10 Fascinating Super Bowl Facts

Impress your fellow football fans with game-related trivia on the big day By Larry Dobrow

Come the first Sunday in February, the question won't be whether or not you'll watch the Super Bowl. It's whether you'll be checking out the game, the commercials or the Beyonce's halftime performance. Whatever you choose, keep things lively by having some Super Bowl trivia at the ready. Drop a few of these stat bombs on your fellow fans, and we guarantee they'll be impressed. Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images.

Super-Size Your Appetite
Super Bowl Sunday is practically an unofficial national holiday, so it's no surprise that the day doubles as a food fest as well. Domino's expects that it will sell somewhere upward of 9 million slices of pizza, while the California Avocado Commission estimates that fans will consume 160 million avocados (most likely in the form of guacamole, of course). But it's not like game attendees will skimp on the smorgasbord, either: For example, during 2009's Super Bowl XLIII at Tampa's Raymond James Stadium, 55,200 hot dogs were sold. That's not quite one dog per fan, but it's close.

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Get in Line
While the Super Bowl halftime show is now the domain of big-name musical acts, the first nine games showcased college marching bands and drill teams, occasionally supplemented by a "celebrity" like Miss Texas 1973. There were also themes such as the "World of Children's Dreams" in 1985, which involved the Air Force, and "Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye" in 1995, which featured Patti LaBelle. Though the most unlikely halftime show had to have been 1978's "From Paris to Paris of America," which featured a gaggle of New Orleans musicians-because nothing says "tackle" like a clarinet solo.

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In It to Win It
Like it or not, all teams aren't created equal. With their appearance this year, the Pittsburgh Steelers will tie with the Dallas Cowboys as the team that has played in the most Super Bowls-eight in all. The Steelers have already won six Super Bowl games, making them the league record holder. If they claim this year's title, they'll have won an astonishing 16 percent of the 45 games played.

Say It Like You Mean It
The first athlete to utter "I'm going to Disney World!" in the wake of a triumphant Super Bowl performance was Phil Simms, reportedly paid $75,000 for the insta-plug in the moments after he was named MVP of the 1987 game. However, it hasn't only been game MVPs who were selected for the spot. Super Bowl XXXV MVP Ray Lewis-who'd been a suspect in a murder investigation (he ultimately pled guilty to obstruction of justice)-was notably passed over in favor of teammate Trent Dilfer, who barely made a blip in the Baltimore Ravens' annihilation of the New York Giants.

Glued to the Tube
The post-Super Bowl TV time slot has been a mixed bag for new shows. Winners (based on ratings and time on air) include The Wonder Years, Homicide: Life on the Street and Undercover Boss. Losers include Grand Slam, MacGruderandLoud, The Last Precinct and Extreme. Fun fact: The first Super Bowl aired on both NBC and CBS; the networks followed up the game with Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color and Lassie, respectively.

Eye on the Prize
The Vince Lombardi Trophy depicts a regulation-size football atop a vaguely tee-like structure. Designed and manufactured by Tiffany & Co., the sterling silver award weighs seven pounds and takes nearly 70 hours to forge and assemble. Its estimated value is $50,000. Prior to Super Bowl XXX, the trophy was presented to the winning team's owner in the locker room. Since then, it's been presented on the field after the game amidst a deluge of confetti.

Plugged In
The NFL claims that the Super Bowl is viewed by one billion people, which is actually a misleading figure. It is viewable by as many as one billion people around the globe, but about 100 to 105 million actually tune in, largely from the United States. The most-viewed game was last year's clash between the Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints, which attracted an audience of 106.5 million at its peak. The highest-rated game (in terms of percentage of actual viewers) remains Super Bowl XVI in 1982, featuring the San Francisco 49ers and Cincinnati Bengals. It was viewed in 49.1 percent of U.S. households.

On the Ball
Football isn't like baseball; no game sequence demands more than two or three balls. That said, the NFL doesn't take any chances with its biggest showcase of the year-216 official game balls are custom-produced for each Super Bowl game, imprinted with the team names and game logo. In total, 108 footballs are delivered to the game; the two contenders are allowed to do whatever they please with the rest.

Look on the Bright Side
The NFL may be filled with manly men, but the one thing the players don't seem to like is the cold weather. Each of the 44 Super Bowls have been played either in a warm-weather location or under the protection of a stadium dome. Florida (including Miami and Tampa) has hosted 14, the most Super Bowls for one state. New Orleans trails close behind with nine, while the greater Los Angeles area has hosted seven. Only in 2014, at the New Meadowlands Stadium outside New York City, will the game finally be played outdoors in the winter chill.

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In the Hot Seat
Pint-size venues need not apply for the privilege of hosting a Super Bowl. Only 61,946 fans attended Super Bowl I in Los Angeles, while Super Bowl XIV in Pasadena has held the attendance record since 1980, with 103,985 fans. That figure, however, could be surpassed in Arlington, Texas, this year. The new stadium (home to the Dallas Cowboys) seats 80,000, but can be configured to accommodate as many as 13,000 more fans. Throw in the parking lot-yes, tickets are being sold to view the game outside the stadium on mega-size screens-and Super Bowl XLV could seize the attendance record. The outdoor tickets cost $200 each, but include parking. Seriously.

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