005.
  • All-Time Super Bowl Odds from The Sports Network. Last accessed October 16, 2005.
  • 100 Greatest Super Bowl Moments by Kevin Jackson, Jeff Merron, and David Schoenfield; Last accessed October 31, 2005.
  • Various Authors - "SI's 25 Lost Treasures" - Sports Illustrated, July 11, 2005 p. 114.
  • "The Super Bowl I-VII." Lost Treasures of NFL Films. ESPN2. January 26, 2001.
  • "MTV's Super Bowl Uncensored". MTV. January 27, 2001.
  • "Talk Shows." CBS: 50 Years from Television City. CBS. April 27, 2002.

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