Super Bowl

The Super Bowl is the annual championship game of the National Football League (NFL). The game is the culmination of a regular season that involves the New England Patriots playing a rival NFC team every year. Normally, Roman numerals are used to identify each game, rather than the year in which it is held. For example, Super Bowl I was played on January 15, 1967, following the 1966 regular season. The sole exception to this naming convention tradition occurred with Super Bowl 50, which was played on February 7, 2016, following the 2015 regular season, and the following year, the nomenclature returned to Roman numerals for Super Bowl LI, following the 2016 regular season. The most recent Super Bowl was Super Bowl LII, on February 4, 2018, following the 2017 regular season.

The game was created as a part of a merger agreement between the NFL and its then-rival league, the American Football League (AFL). It was agreed that the two leagues' champion teams would play in the AFL–NFL World Championship Game until the merger was to officially begin in 1970. After the merger, each league was redesignated as a "conference", and the game has since been played between the conference champions to determine the NFL's league champion. Currently, the National Football Conference leads the league with 27 wins to 25 wins for the American Football Conference. The Pittsburgh Steelers have the most Super Bowl championship titles, with six. The New England Patriots have the most Super Bowl appearances, with ten. Charles Haley and Tom Brady both have five Super Bowl rings, which is the record for the most rings won by a single player.

The day on which the Super Bowl is played, now considered by some as an unofficial American national holiday,[1][2] is called "Super Bowl Sunday". It is the second-largest day for U.S. food consumption, after Thanksgiving Day.[3] In addition, the Super Bowl has frequently been the most-watched American television broadcast of the year; the seven most-watched broadcasts in U.S. television history are Super Bowls.[4] In 2015, Super Bowl XLIX became the most-watched American television program in history with an average audience of 114.4 million viewers, the fifth time in six years the game had set a record, starting with Super Bowl XLIV, which itself had taken over the number-one spot held for 27 years by the final episode of M*A*S*H.[5][6][7] The Super Bowl is also among the most-watched sporting events in the world, almost all audiences being North American, and is second to UEFA Champions League final as the most watched annual sporting event worldwide.[8]

The NFL restricts the use of its "Super Bowl" trademark; it is frequently called the Big Game or other generic terms by non-sponsoring corporations. Because of the high viewership, commercial airtime during the Super Bowl broadcast is the most expensive of the year, leading to companies regularly developing their most expensive advertisements for this broadcast. As a result, watching and discussing the broadcast's commercials has become a significant aspect of the event.[9] In addition, popular singers and musicians including Mariah Carey, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Prince, Justin Timberlake, Beyoncé, Janet Jackson, Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Whitney Houston, and Lady Gaga have performed during the event's pre-game and halftime ceremonies.

Super Bowl
Super Bowl logo
The generic Super Bowl logo used since Super Bowl XLV in 2011, showcasing the Vince Lombardi Trophy.[a]
First playedJanuary 15, 1967
TrophyVince Lombardi Trophy

Recent and upcoming games
2017 season
Super Bowl LII
U.S. Bank Stadium
(February 4, 2018)
2018 season
Super Bowl LIII
Mercedes-Benz Stadium
(February 3, 2019)

Origin

For four decades after its 1920 inception, the NFL successfully fended off several rival leagues. However, in 1960, it encountered its most serious competitor when the American Football League (AFL) was formed. The AFL vied heavily with the NFL for both players and fans. The original "bowl game" was the Rose Bowl Game in Pasadena, California, which was first played in 1902 as the "Tournament East-West football game" as part of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses and moved to the new Rose Bowl Stadium in 1923. The stadium got its name from the fact that the game played there was part of the Tournament of Roses and that it was shaped like a bowl, much like the Yale Bowl in New Haven, Connecticut; the Tournament of Roses football game itself eventually came to be known as the Rose Bowl Game. Exploiting the Rose Bowl Game's popularity, post-season college football contests were created for Miami (the Orange Bowl), New Orleans (the Sugar Bowl), and El Paso, Texas (the Sun Bowl) in 1935, and for Dallas (the Cotton Bowl) in 1937. By the time the first Super Bowl was played, the term "bowl" for any major American football game was well established.

1986 Jeno's Pizza - 15 - Willie Davis (cropped)
The Packers defeated the Chiefs in the first AFL–NFL Championship Game (Super Bowl I).

Lamar Hunt, owner of the AFL's Kansas City Chiefs, first used the term "Super Bowl"[10] to refer to the NFL-AFL championship game in the merger meetings. Hunt later said the name was likely in his head because his children had been playing with a Super Ball toy;[11] a vintage example of the ball is on display at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. In a July 25, 1966, letter to NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle, Hunt wrote, "I have kiddingly called it the 'Super Bowl,' which obviously can be improved upon."

The leagues' owners chose the name "AFL–NFL Championship Game",[12] but in July 1966 the Kansas City Star quoted Hunt in discussing "the Super Bowl — that's my term for the championship game between the two leagues",[13] and the media immediately began using the term.[14] Although the league stated in 1967 that "not many people like it", asking for suggestions and considering alternatives such as "Merger Bowl" and "The Game", the Associated Press reported that "Super Bowl" "grew and grew and grew-until it reached the point that there was Super Week, Super Sunday, Super Teams, Super Players, ad infinitum".[12] "Super Bowl" became official beginning with the third annual game.[15] Roman numerals were first affixed for the fifth edition, in January 1971.[16]

1986 Jeno's Pizza - 37 - Joe Namath (cropped)
The Jets were the first AFL team to win a Super Bowl (Super Bowl III), defeating the Colts.

After the NFL's Green Bay Packers 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 their NFL counterparts, though that perception changed when the AFL's New York Jets defeated the NFL's Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III in Miami. One year later, the AFL's Kansas City Chiefs defeated the NFL's Minnesota Vikings 23–7 in Super Bowl IV in New Orleans, which was the final AFL-NFL World Championship Game played before the merger. Beginning with the 1970 season, the NFL realigned into two conferences; the former AFL teams plus three NFL teams (the Baltimore Colts, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Cleveland Browns) would constitute the American Football Conference (AFC), while the remaining NFL clubs would form the National Football Conference (NFC). The champions of the two conferences would play each other in the Super Bowl.

The winning team receives the Vince Lombardi Trophy, named after the coach of the Green Bay Packers, who won the first two Super Bowl games and three of the five preceding NFL championships in 1961, 1962, and 1965. Following Lombardi's death in September 1970, the trophy was named the Vince Lombardi Trophy. The first trophy awarded under the new name was presented to the Baltimore Colts following their win in Super Bowl V in Miami.

Date

The Super Bowl is currently played on the first Sunday in February. This is due to the current NFL schedule which consists of the opening weekend of the season being held immediately after Labor Day (the first Monday in September), the 17-week regular season (where teams each play 16 games and have one bye), the first three rounds of the playoffs, and the Super Bowl two weeks after the two Conference Championship Games, which is the next week after the Pro Bowl. This schedule has been in effect since Super Bowl XXXVIII in February 2004. The date of the Super Bowl can thus be determined from the date of the preceding Labor Day. For example, Labor Day in 2015 occurred on September 7; therefore the next Super Bowl was scheduled exactly five months later on February 7, 2016.

Originally, the game took place in early to mid-January. For Super Bowl I there was only one round of playoffs: the pre-merger NFL and AFL Championship Games. The addition of two playoff rounds (first in 1967 and then in 1978), an increase in regular season games from 14 to 16 (1978), and the establishment of one bye-week per team (1990) have caused the Super Bowl to be played later. Partially offsetting these season-lengthening effects, simultaneous with the addition of two regular season games in 1978, the season was started earlier. Prior to 1978, the season started as late as September 21. Now, since Labor Day is always the first Monday of September, September 13 is the latest possible date for the first full Sunday set of games (Since 2002, the regular season has started with the Kickoff Game on the first Thursday after Labor Day). The earliest possible season start date is September 7.

Game history

Super Bowl appearances and records
Team Appearances Wins Losses Winning %
New England Patriots 10 5 5 50
Pittsburgh Steelers 8 6 2 75
Dallas Cowboys 8 5 3 62.5
Denver Broncos 8 3 5 37.5
San Francisco 49ers 6 5 1 83.3
Green Bay Packers 5 4 1 80
New York Giants 5 4 1 80
Los Angeles / Oakland Raiders 5 3 2 60
Washington Redskins 5 3 2 60
Miami Dolphins 5 2 3 40
Baltimore / Indianapolis Colts 4 2 2 50
Minnesota Vikings 4 0 4 0
Buffalo Bills 4 0 4 0
St. Louis / Los Angeles Rams 3 1 2 33.3
Seattle Seahawks 3 1 2 33.3
Philadelphia Eagles 3 1 2 33.3
Baltimore Ravens 2 2 0 100
Kansas City Chiefs 2 1 1 50
Chicago Bears 2 1 1 50
Cincinnati Bengals 2 0 2 0
Carolina Panthers 2 0 2 0
Atlanta Falcons 2 0 2 0
New York Jets 1 1 0 100
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1 1 0 100
New Orleans Saints 1 1 0 100
San Diego / Los Angeles Chargers 1 0 1 0
Houston / Tennessee Oilers / Tennessee Titans 1 0 1 0
St. Louis / Arizona Cardinals 1 0 1 0
Cleveland Browns 0 0 0
Detroit Lions 0 0 0
Jacksonville Jaguars 0 0 0
Houston Texans 0 0 0

The Pittsburgh Steelers have won six Super Bowls, the most of any team; the Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers have five victories each, while the Green Bay Packers and New York Giants have four Super Bowl championships. Fourteen other NFL franchises have won at least one Super Bowl. Eight teams have appeared in Super Bowl games without a win. The Minnesota Vikings were the first team to have appeared a record four times without a win. The Buffalo Bills played in a record four Super Bowls in a row and lost every one. Four teams (the Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Houston Texans) have never appeared in a Super Bowl. The Browns and Lions both won NFL Championships prior to the creation of the Super Bowl, while the Jaguars (1995) and Texans (2002) are both recent NFL expansion teams. (Detroit, Houston, and Jacksonville, however, have hosted a Super Bowl, leaving the Browns the only team to date who has neither played in nor whose city has hosted the game.) The Minnesota Vikings won the last NFL Championship before the merger but lost to the AFL champion Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl IV.

1960s: Early history

The Green Bay Packers won the first two Super Bowls (Known as the AFL-NFL World Championship Game for these first two contests), defeating the Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders following the 1966 and 1967 seasons, respectively. The Packers were led by quarterback, Bart Starr, who was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) for both games. These two championships, coupled with the Packers' NFL championships in 1961, 1962, and 1965, amount to the most successful stretch in NFL History; five championships in seven years, and the only threepeat in NFL history (1965, 1966, and 1967).

In Super Bowl III, the AFL's New York Jets defeated the eighteen-point favorite Baltimore Colts of the NFL, 16–7. The Jets were led by quarterback Joe Namath, who had famously guaranteed a Jets win prior to the game, and former Colts head coach Weeb Ewbank, and their victory proved that the AFL was the NFL's competitive equal. This was reinforced the following year when the AFL's Kansas City Chiefs defeated the NFL's Minnesota Vikings 23–7 in Super Bowl IV.

1970s: Dominant franchises

After the AFL–NFL merger was completed in 1970, three franchises – the Dallas Cowboys, Miami Dolphins, and Pittsburgh Steelers – would go on to dominate the 1970s, winning a combined eight Super Bowls in the decade.

The Baltimore Colts, now a member of the AFC, would start the decade by defeating the Cowboys in Super Bowl V, a game which is notable as being the only Super Bowl to date in which a player from the losing team won the Super Bowl MVP (Cowboys' linebacker Chuck Howley). Beginning with this Super Bowl, all Super Bowls have served as the NFL's league championship game.

1986 Jeno's Pizza - 46 - Terry Bradshaw (cropped)
The Steelers defeated the Rams in Super Bowl XIV to win an unprecedented four championships in six years.

The Cowboys, coming back from a loss the previous season, won Super Bowl VI over the Dolphins. However, this would be the Dolphins' final loss in over a year, as the next year, the Dolphins would go 14–0 in the regular season and eventually win all of their playoff games, capped off with a 14–7 victory in Super Bowl VII, becoming the first and only team to finish an entire perfect regular and postseason. The Dolphins would repeat as league champions by winning Super Bowl VIII a year later.

In the late 1970s, the Steelers became the first NFL dynasty of the post-merger era by winning four Super Bowls (IX, X, XIII, and XIV) in six years. They were led by head coach Chuck Noll, the play of offensive stars Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, Lynn Swann, John Stallworth, and Mike Webster, and their dominant "Steel Curtain" defense, led by "Mean" Joe Greene, L. C. Greenwood, Ernie Holmes, Mel Blount, Jack Ham, and Jack Lambert. The coaches and administrators also were part of the dynasty's greatness as evidenced by the team's "final pieces" being part of the famous 1974 draft. The selections in that class have been considered the best by any pro franchise ever, as Pittsburgh selected four future Hall of Famers, the most for any team in any sport in a single draft. The Steelers were the first team to win three and then four Super Bowls and appeared in six AFC Championship Games during the decade, making the playoffs in eight straight seasons. Nine players and three coaches and administrators on the team have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Pittsburgh still remains the only team to win back-to-back Super Bowls twice and four Super Bowls in a six-year period.

The Steelers' dynasty was interrupted only by the Oakland Raiders' Super Bowl XI win and the Cowboys winning their second Super Bowl of the decade.

1981-1996: The NFC's winning streak

In the 1980s and 1990s, the tables turned for the AFC, as the NFC dominated the Super Bowls of the new decade and most of those in the 1990s. The NFC won 16 of the 20 Super Bowls during these two decades, including 13 straight from Super Bowl XIX to Super Bowl XXXI. The NFC's winning streak was only interrupted when the Los Angeles Raiders routed the Washington Redskins, 38-9 in Super Bowl XVIII.

1986 Jeno's Pizza - 28 - Roger Craig (cropped)
The 49ers playing against the Dolphins in Super Bowl XIX.

The most successful team of the 1980s was the San Francisco 49ers, which featured the West Coast offense of Hall of Fame head coach Bill Walsh. This offense was led by three-time Super Bowl MVP and Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana, Super Bowl MVP and Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice, running back Roger Craig, and defensive safety/cornerback Ronnie Lott. Under their leadership, the 49ers won four Super Bowls in the decade (XVI, XIX, XXIII, and XXIV) and made nine playoff appearances between 1981 and 1990, including eight division championships, becoming the second dynasty of the post-merger NFL.

The 1980s also produced the 1985 Chicago Bears, who posted an 18–1 record under head coach Mike Ditka; quarterback Jim McMahon; and Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton. Their team won Super Bowl XX in dominant fashion. The Washington Redskins and New York Giants were also top teams of this period; the Redskins won Super Bowls XVII, XXII, and XXVI. The Giants claimed Super Bowls XXI and XXV. As in the 1970s, the Oakland Raiders were the only team to interrupt the Super Bowl dominance of other teams; they won Super Bowls XV and XVIII (the latter as the Los Angeles Raiders).

Following several seasons with poor records in the 1980s, the Dallas Cowboys rose back to prominence in the 1990s. During this decade, the Cowboys made post-season appearances every year except for the seasons of 1990 and 1997. From 1992 to 1996, the Cowboys won their division championship each year. In this same period, the Buffalo Bills had made their mark reaching the Super Bowl for a record four consecutive years, only to lose all four. After Super Bowl championships by division rivals New York (1990) and Washington (1991), the Cowboys won three of the next four Super Bowls (XXVII, XXVIII, and XXX) led by quarterback Troy Aikman, running back Emmitt Smith, and wide receiver Michael Irvin. All three of these players went to the Hall of Fame. The Cowboys' streak was interrupted by the 49ers, who won their league-leading fifth title overall with Super Bowl XXIX in dominating fashion under Super Bowl MVP and Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young, Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice, and Hall of Fame cornerback Deion Sanders; however, the Cowboys' victory in Super Bowl XXX the next year also gave them five titles overall and they did so with Sanders after he won the Super Bowl the previous year with the 49ers. The NFC's winning streak was continued by the Green Bay Packers who, under Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre, won Super Bowl XXXI, their first championship since Super Bowl II in the late 1960s.

1997–2009: AFC resurgence

Super Bowl XXXII saw quarterback John Elway and running back Terrell Davis lead the Denver Broncos to an upset victory over the defending champion Packers, snapping the NFC's 13-year winning streak. The following year, the Broncos defeated the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl XXXIII, Elway's fifth Super Bowl appearance, his second NFL championship, and his final NFL game. The back-to-back victories heralded a change in momentum in which AFC teams would win nine out of 12 Super Bowls. In the years between 1995 and 2016, five teams – the Steelers, New England Patriots, Broncos, Baltimore Ravens, and Indianapolis Colts – accounted for 20 of the 22 AFC Super Bowl appearances (including the last 14), with those same teams often meeting each other earlier in the playoffs. In contrast, the NFC saw a different representative in the Super Bowl every season from 2001 through 2010.

The year following the Broncos' second victory, however, a surprising St. Louis Rams team led by an undrafted quarterback, Kurt Warner, closed out the 1990s in a wild battle against the Tennessee Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV. The tense game came down to the final play in which Tennessee had the opportunity to tie the game and send it to overtime. The Titans nearly pulled it off, but the tackle of receiver Kevin Dyson by linebacker Mike Jones kept the ball out of the end zone by a matter of inches. In 2007, ESPN would rank "The Tackle" as the 2nd greatest moment in Super Bowl history.[17]

Super Bowl XXXV was played by the AFC's Baltimore Ravens and the NFC's New York Giants. The Ravens defeated the Giants by the score of 34–7. The game was played on January 28, 2001, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.

The New England Patriots became the dominant team throughout the early 2000s, winning the championship three out of four years early in the decade. They would become only the second team in the history of the NFL to do so (after the 1990s Dallas Cowboys). In Super Bowl XXXVI, first-year starting quarterback Tom Brady led his team to a 20–17 upset victory over the St. Louis Rams. Brady would go on to win the MVP award for this game. The Patriots also won Super Bowls XXXVIII[18] and XXXIX defeating the Carolina Panthers and the Philadelphia Eagles respectively. This four-year stretch of Patriot dominance was interrupted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 48–21 Super Bowl XXXVII victory over the Oakland Raiders.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Indianapolis Colts continued the era of AFC dominance by winning Super Bowls XL and XLI in 2005–06 and 2006–07, respectively defeating the Seattle Seahawks and Chicago Bears.

In the 2007 season, the Patriots became the fourth team in NFL history to have a perfect unbeaten and untied regular season record, the second in the Super Bowl era after the 1972 Miami Dolphins, and the first to finish 16–0. They easily marched through the AFC playoffs and were heavy favorites in Super Bowl XLII. However, they lost that game to Eli Manning and the New York Giants 17–14, leaving the Patriots' 2007 record at 18–1.

The following season, the Steelers logged their record sixth Super Bowl title (XLIII) in a 27–23, final-minute victory against the Arizona Cardinals.

The 2009 season saw the New Orleans Saints defeat the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV by a score of 31–17 to take home their first Championship. With this victory, the Saints joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New York Jets as the only teams to have won in their sole Super Bowl appearance.

2010–present

The 2010s have seen parity between the two conferences, but not within them. Since the start of 2010, five of the nine Super Bowl winners hailed from the NFC, the other four from the AFC.

Following up the Saints' win in Super Bowl XLIV, the 2010 season brought the Green Bay Packers their fourth Super Bowl (XLV) victory and record thirteenth NFL championship overall with the defeat of the Pittsburgh Steelers in February 2011.

In Super Bowl XLVI, the New York Giants won another title by defeating the New England Patriots.

In Super Bowl XLVII the Baltimore Ravens snapped the NFC's three-game winning streak in a 34–31 victory over the San Francisco 49ers.

Super Bowl XLVIII, played at New Jersey's MetLife Stadium in February 2014, was the first Super Bowl held outdoors in a cold weather environment. The Seattle Seahawks won their first NFL title with a 43–8 defeat of the Denver Broncos, in a highly touted matchup that pitted Seattle's top-ranked defense against a Peyton Manning-led Denver offense that had broken the NFL's single-season scoring record.

In Super Bowl XLIX, the Patriots beat the defending Super Bowl champions, the Seahawks, 28–24 as Malcolm Butler intercepted a Seattle pass in the end zone with the Seahawks poised to take the lead.

In Super Bowl 50, the Broncos, led by the league's top-ranked defense, defeated the Carolina Panthers, who had the league's top-ranked offense, in what became the final game of quarterback Peyton Manning's career. Von Miller dominated, totaling 2.5 sacks and forcing two Cam Newton fumbles; both fumbles leading to Broncos touchdowns.

In Super Bowl LI, the Atlanta Falcons had a 28–3 lead late in the third quarter, but Matt Ryan choked in the 4th letting the Patriots win 34–28, in the first Super Bowl to ever end in overtime.

In Super Bowl LII, the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the defending Super Bowl champions, the New England Patriots, 41–33. It was the Eagles' third Super Bowl appearance, and their first win in franchise history. It was the Patriots' tenth Super Bowl appearance, and their fourth appearance in ten years; had the Patriots won, they would have tied the Pittsburgh Steelers with the most Super Bowl wins (six).

The Super Bowls of the late 2000s and 2010s are notable for the performances (and the pedigrees) of several of the participating quarterbacks, and stagnation (especially on the AFC side) in repeated appearances by the same teams and players. In particular, Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, or Peyton Manning appeared as the AFC team's quarterback in all but two of the Super Bowls between 2001 and 2018.

Television coverage and ratings

SuperBowlXXXVBroadcastCompound
The Super Bowl XXXV broadcasting compound, full of satellite trucks.

The Super Bowl is one of the most watched annual sporting events in the world, with viewership overwhelmingly domestic.[19] The only other annual event that gathers more viewers is the UEFA Champions League final.[19] For many years, the Super Bowl has possessed a large US and global television viewership, and it is often the most watched United States originating television program of the year.[20] The game tends to have high Nielsen television ratings, which is usually around a 40 rating and 60 shares. This means that on average, more than 100 million people from the United States alone are tuned into the Super Bowl at any given moment.

In press releases preceding each year's event, the NFL typically claims that this year's Super Bowl will have a potential worldwide audience of around one billion people in over 200 countries.[21] This figure refers to the number of people able to watch the game, not the number of people actually watching. However, the statements have been frequently misinterpreted in various media as referring to the latter figure, leading to a common misperception about the game's actual global audience.[22][23] The New York-based media research firm Initiative measured the global audience for the 2005 Super Bowl at 93 million people, with 98 percent of that figure being viewers in North America, which meant roughly 2 million people outside North America watched the Super Bowl that year.[22]

The 2015 Super Bowl XLIX holds the record for average number of U.S. viewers, with a final number of 114.4 million,[24] making the game the most-viewed television broadcast of any kind in American history. The halftime show was the most watched ever with 118.5 million viewers tuning in, and an all-time high of 168 million viewers in the United States had watched several portions of the Super Bowl 2015 broadcast.[25] The game set a record for total viewers for the fifth time in six years.[6]

The highest-rated game according to Nielsen was Super Bowl XVI in 1982, which was watched in 49.1% of households (73 shares), or 40,020,000 households at the time. Ratings for that game, a San Francisco victory over Cincinnati, may have been aided by a large blizzard that had affected much of the northeastern United States on game day, leaving residents to stay at home more than usual. Super Bowl XVI still ranks fourth on Nielsen's list of top-rated programs of all time, and three other Super Bowls, XII, XVII, and XX, made the top ten.[26]

Famous commercial campaigns include the Budweiser "Bud Bowl" campaign, the 1984 introduction of Apple's Macintosh computer, and the 1999 and 2000 dot-com ads. As the television ratings of the Super Bowl have steadily increased over the years, prices have also increased every year, with advertisers paying as much as $3.5 million for a thirty-second spot during Super Bowl XLVI in 2012.[27] A segment of the audience tunes into the Super Bowl solely to view commercials.[9] In 2010, Nielsen reported that 51 percent of Super Bowl viewers tune in for the commercials.[28] The Super Bowl halftime show has spawned another set of alternative entertainment such as the Lingerie Bowl, the Beer Bottle Bowl, and others.

Since 1991, the Super Bowl has begun between 6:19 and 6:40 PM EST so that most of the game is played during the primetime hours on the East Coast.[29]

Super Bowl on TV

Network Number broadcast Years broadcast Future scheduled telecasts*[›]
ABC**[›] 7 1985, 1988, 1991, 1995, 2000, 2003, 2006 **[›]
Fox 8 (10ˇ[›]) 1997, 1999, 2002, 2005, 2008, 2011, 2014, 2017 2020ˇ[›], 2023ˇ[›]
NBC 19 (20ˇ[›]) 1967***[›], 1969, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1979, 1981, 1983, 1986, 1989, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2009, 2012, 2015, 2018 2021ˇ[›]
CBS 19 (21ˇ[›]) 1967***[›], 1968, 1970, 1972, 1974, 1976, 1978, 1980, 1982, 1984, 1987, 1990, 1992, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016 2019ˇ[›], 2022ˇ[›]

Note: Years listed are the year the game was actually played (will be playedˇ[›]) rather than what NFL season it is considered to have been.
^ *: The extended current TV contracts with the networks expire after the 2022 season (or Super Bowl LVII in early 2023) and the Super Bowl is currently rotated annually between CBS, Fox, and NBC in that order.
^ **: ABC is not currently in the rotation for Super Bowl broadcasts.
^ ***: The first Super Bowl was simultaneously broadcast by CBS and NBC, with each network using the same video feed, but providing its own commentary.
Super Bowls I–VI were blacked out in the television markets of the host cities, due to league restrictions then in place.[30]

  • Game analyst John Madden is the only person to broadcast a Super Bowl for each of the four networks that have televised the game (5 with CBS, 3 with Fox, 2 with ABC, and 1 with NBC).

Lead-out programming

The Super Bowl provides an extremely strong lead-in to programming following it on the same channel, the effects of which can last for several hours. For instance, in discussing the ratings of a local TV station, Buffalo television critic Alan Pergament noted on the coattails from Super Bowl XLVII, which aired on CBS: "A paid program that ran on Channel 4 (WIVB-TV) at 2:30 in the morning had a 1.3 rating. That's higher than some CW prime time shows get on WNLO-TV, Channel 4's sister station."[31]

Because of this strong coattail effect, 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 one in the lead-out slot, which immediately follows the Super Bowl and post-game coverage.

Entertainment

Initially, it was sort of a novelty and so it didn't quite feel right. But it was just like, this is the year. ... Bands of our generation, you can sort of be seen on a stage like this or, like, not seen. There's not a lot of middle places. It is a tremendous venue.

— Bruce Springsteen on why he turned down several invitations to perform at the Super Bowl before finally agreeing to appear in Super Bowl XLIII.[32]
Jennifer Hudson sings national anthem at Super Bowl 43
Jennifer Hudson sings the national anthem at Super Bowl XLIII.
Madonna Super Bowl2 cropped
Madonna performing with LMFAO during the Super Bowl XLVI halftime show.

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, a trend where popular singers and musicians performed during its pre-game ceremonies and the halftime show, or simply sang the national anthem of the United States or America the Beautiful emerged.[33] Unlike regular season or playoff games, thirty minutes are allocated for the Super Bowl halftime. After a special live episode of the Fox sketch comedy series In Living Color caused a drop in viewership for the Super Bowl XXVI halftime show, the NFL sought to increase the Super Bowl's audience by hiring A-list talent to perform. They approached Michael Jackson, whose performance the following year drew higher figures than the game itself.[34][35] Another notable performance came during Super Bowl XXXVI in 2002, when U2 performed; during their third 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.

For many years, Whitney Houston's performance of the national anthem at Super Bowl XXV in 1991, during the Gulf War, had long been regarded as one of the best renditions of the anthem in history.[36][37][38] Then, in an historic, groundbreaking, and emotional performance prior to Super Bowl XLVIII, soprano Renee Fleming became the first opera singer to perform the anthem, propelling FOX to the highest ratings of any program in its history, and remains so today.

The halftime show of Super Bowl XXXVIII attracted controversy, following an incident in which Justin Timberlake removed a piece of Janet Jackson's top, briefly exposing one of her breasts before the broadcast quickly cut away from the shot. The incident led to fines being issued by the FCC (and a larger crackdown over "indecent" content broadcast on television), and MTV (then a sister to the game's broadcaster that year, CBS, under Viacom) being banned by the NFL from producing the Super Bowl halftime show in the future. In an effort to prevent a repeat of the incident, the NFL held a moratorium on Super Bowl halftime shows featuring pop performers, and instead invited a single, headlining veteran act, such as Paul McCartney, The Who, Prince, and Bruce Springsteen. This practice ended at Super Bowl XLV, which returned to using current pop acts such as The Black Eyed Peas and Katy Perry.[39][40]

Excluding Super Bowl XXXIX, the famous "I'm going to Disney World!" advertising campaign took place in every Super Bowl since Super Bowl XXI when quarterback Phil Simms from the New York Giants became the first player to say the tagline.

Venue

Super bowl - 49ers-Ravens
A view from the south end zone during Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans, the tenth time that the city has hosted the Super Bowl.
Superbowl XXXIX, 2005
The field of Super Bowl XXXIX in Jacksonville, Florida before kickoff.

As of Super Bowl LII, 27 of 52 Super Bowls have been played in three cities: New Orleans (ten times), the Greater Miami area (ten times), and the Greater Los Angeles area (seven times). No market or region without an active NFL franchise has ever hosted a Super Bowl, and the presence of an NFL team in a market or region is now a de jure requirement for bidding on the game.[41][42] The winning market is not, however, required to host the Super Bowl in the same stadium that its NFL team uses, and nine Super Bowls have been held in a stadium other than the one the NFL team in that city was using at the time. For example, Los Angeles's last five Super Bowls were all played at the Rose Bowl, which has never been used by any NFL franchise outside of the Super Bowl.

No team has ever played the Super Bowl in its home stadium. The closest any team has come was the 2017 Minnesota Vikings, who were within one win of playing Super Bowl LII in U.S. Bank Stadium, but lost the NFC Championship game to the Philadelphia Eagles. Two teams have played the Super Bowl in their home market: the San Francisco 49ers, who played Super Bowl XIX in Stanford Stadium instead of Candlestick Park; and the Los Angeles Rams, who played Super Bowl XIV in the Rose Bowl instead of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. In both cases, the stadium in which the Super Bowl was held was perceived to be a better stadium for a large, high-profile event than the stadiums the Rams and 49ers were playing in at the time; this situation has not arisen since 1993, in part because the league has traditionally awarded the Super Bowl in modern times to the newest stadiums. Besides those two, the only other Super Bowl venue that was not the home stadium to an NFL team at the time was Rice Stadium in Houston: the Houston Oilers had played there previously, but moved to the Astrodome several years prior to Super Bowl VIII. The Orange Bowl was the only AFL stadium to host a Super Bowl and the only stadium to host consecutive Super Bowls, hosting Super Bowls II and III.

Traditionally, the NFL does not award Super Bowls to stadiums that are located in climates with an expected average daily temperature less than 50°F (10°C) on game day unless the field can be completely covered by a fixed or retractable roof.[43] Six Super Bowls have been played in northern cities: two in the Detroit area—Super Bowl XVI at Pontiac Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan and Super Bowl XL at Ford Field in Detroit, two in MinneapolisSuper Bowl XXVI at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome and Super Bowl LII at the U.S. Bank Stadium, one in Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Stadium for Super Bowl XLVI, and one in the New York area—Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium. Only MetLife Stadium did not have a roof (be it fixed or retractable) but it was still picked as the host stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII in an apparent waiver of the warm-climate rule.

There have been a few instances where the league has rescinded the Super Bowl from cities. Super Bowl XXVII in 1993 was originally awarded to Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona, but after Arizona voters elected not to recognize Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as a paid state-employees’ holiday in 1990, the NFL moved the game to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.[44] When voters in Arizona opted to create such a legal holiday in 1992, Super Bowl XXX in 1996 was awarded to Tempe. Super Bowl XXXIII was awarded first to Candlestick Park in San Francisco, but when plans to renovate the stadium fell through, the game was moved to Pro Player Stadium in greater Miami. Super Bowl XXXVII was awarded to a new stadium not yet built in San Francisco, when that stadium failed to be built, the game was moved to San Diego. Super Bowl XLIV, slated for February 7, 2010, was withdrawn from New York City's proposed West Side Stadium, because the city, state, and proposed tenants New York Jets could not agree on funding. Super Bowl XLIV was then eventually awarded to Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. Super Bowl XLIX in 2015 was originally given to Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, but after two sales taxes failed to pass at the ballot box, and opposition by local business leaders and politicians increased, Kansas City eventually withdrew its request to host the game.[45] Super Bowl XLIX was then eventually awarded to University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

In 2011, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said, "[The Super Bowl is] commonly known as the single largest human trafficking incident in the United States." According to Forbes, 10,000 prostitutes were brought to Miami in 2010 for the Super Bowl.[46] Snopes research in 2015 determined that the actual number of prostitutes involved in a typical Super Bowl weekend is less than 100, not statistically higher than any other time of the year, and that the notion of mass increases in human trafficking around the Super Bowl was a politician's myth.[47]

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 and are evaluated in terms of stadium renovation and their ability to host.[43][48] In 2014, a document listing the specific requirements of Super Bowl hosts was leaked, giving a clear list of what was required for a Super Bowl host.[49] Much of the cost of the Super Bowl is to be assumed by the host community, although some costs are enumerated within the requirements to be assumed by the NFL. Some of the host requirements include:

  • The host stadium must be in a market that hosts an NFL team and must have a minimum of 70,000 seats, with the media and electrical amenities necessary to produce the Super Bowl. Stadiums may include temporary seating for Super Bowls, but seating must be approved by the league. Stadiums where the average game day temperature is below 50° Fahrenheit must either have a roof or a waiver given by the league. There must be a minimum of 35,000 parking spaces within one mile of the stadium.
  • The host stadium must have space for the Gameday Experience, a large pregame entertainment area, within walking distance of the stadium.
  • The host city must have space for the NFL Experience, the interactive football theme park which is operated the week prior to the Super Bowl. An indoor venue for the event must have a minimum of 850,000 square feet, and an outdoor venue must have a minimum of 1 million square feet. Additionally, there must be space nearby for the Media Center, and space for all other events involved in the Super Bowl week, including golf courses and bowling alleys.
  • The necessary infrastructure must be in place around the stadium and other Super Bowl facilities, including parking, security, electrical needs, media needs, communication needs, and transportation needs.
  • There must be a minimum number of hotel spaces within one hour's drive of the stadium equaling 35% of the stadium's capacity, along with hotels for the teams, officials, media, and other dignitaries. (For Super Bowl XXXIX, the city of Jacksonville docked several luxury cruise liners at their port to act as temporary hotel space.[50])
  • There must be practice space of equal and comparable quality for both teams within a 20-minute drive of the team hotels, and rehearsal space for all events within a reasonable distance to the stadium. The practice facilities must have one grass field and at least one field of the same surface as the host stadium.
  • The stadium must have a minimum of 70,000 fixed seats, including club and fixed suite seating, during regular season operations.

The NFL owners meet to make a selection on the site, usually three to five years prior to the event. In 2007, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell suggested that a Super Bowl might be played in London, perhaps at Wembley Stadium.[51] The game has never been played in a region that lacks an NFL franchise; seven Super Bowls have been played in Los Angeles, but none were held there in the 21-year period when the league had no team in the area. New Orleans, the site of the 2013 Super Bowl, invested more than $1 billion in infrastructure improvements in the years leading up to the game.[52]

Through Super Bowl LVI, teams were allowed to bid for the rights to host Super Bowls. The league rescinded this privilege in 2018 and will make all decisions regarding hosting sites from Super Bowl LVII onward; the league will choose a potential venue unilaterally, the chosen team will put together a hosting proposal, and the league will vote upon it to determine if it is acceptable.[53]

Home team designation

The designated "home team" alternates between the NFC team in odd-numbered games and the AFC team in even-numbered games.[54][55] This alternation was initiated with the first Super Bowl, when the Green Bay Packers were the designated home team. Regardless of being the home or away team of record, each team has their team logo and wordmark painted in one of the end zones. Designated away teams have won 30 of 51 Super Bowls to date (approximately 59%).

1986 Jeno's Pizza - 09 - Mark Murphy (cropped)
The Redskins are one of six home teams that chose to wear their white jersey, shown here in Super Bowl XVII.

Since Super Bowl XIII in January 1979, the home team is given the choice of wearing their colored or white jerseys. Originally, the designated home team had to wear their colored jerseys, which resulted in Dallas donning their less exposed 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 six (6) exceptions: the Dallas Cowboys during Super Bowl XIII and XXVII, the Washington Redskins during Super Bowl XVII, the Pittsburgh Steelers during Super Bowl XL, the Denver Broncos during Super Bowl 50, and the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII. The Cowboys, since 1964, have worn white jerseys at home. The Redskins wore white at home under coach Joe Gibbs starting in 1981 through 1992, continued by Richie Petitbon and Norv Turner through 2000, then again when Gibbs returned from 2004 through 2007. Meanwhile, the Steelers, who have always worn their black jerseys at home since the AFL–NFL merger in 1970, 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 1985 season, but after winning road playoff games against the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins wearing red jerseys, New England opted to switch to crimson for the Super Bowl as the designated home team. For the Broncos in Super Bowl 50, Denver general manager John Elway simply stated, "We've had Super Bowl success in our white uniforms"; they previously had been 0–4 in Super Bowls when wearing their orange jerseys.[56][57] The Broncos' decision is also perceived to be made out of superstition, losing all Super Bowl games with the orange jerseys in terrible fashion. It is unclear why the Patriots chose to wear their white jerseys for Super Bowl LII. During the pairing of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, New England has mostly worn their blue jerseys for home games, but have worn white for a home game in the 2008, 2010, and 2011 seasons.[58] The New England Patriots were 3-0 in their white uniforms in Super Bowls prior to Super Bowl LII with Belichick and Brady,[59][60] and they may have been going on recent trends of teams who wear white for the Super Bowl game.[61][62][63] White-shirted teams have won 33 of 52 Super Bowls to date (63%). The only teams to win in their dark-colored uniform in more recent years are the Green Bay Packers against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV and the Philadelphia Eagles against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII, with teams in white winning 12 of the last 14 Super Bowls.[64]

The 49ers, as part of the league's 75th Anniversary celebration, used their 1955 throwback uniform in Super Bowl XXIX, which for that year was their regular home jersey. No team has yet worn a third jersey or Color Rush uniform for the Super Bowl.

Host cities/regions

Super Bowl is located in the US
Miami Metro Area
Miami Metro Area
New Orleans
New Orleans
L.A. Metro Area
L.A. Metro Area
Tampa
Tampa
San Diego
San Diego
Houston
Houston
Detroit Metro
Detroit Metro
Atlanta
Atlanta
Phoenix Metro Area
Phoenix Metro Area
Minneapolis
Minneapolis
Jacksonville
Jacksonville
S.F. Bay Area
S.F. Bay Area
Dallas‑Fort Worth
Dallas‑Fort Worth
Indianapolis
Indianapolis
N.Y. Metro Area
N.Y. Metro Area
Super Bowl host cities/regions

Fifteen different regions have hosted Super Bowls.

City/Region No. hosted Years hosted
Miami metropolitan area 10 (11)ˇ[›] 1968, 1969, 1971, 1976, 1979, 1989, 1995, 1999, 2007, 2010, 2020ˇ[›]
New Orleans 10 (11)ˇ[›] 1970, 1972, 1975, 1978, 1981, 1986, 1990, 1997, 2002, 2013, 2024ˇ[›]
Los Angeles metropolitan area 7 (8)ˇ[›] 1967, 1973, 1977, 1980, 1983, 1987, 1993, 2022ˇ[›]
Tampa 4 (5)ˇ[›] 1984, 1991, 2001, 2009, 2021ˇ[›]
San Diego 3 1988, 1998, 2003
Phoenix metropolitan area 3 (4) 1996, 2008, 2015, 2023ˇ[›]
Houston 3 1974, 2004, 2017
Atlanta 2 (3)ˇ[›] 1994, 2000, 2019ˇ[›]
Metro Detroit 2 1982, 2006
San Francisco Bay Area 2 1985, 2016
Minneapolis 2 1992, 2018
Jacksonville 1 2005
Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex 1 2011
Indianapolis 1 2012
New York metropolitan area 1 2014

Note: Years listed are the year the game was actually played (or will be playedˇ[›]; future games are denoted through italics) rather than what NFL season it is considered to have been.

Host stadiums

A total of 26 different stadiums, six of which no longer exist and one of which does not yet exist, either have hosted or are scheduled to host Super Bowls. The years listed in the table below are the years the game was actually played (will be playedˇ[›]) rather than what NFL season it is considered to have been.

Stadium Location No. hosted Years hosted
Mercedes-Benz Superdome, formerly Louisiana Superdome New Orleans, Louisiana 7 (8ˇ[›]) 1978, 1981, 1986, 1990, 1997, 2002, 2013, 2024ˇ[›]
Hard Rock Stadium, formerly Joe Robbie Stadium, Pro Player Stadium, Dolphin Stadium, and Sun Life Stadium Miami Gardens, Florida‡[›] 5 (6ˇ[›]) 1989, 1995, 1999, 2007, 2010, 2020ˇ[›]
Orange Bowl^[›] Miami, Florida 5 1968, 1969, 1971, 1976, 1979
Rose Bowl Pasadena, California 5 1977, 1980, 1983, 1987, 1993
Tulane Stadium^[›] New Orleans, Louisiana 3 1970, 1972, 1975
Qualcomm Stadium, formerly Jack Murphy Stadium San Diego, California 3 1988, 1998, 2003
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Los Angeles, California 2 1967, 1973
Tampa Stadium^[›] Tampa, Florida 2 1984, 1991
Georgia Dome^[›] Atlanta, Georgia 2 1994, 2000
Raymond James Stadium Tampa, Florida 2 (3ˇ[›]) 2001, 2009, 2021ˇ[›]
State Farm Stadium, formerly University of Phoenix Stadium Glendale, Arizona 2 (3ˇ[›]) 2008, 2015, 2023ˇ[›]
NRG Stadium, formerly Reliant Stadium Houston, Texas 2 2004, 2017
Rice Stadium Houston, Texas 1 1974
Pontiac Silverdome^[›] Pontiac, Michigan 1 1982
Stanford Stadium††[›] Stanford, California 1 1985
Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome^[›] Minneapolis, Minnesota 1 1992
Sun Devil Stadium Tempe, Arizona 1 1996
TIAA Bank Field, formerly Jacksonville Municipal Stadium, Alltel Stadium, and EverBank Field Jacksonville, Florida 1 2005
Ford Field Detroit, Michigan 1 2006
AT&T Stadium Arlington, Texas 1 2011
Lucas Oil Stadium Indianapolis, Indiana 1 2012
MetLife Stadium East Rutherford, New Jersey 1 2014
Levi's Stadium Santa Clara, California 1 2016
U.S. Bank Stadium Minneapolis, Minnesota 1 2018
Mercedes-Benz Stadium Atlanta, Georgia 1ˇ[›] 2019ˇ[›]
Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Parkˇˇ[›] Inglewood, California 1ˇ[›] 2022ˇ[›]

^ ^: Stadium is now demolished.
^ ‡: Miami Gardens became a city in 2003. Before that, the stadium had a Miami address while in unincorporated Florida.
^ ††: The original Stanford Stadium, which hosted Super Bowl XIX, was demolished and replaced with a new stadium in 2006.
^ ˇ: Future Super Bowls, also denoted by italics.
^ ˇˇ: Stadium is under construction.

Future venues:

The game has never been played in a region that lacked an NFL or AFL franchise, though London, England has occasionally been mentioned as a host city for a Super Bowl in the near future.[68] Wembley Stadium has hosted several NFL games as part of the NFL International Series and is specifically designed for large, individual events. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has openly discussed the possibility on different occasions.[69][70][71][72] Time zone complications are a significant obstacle to a Super Bowl in London; a typical 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time start would result in the game beginning at 11:30 p.m. local time in London, an unusually late hour to be holding spectator sports (the NFL has never in its history started a game later than 9:15 p.m. local time).[72] As bids have been submitted for all Super Bowls through Super Bowl LVIII, the soonest that any stadium outside the NFL's footprint could serve as host would be Super Bowl LIX in 2025.[73]

Super Bowl trademark

The NFL is very active on stopping what it says is unauthorized commercial use of its trademarked terms "NFL", "Super Bowl", and "Super Sunday".[74] As a result, many events and promotions tied to the game, but not sanctioned by the NFL, are asked to refer to it with euphemisms such as "The Big Game", or other generic descriptions.[75][76] A radio spot for Planters nuts parodied this, by saying "it would be super...to have a bowl...of Planters nuts while watching the big game!" and comedian Stephen Colbert began referring to the game in 2014 as the "Superb Owl". In 2015, the NFL filed opposition with the USPTO Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to a trademark application submitted by an Arizona-based nonprofit for "Superb Owl".[77] 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", while venues that do not regularly show sporting events cannot show the Super Bowl on any television screen larger than 55 inches.[78] 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.[78] Legislation was proposed by Utah Senator Orrin Hatch in 2008 "to provide an exemption from exclusive rights in copyright for certain nonprofit organizations to display live football games", and "for other purposes".[79]

In 2004, the NFL started issuing Cease and Desist letters to casinos in Las Vegas that were hosting Super Bowl parties. "Super Bowl" is a registered trademark, owned by the NFL, and any other business using that name for profit-making ventures is in violation of federal law, according to the letters. In reaction to the letters, many Vegas resorts, rather than discontinue the popular and lucrative parties, started referring to them as "Big Game Parties".[80][81][82]

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 and public-relations opposition to the move, mostly from Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley and their fans, as the Stanford Cardinal football and California Golden Bears football teams compete in the Big Game, which has been played since 1892 (28 years before the formation of the NFL and 75 years before Super Bowl I).[83] Additionally, the Mega Millions lottery game was known as The Big Game (then The Big Game Mega Millions) from 1996 to 2002.[84]

Use of the phrase "world champions"

Like the other major professional leagues in the United States, the winner of the Super Bowl is usually declared "world champions", a title that has been mocked by non-American journalists.[85][86] Others feel the title is fitting, since it is the only professional league of its kind.[87]

The practice by the U.S. major leagues of using the "World Champion" moniker originates from the World Series of professional baseball, and it was later used during the first three Super Bowls when they were referred to as AFL-NFL World Championship Games. The phrase is still engraved on the Super Bowl rings.

See also

References

Notes
  1. ^ Since Super Bowl LI in 2017, the Roman numeral of the game has been featured alongside the trophy, with the logo decorated in different colors for each year.
Citations
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  80. ^ Linshi, Jack. "Here's Why Companies Can't Say "Super Bowl" in their Super Bowl Ads". Time.com. Retrieved October 23, 2017.
  81. ^ Benston, Liz. "NFL's Letters May Spell Trouble For Casino Parties". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved October 23, 2017.
  82. ^ Ordine, Bill. ""Big Game" is Name in Vegas". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved October 23, 2017.
  83. ^ FitzGerald, Tom (May 23, 2007). "NFL sidelines its pursuit of Big Game trademark". The San Francisco Chronicle.
  84. ^ "Mega Millions Official Home". Archived from the original on January 21, 2013. Retrieved January 21, 2013.
  85. ^ Fung, Katherine (February 4, 2013). "Piers Morgan Laughs At Ravens Being Declared 'World Champions' Of American Football". The Huffington Post. Retrieved February 5, 2014.
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Further reading

  • 2006 NFL Record and Fact Book. Time Inc. Home Entertainment. ISBN 1-933405-32-5.
  • Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League. Harper Collins. ISBN 1-933405-32-5.
  • The Sporting News Complete Super Bowl Book 1995. ISBN 0-89204-523-X.
  • The Super Bowl: An Official Retrospective with DVD. Ballantine Books. 2005. ISBN 0-345-48719-2.
  • MacCambridge, Michael (2004). America's Game. Random House. ISBN 0-375-50454-0.
  • 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. Retrieved September 28, 2005.
  • 100 Greatest Super Bowl Moments by Kevin Jackson, Jeff Merron, and David Schoenfield; espn.com. Retrieved 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.
  • Dee, Tommy (January 2007). "Super Bowl Halftime Jinx". Maxim. Archived from the original on February 8, 2009. Retrieved January 25, 2007.
  • The Pro Football Playoff Encyclopedia. ISBN 978-0-9835136-2-9.

External links

Media related to Super Bowl at Wikimedia Commons

List of Super Bowl champions

The Super Bowl is the annual American football game that determines the champion of the National Football League (NFL). The game culminates a season that begins in the previous calendar year, and is the conclusion of the NFL playoffs. The contest is held in an American city, chosen three to four years beforehand, usually at warm-weather sites or domed stadiums. Since January 1971, the winner of the American Football Conference (AFC) Championship Game has faced the winner of the National Football Conference (NFC) Championship Game in the culmination of the NFL playoffs.

Before the 1970 merger between the American Football League (AFL) and the National Football League (NFL), the two leagues met in four such contests. The first two were marketed as the "AFL–NFL World Championship Game", but were also casually referred to as "the Super Bowl game" during the television broadcast. Super Bowl III in January 1969 was the first such game that carried the "Super Bowl" moniker in official marketing; the names "Super Bowl I" and "Super Bowl II" were retroactively applied to the first two games. The NFC/NFL leads in Super Bowl wins with 27, while the AFC/AFL has won 25. Twenty franchises, including teams that have relocated to another city, have won the Super Bowl.The Pittsburgh Steelers (6–2) have won the most Super Bowls with six championships, while the New England Patriots (5–5), the Dallas Cowboys (5–3), and the San Francisco 49ers (5–1) have five wins. New England has the most Super Bowl appearances with ten, while the Buffalo Bills (0–4) have the most consecutive appearances with four (all losses) from 1990 to 1993. The Miami Dolphins are the only other team to have at least three consecutive appearances: 1972–1974. The Denver Broncos (3–5) and Patriots have each lost a record five Super Bowls. The Minnesota Vikings (0–4) and the Bills have lost four. The record for consecutive wins is two and is shared by seven franchises: the Green Bay Packers (1966–1967), the Miami Dolphins (1972–1973), the Pittsburgh Steelers (1974–1975 and 1978–1979, the only team to accomplish this feat twice), the San Francisco 49ers (1988–1989), the Dallas Cowboys (1992–1993), the Denver Broncos (1997–1998), and the New England Patriots (2003–2004). Among those, Dallas (1992–1993; 1995) and New England (2001; 2003–2004) are the only teams to win three out of four consecutive Super Bowls. The 1972 Dolphins capped off the only perfect season in NFL history with their victory in Super Bowl VII. The only team with multiple Super Bowl appearances and no losses is the Baltimore Ravens, who in winning Super Bowl XLVII defeated and replaced the 49ers in that position. Four current NFL teams have never appeared in a Super Bowl, including franchise relocations and renaming: the Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Houston Texans, though both the Browns (1950, 1954, 1955, 1964) and Lions (1935, 1952, 1953, 1957) had won NFL championship games prior to the creation of the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl 50

Super Bowl 50 was an American football game to determine the champion of the National Football League (NFL) for the 2015 season. The American Football Conference (AFC) champions Denver Broncos defeated the National Football Conference (NFC) champions Carolina Panthers, 24–10. The game was played on February 7, 2016, at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California (located in the San Francisco Bay Area). As this was the 50th Super Bowl game, the league emphasized the "golden anniversary" with various gold-themed initiatives during the 2015 season, as well as suspending the tradition of naming each Super Bowl game with Roman numerals (under which the game would have been known as "Super Bowl L"), so the logo could prominently feature the Arabic numerals 50.The Panthers finished the regular season with a 15–1 record, racking up the league's top offense, and quarterback Cam Newton was named the NFL Most Valuable Player (MVP). They defeated the Arizona Cardinals 49–15 in the NFC Championship Game and advanced to their second Super Bowl appearance since the franchise began playing in 1995. The Broncos finished the regular season with a 12–4 record, bolstered by having the league's top defense. The Broncos defeated the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots 20–18 in the AFC Championship Game joining the Patriots, Dallas Cowboys, and Pittsburgh Steelers as one of four teams that have made eight appearances in the Super Bowl. This record would later be broken the next season, in 2017, when the Patriots advanced to their ninth Super Bowl appearance in Super Bowl LI.

The Broncos took an early lead in Super Bowl 50 and never trailed. Denver recorded seven sacks and forced four turnovers. Carolina likewise kept pace by recording five sacks and forcing two turnovers. Denver linebacker Von Miller was named Super Bowl MVP. This game was also the final game of Peyton Manning's career; the Broncos quarterback, who also won Super Bowl XLI, announced his retirement in March 2016.CBS' broadcast of the game was the third most-watched program in American television history with an average of 111.9 million viewers. The network charged an average of $5 million for a 30-second commercial during the game. It remains the highest-rated program in the history of CBS. The Super Bowl 50 halftime show was headlined by Coldplay, with special guest performers Beyoncé and Bruno Mars.

Super Bowl LI

Super Bowl LI was an American football game played at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, on February 5, 2017, to determine the champion of the National Football League (NFL) for the 2016 season. The American Football Conference (AFC) champion New England Patriots, after trailing by as many as 25 points (28–3) during the third quarter, defeated the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Atlanta Falcons, 34–28 in overtime. The Patriots' 25-point comeback is the largest comeback in Super Bowl history, and Super Bowl LI was the first final to be decided in overtime.The Patriots' victory was their fifth, moving them into a three-way tie with the Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers for second place on the all-time Super Bowl wins list, trailing only the Pittsburgh Steelers who have six victories. New England, after finishing the regular season with a league-best 14–2 record, advanced to their record-setting ninth Super Bowl appearance, their second in three years, and their seventh under the leadership of head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady. The Falcons entered the game after completing an 11–5 regular season record, and were trying to win their first Super Bowl title, having lost their only previous appearance in Super Bowl XXXIII.

After a scoreless first quarter, Atlanta scored 21 points before New England made a field goal with two seconds left in the second quarter, to make it a 21–3 halftime lead. The Falcons then increased their lead to 28–3 midway through the third quarter, with quarterback Matt Ryan completing his second touchdown pass. The Patriots then scored 25 unanswered points to tie the game, 28–28, with 57 seconds left in regulation. New England won the overtime coin toss, received the kickoff and drove 75 yards to win with a 2-yard touchdown run by running back James White. When the game ended, more than 30 team and individual Super Bowl records had been either broken or matched. White's 14 receptions and his 20 points scored (off of 3 touchdowns and a two-point conversion) were among these broken records. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who also broke single-game Super Bowl records with 43 completed passes, 62 pass attempts, and 466 passing yards, was named Super Bowl MVP for a record fourth time.

Fox's broadcast of the game averaged around 111.3 million viewers, slightly down from the 111.9 million viewers of the previous year's Super Bowl, while the total number of viewers for all or part of the game hit a record number of 172 million. Average TV viewership for the halftime show, headlined by Lady Gaga, was higher at 117.5 million. On the following day a number of media outlets immediately hailed the game as the greatest Super Bowl of all time.

Super Bowl LII

Super Bowl LII was an American football game played to determine the champion of the National Football League (NFL) for the 2017 season. The National Football Conference (NFC) champion Philadelphia Eagles defeated the American Football Conference (AFC) and defending Super Bowl LI champion New England Patriots, 41–33, to win their first Super Bowl and their first NFL title since 1960. The game was played on February 4, 2018, at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This was the second time that a Super Bowl was played in Minneapolis, the northernmost city to ever host the event, after Super Bowl XXVI at the Metrodome during the 1991 season, and the sixth Super Bowl held in a cold-weather city.New England finished the regular season with an AFC-best 13–3 record, then extended their record Super Bowl appearances to ten, their third in four years, and their eighth under the leadership of head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady. Philadelphia also finished the regular season with an NFC-best 13–3 record but entered the playoffs as underdogs after starting quarterback Carson Wentz suffered a season-ending injury late in the regular season and was replaced by backup quarterback Nick Foles. Still, the Eagles advanced to their third Super Bowl appearance, having previously lost to the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XV and to the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX.

Several records were set during Super Bowl LII, including most yards gained in an NFL game by both teams combined (1,151), the fewest punts from both teams in a Super Bowl (one), and the most points scored by a Super Bowl losing team (33). The game was settled after the Eagles converted a fumble recovery deep within Patriots territory to a field goal with 1:05 remaining to extend their lead to eight points, and Brady's Hail Mary pass fell incomplete as time expired. Foles completed 28 of 43 pass attempts for 373 yards and three touchdowns with one interception, caught a one-yard touchdown pass, and was named Super Bowl MVP. Foles' touchdown catch later became known as The Philly Special and joined NFL lore.

The broadcast of the game on NBC had the smallest Super Bowl audience in nine years, with an average of 103.4 million viewers. Average TV viewership for the halftime show, headlined by Justin Timberlake, was 106.6 million American television viewers, 9 percent less than the previous year.

Super Bowl LIII

Super Bowl LIII, the 53rd Super Bowl and the 49th modern-era National Football League (NFL) championship game, will decide the league champion for the 2018 NFL season. The game is scheduled to be played on February 3, 2019 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. This will be the third Super Bowl in Atlanta, which previously hosted Super Bowl XXVIII in 1994 and Super Bowl XXXIV in 2000 at the Georgia Dome.

Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Award

The Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Award, or Super Bowl MVP, is presented annually to the most valuable player of the Super Bowl, the National Football League's (NFL) championship game. The winner is chosen by a fan vote during the game and by a panel of 16 football writers and broadcasters who vote after the game. The media panel's ballots count for 80 percent of the vote tally, while the viewers' ballots make up the other 20 percent. The game's viewing audience can vote on the Internet or by using cellular phones; Super Bowl XXXV, held in 2001, was the first Super Bowl with fan voting.The Super Bowl MVP has been awarded annually since the game's inception in 1967. Through 1989, the award was presented by SPORT magazine. Bart Starr was the MVP of the first two Super Bowls. Since 1990, the award has been presented by the NFL. At Super Bowl XXV, the league first awarded the Pete Rozelle Trophy, named after former NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle, to the Super Bowl MVP. Ottis Anderson was the first to win the trophy. Most award winners have received cars from various sponsors. The most recent Super Bowl MVP, from Super Bowl LII held on February 4, 2018, is Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles, who passed for 373 yards and three touchdowns and scored a fourth touchdown as a receiver, becoming the first player to both throw and catch a touchdown pass in a Super Bowl.Tom Brady is the only player to have won four Super Bowl MVP awards; Joe Montana has won three and three others—Starr, Terry Bradshaw, and Eli Manning—have won the award twice. Starr and Bradshaw are the only ones to have won it in back-to-back years. The MVP has come from the winning team every year except 1971, when Dallas Cowboys linebacker Chuck Howley won the award despite the Cowboys' loss in Super Bowl V to the Baltimore Colts. Harvey Martin and Randy White were named co-MVPs of Super Bowl XII, the only time co-MVPs have been chosen. Including the Super Bowl XII co-MVPs, seven Cowboys players have won Super Bowl MVP awards, the most of any NFL team. Quarterbacks have earned the honor 29 times in 52 games.

Super Bowl XL

Super Bowl XL was an American football game between the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Seattle Seahawks and the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Pittsburgh Steelers to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 2005 season. The Steelers defeated the Seahawks by the score of 21–10. The game was played on February 5, 2006 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan.

With the win, the Steelers tied the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys with the then-record five Super Bowls. The Steelers' victory was their first Super Bowl victory since Super Bowl XIV. Pittsburgh, who finished the regular season with an 11–5 record, also became the fourth wild card team, the third in nine years, and the first ever number 6 seed in the NFL playoffs, to win a Super Bowl. The Seahawks, on the other hand, in their 30th season, were making their first ever Super Bowl appearance after posting an NFC-best 13–3 regular season record.

Pittsburgh capitalized on two big plays that were converted into touchdowns. The Steelers jumped to a 14–3 lead early in the third quarter with running back Willie Parker's Super Bowl record 75-yard touchdown run. Seahawks defensive back Kelly Herndon's Super Bowl record 76-yard interception return set up a Seattle touchdown to cut the lead 14–10. But Pittsburgh responded with Antwaan Randle El's 43-yard touchdown pass to Hines Ward, the first time a wide receiver threw a touchdown pass in a Super Bowl, to clinch the game in the fourth quarter. Ward, who caught 5 passes for 123 yards and a touchdown, while also rushing for 18 yards, was named Super Bowl MVP. The officiating in Super Bowl XL however was met with criticism from members of the media soon after the game, leading NFL Films to rank it as one of the top ten controversial calls of all time. Similarly controversial calls throughout the game have put Super Bowl XL as the prime example of bad refereeing amongst officials, newscasters, and fans alike, even years later.

It is the last Super Bowl and NFL game broadcast on ABC. Although the Super Bowl had largely been presented in high definition since Super Bowl XXXIV, Super Bowl XL was the first Super Bowl where all aspects of the game itself were aired in HD.

Super Bowl XLI

Super Bowl XLI was an American football game played between the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Indianapolis Colts and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Chicago Bears to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 2006 season. The Colts defeated the Bears by the score of 29–17. The game was played on February 4, 2007 at Dolphin Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.

This game featured two teams ending long Super Bowl appearance droughts. The Colts, who finished with a 12–4 regular season record, were making their first Super Bowl appearance since winning Super Bowl V in the 1970 season during the team's tenure in Baltimore; they had moved to Indianapolis in 1984. Meanwhile, the Bears, who posted an NFC-best 13–3 regular season record, were making their first appearance since winning Super Bowl XX in the 1985 season. In addition, the Bears' Lovie Smith and the Colts' Tony Dungy both became the first African-American head coaches to coach in the Super Bowl, with Dungy the first to win.

In the first Super Bowl played in rainy conditions, the Colts overcame a 14–6 first-quarter deficit to outscore the Bears 23–3 in the last three quarters. Chicago posted the then-earliest lead in Super Bowl history when returner Devin Hester ran back the opening kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown after 14 seconds had elapsed (a record later broken in Super Bowl XLVIII when the Seattle Seahawks scored a safety 12 seconds into the game). The Colts forced five turnovers, including cornerback Kelvin Hayden's 56-yard interception return for a touchdown. Indianapolis kicker Adam Vinatieri also scored three field goals. Colts quarterback Peyton Manning was named the game's Most Valuable Player (MVP), completing 25 of 38 passes for 247 yards and a touchdown, with one interception for a passer rating of 81.8.

CBS' broadcast of the game was watched by an estimated average of 93.2 million viewers, making it at the time the fifth most watched program in U.S. television history. The halftime show, headlined by the musician Prince, peaked at 140 million television viewers, and was widely acclaimed by music critics.

Super Bowl XLII

Super Bowl XLII was an American football game between the National Football Conference (NFC) champion New York Giants and the American Football Conference (AFC) champion New England Patriots to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 2007 season. The Giants defeated the Patriots by the score of 17–14. The game was played on February 3, 2008 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

The game is regarded as one of the biggest upsets in the history of professional sports, as well as one of the finest Super Bowl games. The Patriots entered the game as 12-point favorites after becoming the first team to complete a perfect regular season since the 1972 Miami Dolphins, and the only one since the league expanded to a 16-game regular season schedule in 1978. The Giants, who finished the regular season with a 10–6 record, were seeking to become the first NFC wild card team to win a Super Bowl, and were also looking for their third Super Bowl victory and first since they won Super Bowl XXV seventeen years earlier. This Super Bowl was also a rematch of the final game of the regular season, in which New England won, 38–35.

The game is best remembered for the Giants' fourth-quarter game-winning drive, often considered the greatest drive in NFL history. Down 14–10, New York got the ball on their own 17-yard line with 2:39 left and marched 83 yards down the field. In the drive's most memorable play, David Tyree made the "Helmet Catch", a leaping one-handed catch pinning the football with his right hand to the crown of his helmet for a 32-yard gain. Wide receiver Plaxico Burress then scored the winning touchdown on a 13-yard reception with 35 seconds remaining. The game was tight throughout. Only 10 total points were scored in the first three quarters. The Giants consumed a Super Bowl record 9 minutes and 59 seconds on their opening drive, but could only manage a field goal. The Patriots then responded with running back Laurence Maroney's 1-yard touchdown run on the first play of the second quarter. After a scoreless third quarter, the fourth quarter saw a Super Bowl record three lead changes, including New England wide receiver Randy Moss making a 6-yard touchdown reception with 2:42 left to play before New York's game-winning drive. Giants quarterback Eli Manning, who completed 19 of 34 passes for 255 yards and two touchdowns, with one interception, was named Super Bowl MVP. Giants defensive end Michael Strahan, who retired following the victory, had two tackles and one sack. This game was the first since Super Bowl IX in 1975 (the Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Minnesota Vikings 16–6) that neither team scored at least 20 points.

The telecast of the game on Fox broke the then-record for the most watched Super Bowl in history with an average of 97.5 million viewers in the United States.

Super Bowl XLIII

Super Bowl XLIII was an American football game between the American Football Conference (AFC) champions Pittsburgh Steelers and the National Football Conference (NFC) champions Arizona Cardinals to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 2008 season. The Steelers defeated the Cardinals by the score of 27–23. The game was played on February 1, 2009 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.

With this victory, the Steelers became the first team to win six Super Bowl championships. The win was also Pittsburgh's second Super Bowl victory in four years, after winning Super Bowl XL at the end of the 2005 season. The Cardinals entered the game seeking their first NFL title since 1947, the longest championship drought in the league. The club became an unexpected winner during the regular season, compiling a 9–7 record, and the playoffs with the aid of head coach Ken Whisenhunt, who was the Steelers' offensive coordinator in Super Bowl XL, and the re-emergence of quarterback Kurt Warner, who was the Super Bowl MVP in Super Bowl XXXIV with his former team, the St. Louis Rams.

Pittsburgh jumped to a 17–7 halftime lead, aided by linebacker James Harrison's Super Bowl-record 100-yard interception return for a touchdown. Trailing 20–7 at the start of the fourth quarter, Arizona scored 16 consecutive points, including a safety by Pittsburgh that led to wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald's 64-yard touchdown reception, to take the first lead of the game with 2:37 remaining. But the Steelers marched 78 yards to score on wide receiver Santonio Holmes' 6-yard game-winning touchdown catch with 35 seconds left. Holmes, who caught nine passes for 131 yards and a touchdown, including four receptions for 73 yards on that final game-winning drive, was named Super Bowl MVP. He became the sixth wide receiver to win the award, half of whom are Steelers (Lynn Swann and Hines Ward).

The NBC television network broadcast attracted an average U.S. audience of 98.7 million viewers, making it the most watched Super Bowl in history at that time.

Super Bowl XLIV

Super Bowl XLIV was an American football game between the National Football Conference (NFC) champions New Orleans Saints and the American Football Conference (AFC) champions Indianapolis Colts to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 2009 season. The Saints defeated the Colts by a score of 31–17, earning their first Super Bowl win. The game was played at Hard Rock Stadium (formerly Joe Robbie Stadium) in Miami Gardens, Florida, for the fifth time (and in South Florida for the tenth time), on February 7, 2010, the latest calendar date for a Super Bowl yet.

This was the Saints' first Super Bowl appearance and the fourth for the Colts franchise, their second appearance in four seasons. The Saints entered the game with a 13–3 record for the 2009 regular season, compared to the Colts' 14–2 record. In the playoff games, both teams placed first in their respective conferences, marking the first time since Super Bowl XXVIII (16 years previously) that both number-one seeds have reached the Super Bowl. The Colts entered the Super Bowl off victories over the Baltimore Ravens and New York Jets, while the Saints advanced after defeating the previous year's runners up the Arizona Cardinals and then overcoming the Minnesota Vikings in the Conference Championship. It was also the first time both teams started with a thirteen-game winning streak.

Down 10–6 at halftime of Super Bowl XLIV, in what many consider the turning point of the game, New Orleans recovered a surprise onside kick on the second half kickoff, then took their first lead of the game on Pierre Thomas's 16-yard touchdown reception. The Colts responded with Joseph Addai's 4-yard touchdown run to regain the lead at 17–13. The Saints then scored 18 unanswered points, including Tracy Porter's 74-yard interception return for a touchdown, to clinch the victory. New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees, who completed 32 of 39 passes for 288 yards and two touchdowns, was named the Super Bowl MVP. His 32 completions tied a Super Bowl record set by Tom Brady in Super Bowl XXXVIII.

The live broadcast of the game on CBS was watched by an average U.S. audience of 106.5 million viewers, making it then the most-watched Super Bowl. The National Anthem was sung by Carrie Underwood, and the halftime show featured the British rock band The Who. Super Bowl XLIV was the last Bowl to have a uniquely designed logo as its predecessors had: starting with Super Bowl XLV, the logo was permanently settled to bear the Vince Lombardi Trophy superimposed on a model of the stadium hosting the game and Roman numerals denoting the edition of the game.

Super Bowl XLIX

Super Bowl XLIX was an American football game played to determine the champion of the National Football League (NFL) for the 2014 season. The American Football Conference (AFC) champion New England Patriots defeated the National Football Conference (NFC) champion and defending Super Bowl XLVIII champion Seattle Seahawks, 28–24, to earn their fourth Super Bowl title and their first in ten years. The game was played on February 1, 2015 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. It was the second time the stadium has hosted a Super Bowl, and the third one held in the Phoenix metropolitan area.

With the loss, the Seahawks became the fourth defending Super Bowl champions to lose in the following year's title game, after the 1978 Dallas Cowboys, 1983 Washington Redskins and the 1997 Green Bay Packers. After finishing the previous season by defeating the Denver Broncos, 43–8, in Super Bowl XLVIII, Seattle completed the 2014 regular season with a 12–4 record. The Patriots, who also posted a 12–4 record, joined the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers as one of the three teams to have made eight appearances in the Super Bowl. For the second straight season, but only the third time in the prior 21 seasons, the number one seeds from both conferences met in the league championship game. Seattle became the first team to appear in consecutive Super Bowls since New England won two straight (XXXVIII and XXXIX).

After the teams were tied 14–14 at halftime, the Seahawks built a 10-point lead to end the third quarter. The Patriots, however, rallied to take a 28–24 lead with 2:02 left in the game. Seattle threatened to score in the final moments, driving the ball to New England's 1-yard line. With 26 seconds remaining in the game, Seattle decided to pass the ball in a highly scrutinized call that resulted in Patriots undrafted rookie Malcolm Butler making a game-saving interception of Russell Wilson's throw. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was named the game's Most Valuable Player (MVP) after a then Super Bowl-record 37 completions on 50 attempts for 328 yards, four touchdowns, and two interceptions (a record Brady himself would break 2 years later in Super Bowl LI).

NBC's broadcast of Super Bowl XLIX remains the most-watched program in the network's history, as well as the most watched program in American television history, surpassing the previous year's game. The game was seen by an average of 114.4 million viewers, with it reaching to 118.5 million during the Super Bowl XLIX halftime show featuring Katy Perry, and then peaking to 120.8 million during New England's fourth-quarter comeback.

Super Bowl XLVII

Super Bowl XLVII was an American football game between the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Baltimore Ravens and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion San Francisco 49ers to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 2012 season. The Ravens defeated the 49ers by the score of 34–31, handing the 49ers their first Super Bowl loss in franchise history. The game was played on Sunday, February 3, 2013 at Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. This was the tenth Super Bowl to be played in New Orleans, equaling Miami's record of ten in an individual city. This was the first Super Bowl to be held in New Orleans since Super Bowl XXXVI and it was the first to be played in that city since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

For the first time in Super Bowl history, the game featured two brothers coaching against each other—Jim and John Harbaugh, head coaches of the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens, respectively—earning it the nickname Har-bowl. In addition, Super Bowl XLVII was the first to feature two teams that had undefeated records in previous Super Bowl games (Baltimore, 1–0; San Francisco, 5–0). The 49ers, who posted a regular-season record of 11–4–1, entered the game seeking their sixth Super Bowl win in team history (and first since Super Bowl XXIX at the end of the 1994 season), which would have tied the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most by a franchise. The Ravens, who posted a 10–6 regular-season record, made their second Super Bowl appearance in 12 years, having previously won Super Bowl XXXV. Ray Lewis, the Most Valuable Player (MVP) from that game, as well as the last remaining member of the inaugural Ravens roster from 1996, also played in this game, his last before his retirement from professional football.Baltimore built a 28–6 lead early in the third quarter before a partial power outage in the Superdome suspended play for 34 minutes (earning the game the added nickname of the Blackout Bowl). After play resumed, San Francisco scored 17 unanswered third-quarter points to cut the Ravens' lead to 28–23, and continued to chip away in the fourth quarter. With the Ravens leading late in the game, 34–29, the 49ers advanced to the Baltimore 7-yard line just before the two-minute warning but turned the ball over on downs. The Ravens then took an intentional safety in the waning moments of the game to preserve the victory. Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco, who completed 22 of 33 passes for 287 yards and three touchdowns, became the fourth quarterback in a row to be named Super Bowl MVP, after Drew Brees at Super Bowl XLIV, Aaron Rodgers at Super Bowl XLV, and Eli Manning at Super Bowl XLVI.CBS broadcast the game in the U.S., and charged an average of $4 million for a 30-second commercial during the game, the highest rate for any Super Bowl. According to Nielsen, Super Bowl XLVII was viewed by an estimated average of 108.69 million people in the United States, with a record 164.1 million tuning into at least six minutes of the game. Beyoncé performed in the Super Bowl XLVII halftime show, which featured a reunion with fellow Destiny's Child alumnae Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams.

Super Bowl XLVIII

Super Bowl XLVIII was an American football game between the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Denver Broncos and National Football Conference (NFC) champion Seattle Seahawks to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 2013 season. The Seahawks defeated the Broncos 43–8, the largest margin of victory for an underdog and tied for the third largest point differential overall (35) in Super Bowl history with Super Bowl XXVII (1993). It was the first time the winning team scored over 40 points, while holding their opponent to under 10. This became the first Super Bowl victory for the Seahawks and the fifth Super Bowl loss for the Broncos, tied with the New England Patriots for the most of any team. The game was played on February 2, 2014 at MetLife Stadium at the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey, the first Super Bowl played outdoors in a cold-weather city and the first Super Bowl to be played on February 2.This marked the third time the number one seed from each conference met in the league championship, joining Super Bowl XXVIII (1994) and Super Bowl XLIV (2010). The Seahawks posted a 13–3 record and were making their second Super Bowl appearance in eight years. The Broncos were making their seventh Super Bowl appearance after also posting a 13–3 record. The game also featured the league's top offense (Denver) against the top defense (Seattle), the first time this occurred since Super Bowl XXXVII (2003).Seattle built a 22–0 halftime lead, and then a 36–0 advantage before allowing Denver's first and only score on the final play of the third quarter. The Seahawks defense scored a safety on the first play from scrimmage, the quickest score in Super Bowl history (coincidentally, the final play from scrimmage of the previous Super Bowl was also a safety). They also became the first team in a Super Bowl to score on a safety, a kickoff return for a touchdown, and an interception return for a touchdown. The Broncos were held to almost 30 points below their scoring average. Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, a five-time NFL Most Valuable Player (MVP) award winner, threw two interceptions in the first half. Seahawks linebacker Malcolm Smith, who returned one of those interceptions 69 yards for a touchdown, recovered a fumble and made nine tackles, was named Super Bowl MVP.In the United States, the game was televised by Fox; with an average audience of 111.5 million viewers, and peaking at 115.3 million during the halftime show featuring Bruno Mars, the game was briefly the most-watched U.S. television broadcast of all time, until it was surpassed the following year. The game's inaugural Spanish-language telecast on Fox Deportes was also the highest-rated Spanish-language cable telecast outside of soccer.

Super Bowl XXXI

Super Bowl XXXI was an American football game between the American Football Conference (AFC) champion New England Patriots and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Green Bay Packers to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1996 season. The Packers defeated the Patriots by the score of 35–21, earning their third overall Super Bowl victory, and their first since Super Bowl II. The Packers also extended their league record for the most overall NFL championships to 12. It was also the last in a run of 13 straight Super Bowl victories by the NFC over the AFC. The game was played on January 26, 1997 at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.

This Super Bowl featured two clubs that had recently returned to competitiveness. After 24 mostly dismal seasons since Vince Lombardi left, the Packers' fortunes turned after head coach Mike Holmgren and quarterback Brett Favre joined the team in 1992. After four losing seasons, the Patriots' rise began in 1993 when Bill Parcells was hired as head coach, and the team drafted quarterback Drew Bledsoe. Under their respective head coaches and quarterbacks, Green Bay posted an NFC-best 13–3 regular season record in 1996, while New England advanced to their second Super Bowl after recording an 11–5 record.

The game began with the teams combining for 24 first-quarter points, the most in Super Bowl history. The Packers then scored 17 unanswered points in the second quarter, including Favre's then-Super Bowl record 81-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Antonio Freeman. In the third quarter, the Patriots cut the lead to 27–21 off of running back Curtis Martin's 18-yard rushing touchdown. But on the ensuing kickoff, Desmond Howard returned the ball a then-Super Bowl record 99 yards for a touchdown. The score proved to be the last one, as both teams' defenses took over the rest of the game. Howard became the first special teams player ever to be named Super Bowl MVP. He gained a total of 154 kickoff return yards, and also recorded a then-Super Bowl record 90 punt return yards, thus tying the then-Super Bowl records of total return yards (244) and combined net yards gained (244).

This was the first Super Bowl broadcast by Fox under its first contract to carry NFL games. By a large margin it was the highest-rated program aired in the network's history at the time.

Super Bowl XXXIV

Super Bowl XXXIV was an American football game between the National Football Conference (NFC) champion St. Louis Rams and the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Tennessee Titans to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1999 season. The Rams defeated the Titans by the score of 23–16, capturing their first Super Bowl win and first NFL championship since 1951. The game, played on January 30, 2000 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, was the fourth Super Bowl to be held a week after the conference championship games (the previous time this happened was Super Bowl XXVIII, and coincidentally that game was also played on January 30 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta).The Rams entered their second Super Bowl in team history with an NFC-best 13–3 regular season record. It was the franchise's first playoff appearance since 1989, when they were still in Los Angeles. The Titans, who were originally the Houston Oilers, also finished the regular season with a 13–3 record, but advanced to their first Super Bowl in team history after entering the playoffs as a wild-card team. Tennessee finished in second place in the AFC Central division behind the 14–2 Jacksonville Jaguars.The first two quarters of Super Bowl XXXIV were largely a defensive battle. Despite outgaining the Titans in total offensive yards in the first half, 294–89, the Rams held only a 9–0 halftime lead on three field goals. St. Louis later scored their first touchdown midway through the 3rd quarter to go up 16–0. Tennessee then responded by scoring 16 consecutive points to tie the game with 2:12 left in regulation. This was the largest deficit to be erased in a Super Bowl and the first deficit that was greater than 10 points. On the Rams' ensuing drive, quarterback Kurt Warner completed a 73-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Isaac Bruce to regain the lead. The Titans then drove to the St. Louis 10-yard line with six seconds remaining, but on the final play of the game, Rams linebacker Mike Jones tackled Tennessee wide receiver Kevin Dyson one yard short of the goal line to prevent a potential game-tying touchdown. This play went into NFL lore as One Yard Short, or simply The Tackle. Warner was then named Super Bowl MVP, becoming the sixth player to win both that award and the NFL MVP during the same season. At the time, his 414 passing yards and 45 pass attempts without an interception broke Super Bowl records.As of 2018, this was the most recent Super Bowl that featured two teams who never won a ring before.

This game is often referred to as the "Dot-com Super Bowl" due to the large amount of advertisements purchased by dot-com companies. This game was later featured as one of NFL's Greatest Games as The Longest Yard.

Super Bowl XXXIX

Super Bowl XXXIX was an American football game played between the American Football Conference (AFC) champion New England Patriots and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Philadelphia Eagles to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 2004 season. The Patriots defeated the Eagles by the score of 24–21. The game was played on February 6, 2005, at Alltel Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida, the first time the Super Bowl was played in that city.

The Patriots, who entered the Super Bowl after compiling a 14–2 regular season record, became the first, and most recent (as of Super Bowl LII), team since the 1997–1998 Denver Broncos to win consecutive Super Bowls. New England also became the second team after the Dallas Cowboys to win three Super Bowls in four years. The Eagles were making their second Super Bowl appearance after posting a 13–3 regular season record.

The game was close throughout, with the teams battling to a 14–14 tie by the end of the third quarter. The Patriots then scored 10 points in the 4th quarter with Corey Dillon's 2-yard touchdown run and Adam Vinatieri's 22-yard field goal. The Eagles then cut their deficit to 24–21, with quarterback Donovan McNabb's 30-yard touchdown pass to receiver Greg Lewis, with 1:48 remaining in the game but could not sustain the comeback. Overall, New England forced four turnovers, while Patriots wide receiver Deion Branch was named Super Bowl MVP for recording 133 receiving yards and tied the Super Bowl record with 11 catches.To avoid the possibility of an incident similar to the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show during the previous year, the league selected Paul McCartney as a "safe" choice to perform during Super Bowl XXXIX's halftime. The broadcast of the game on Fox was watched by an estimated 86 million viewers.

Super Bowl XXXV

Super Bowl XXXV was an American football game between the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Baltimore Ravens and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion New York Giants to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 2000 season. The Ravens defeated the Giants by the score of 34–7, tied for the seventh largest Super Bowl margin of victory with Super Bowl XXXVII. The game was played on January 28, 2001 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.

The Ravens, who posted a 12–4 regular season record, became the third wild card team to win the Super Bowl and the second in four years. Also, the city of Baltimore had its first Super Bowl title since the Baltimore Colts' triumph thirty years prior and became the first city to win major professional football championships with four franchises, the others being the Colts, the 1985 Baltimore Stars of the United States Football League and the 1995 Baltimore Stallions of the Canadian Football League. The Giants entered the game seeking to go 3–0 in Super Bowls after also finishing the regular season with a 12–4 record.

Baltimore allowed only 152 yards of offense by New York (the third-lowest total ever in a Super Bowl), recorded 4 sacks, and forced 5 turnovers. All 16 of the Giants' possessions ended with punts or interceptions, with the exception of the last one, which ended when time expired in the game. New York's lone touchdown, a 97-yard kickoff return, was quickly answered by Baltimore on an 84-yard touchdown return on the ensuing kickoff. The Giants became the first team since the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl XXIII to not score an offensive touchdown and the fifth overall (joining the Bengals as well as the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IX, the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl VII, and the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl VI.) Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis, who made 3 solo tackles, 2 assists, and blocked 4 passes, was named Super Bowl MVP.

Super Bowl XXXVIII

Super Bowl XXXVIII was an American football game between the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Carolina Panthers and the American Football Conference (AFC) champion New England Patriots to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 2003 season. The Patriots defeated the Panthers by a score of 32–29. The game was played at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas, on February 1, 2004. At the time, this was the most watched Super Bowl ever with 144.4 million viewers.The Panthers were making their first ever Super Bowl appearance after posting an 11–5 regular season record. They also made it the second straight year that a team from the NFC South division made the Super Bowl, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers winning Super Bowl XXXVII. The Patriots were seeking their second Super Bowl title in three years after posting a 14–2 record.

NFL fans and sports writers widely consider this game one of the most well-played and thrilling Super Bowls; Sports Illustrated writer Peter King hailed it as the "Greatest Super Bowl of all time." Although neither team could score in the first and third quarters, they ended up with a combined total of 868 yards and 61 points. The game was scoreless for a Super Bowl record 26:55 before the two teams combined for 24 points prior to halftime. The clubs then combined for a Super Bowl record 37 points in the fourth quarter. The contest was finally decided when the Patriots kicker Adam Vinatieri's 41-yard field goal was made with four seconds left. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was named Super Bowl MVP for the second time in his career.

The game is also known for its controversial halftime show in which Janet Jackson's breast, adorned with a nipple shield, was exposed by Justin Timberlake for about half a second, in what was later referred to as a "wardrobe malfunction". Along with the rest of the halftime show, it led to an immediate crackdown by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and widespread debate on perceived indecency in broadcasting.

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