Chick Lit – Super Bowl Style.

Illustration courtesy of Melissa Sims (Melrose Designs)

Ladies, I know you get excited about the Super Bowl… it’s a great excuse to throw a party, to make the piquant salsa your guy loves, or to wear that cute pink jersey from the team you know nothing about.  Or maybe you detest the Super Bowl.  But maybe it’s because you don’t know enough about the Big Game or what the play calls mean.  For those of you tomboy sports nuts, get ready.  I’m about to school your friends on some things you thought only YOU knew.

If you’re questioning why you’d want this frivolous, useless knowledge, know that Super Bowl XLIII (last years) holds the record for total US viewership attracting an audience of 98.7 million ranking second only to the final episode of MASH in 1983.  Odds are your boss watches the game, so do all your co-workers and probably even that guy you’ve been eying every Thursday at Pub Fiction (and the one you’ve been stalking on Facebook).  A girl with a little sports knowledge is sexy… or so I’ve been told a time or two.

The Super Bowl is played on the first Sunday in February (after a grueling 17-week season, which includes 16 games and a bye week, and three rounds of playoffs).  The 2010 Super Bowl will take place on February 7 at Dolphin Stadium in Miami, FL (home of the Miami Dolphins, for the past eight months the stadium was named Land Shark Stadium but sponsorship naming rights did not include the 2010 Super Bowl or Pro Bowl).  This is the 44th anniversary of the game and is technically known as Super Bowl XLIV.  This annual game is now considered to be a de factor American National Holiday fittingly referred to as Super Bowl Sunday.

The NFL consists of two leagues, the NFC (National Football Conference) and the AFC (American Football Conference) and the conference champs play in the Super Bowl.  The Super Bowl tradition came about in 1970 as consummation of the merger between the National Football League (NFL) and the American Football League (AFL).  The winning team receives the coveted Vince Lombardi trophy in memory of the legendary Green Bay Packers head coach after his sudden death from cancer.  The trophy commemorates his victories in the first two Super Bowls.

Super Bowl Sunday is the 2nd largest food consumption day in the U.S. (followed by Thanksgiving).  Listen up ladies; here are a few facts to make you sound a little more legit and knowledgeable on the big day. 

If you ever want to know which team is the home team and which team is visiting, look at the score strip (also known as the “Bug”).  The team names on the left are always the visitors and the team on the right is the home team so you’ll always know where the game is being played.  This can come in handy when attempting to apply your newfound knowledge saying things like, “I’m surprised it’s not snowing in Green Bay right now” or “There are a ton of Philadelphia fans at Cowboys Stadium, they must be hardcore fans.”  Since the host city for the Super Bowl is determined 3-5 years in advance, the only advantage in being the home team is the choice of jersey color.  During odd-numbered years, the NFC is denoted the home team and in even-numbered years the AFC is the home team.  (Typically the home teams wear white and the away teams where colored jerseys.)

Current NFL policy is to host the game only in cities, which have an NFL franchise.  Houston has hosted the Super Bowl twice; once in 1974 at Rice Stadium (Dolphins beat Vikings) and in 2004 at Reliant Stadium (Patriots beat Panthers).  Next year’s game will take place in Arlington, TX at the new Cowboys Stadium followed by Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN in 2012.

Exclusive television broadcast rights for the Super Bowl rotate each year among 3 of the 4 major American television networks: CBS, NBC and Fox.  This year’s game will be broadcast by CBS with The Who performing the ever-popular anticlimactic halftime show.

Never Have I Ever..

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 played on different teams but each has only won once.).

No Super Bowl host has played in Super Bowl.

The NFL takes their trademark and broadcasting rights to the umpteenth level.  The league says that Super Bowl showings are prohibited in churches or at any events that “promote a message”.  The league also prohibits venues that don’t regularly show sporting events to show the game on any T.V. screen larger than 55 inches.

Due to the high viewership (with an average of 80-90,000 viewers tuning in at any given moment), commercial airtime is the most expensive of the year.  Advertisers are paying as much as $3 million for a 30 second spot (not including production and such), knowing that a segment of the audience only tunes in to see the commercials.  Since the inception of TiVo, sources have reported that viewers were not skipping the commercials, but in fact pausing and rewinding the top creative ones.  Due to the weak economy, many have speculated this year’s advertising will pale in comparison to years past.   Many companies are nervous about the perception of spending such money on a commercial and the message it sends to consumers.  Industries that seem the most cognizant are automotive, financial services and healthcare.

If you plan on taking off work the Monday following the Super Bowl, you are not alone, nor are you fooling your boss.  The Monday after Super Bowl is rated the highest “sick” day in the U.S.

Trivia Time..

  1. Who was Brett Favre’s first career pass to?
  2. Which team has appeared in the Super Bowl the most?
  3. Which team has the most Super Bowl wins?
  4. What are the 5 active NFL franchises that have not appeared in a Super Bowl?
  5. Which player had the honor of playing on 5 straight Super Bowl losing teams?
  6. Which player has the most passing yards in the Super Bowl?
  7. Which team will likely win Super Bowl XLIV?

_______________________________________________________________

(Answers)

  1. Himself (deflected by a defender and back into his arms)
  2. Dallas Cowboys (8 appearances)
  3. Pittsburgh Steelers (6 wins)
  4. Browns, Lions, Saints, Jaguars and THE HOUSTON TEXANS
  5. Quarterback Gale Gilbert (lost XXV-XXVIII with the Bills and XXIX with the Chargers)
  6. St. Louis QB, Kurt Warner in 2000 (414 passing yards)
  7. Finally the Philadelphia Eagles! (I wrote this entire article and refrained from any bias, UNTIL NOW!)

Sources: Wikipedia, NFL.com, and Kellogg School of Business

This article was featured in the print edition of Barstool Magazine, January 2010.