Super Bowl or Super Bull? Six Super Bowl Myths Busted

Think the grudge between the Patriots' Tom Brady and the Giants' Eli Manning has been going on awhile? There are urban legends about the big game that have persisted for decades. We thought we'd put some of the Super Bowl's biggest myths to the test.

1. Domestic violence spikes after the Super Bowl.

This story stemmed from a Public Service Announcement that aired at the beginning of the televised broadcast of the 1993 Super Bowl match between the Dallas Cowboys and the Buffalo Bills that warned, "Domestic violence is a crime." Although a number of articles debunking the claim appeared in various newspapers, the idea has persisted. Football is so overtly macho and physical it's no wonder that it gives some people, especially those who don't enjoy or understand the game, the chills. However, in 2006, Richard Gelles, an expert on domestic abuse from the University of Pennsylvania said, "This kind of 'urban legend' trivialized the causes and consequences of domestic violence."

2. Municipal sewers often overflow at halftime.

It stands to reason that there are a lot of toilets being flushed when people are sitting around at home eating, drinking, and watching three hours of football, but town sewers do not overflow. C and W Plumbing representatives point out this rumor was started when a water main broke in Salt Lake City, Utah, during the 1984 Super Bowl.

3. Year's biggest "sick day" is Super Bowl Monday.

A survey by Careerbuilder.com says the most common time for employee absenteeism is around the Christmas and New Year's holidays. However, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that about 1.5 million people will call in sick and millions more will go to work hung-over after the big game, so there is a huge impact on productivity from Super Bowl Monday.

4. A billion people watch the Super Bowl.

Not even close. According to The Economist, the only sporting event in history that was viewed by a billion people was the opening of the Beijing Olympics in 2008. The Super Bowl does set records for American TV viewers though. Nielsen estimates that 111 million people tuned into last year's Super Bowl, making it the most watched event in television history.

5. Two-thirds of all avocados sold in the United States are for Super Bowl guacamole.

The industry newsletter ThePacker.Com says that avocados are promoted most heavily around Super Bowl weekend, and about 71 million pounds of the fruit will be sold. That's a lot of guac. But, according to the California Avocado Association, Cinco de Mayo edges out the game by about 10 million pounds.

6. There are only about 11 minutes of playing time in the entire Super Bowl.

This year's Super Bowl extravaganza will clock in at around three hours. For diehard fans, that's the blink of an eye, and for others, an eternity. Can it be that the playing time on the field is less then 15 minutes? The Wall Street Journal did some nifty calculations and found commercials eat up more than 60% of the broadcast, replays get about 17 minutes, and the time the pigskin is actually in play? It's about 11-13 minutes.

For more on Yahoo! Shine's Super Bowl coverage, check out our Game Time Guide.