This is one of the best sports weeks of the year. For awhile it didn’t look like the National Football League would have a season, much less a Super Bowl in 2012, but with a little cooperation from the league, the NFLPA, and the football gods, fanatics everywhere will have their chance to watch the New York Giants & the New England Patriots square off Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

The NFL’s championship showcase has a great deal of history for not only players & teams, but also for advertisers, sponsors, entertainers, and the like. The only other contest that can generate the same type of buzz is arguable the World Cup, and even with that game you have to consider a four year buildup versus that of a contest played annually. Nothing in sports compares to the Super Bowl, nothing.

With all that said, it’s my duty for this weeks installment of Facts with Factoid to bring you some tidbits about the NFL’s big game that are deeper than the box score.

Some History

  • The Detroit Lions are the only team in the NFC (National Football Conference) to never attend a Super Bowl. However, they won the NFL championship in 1935, 1952, 1953, and 1957 prior to the existence of the Super Bowl.
  • Joe Montana is the only player to win the Super Bowl MVP award three times. Over half of all MVP titles have gone to a team quarterback.
  • The Minnesota Vikings are the only team to appear in four Super Bowls (IV, VIII, IX, XI) and never lead in any of them.
  • Minnesota, Buffalo and Denver have lost the most Super Bowls at 4 times. Buffalo lost 4 times in a row. Scott Norwood is still having nightmares.
  • There isn’t much difference between Miami of Ohio and The University of Miami when it comes to Super Bowl quarterbacking appearances. Jim Kelly made four straight trips to the big game with the Buffalo Bills. He of course was a Hurricane. Ben Rothlisberger, the former qb for Miami of Ohio has started in three Super Bowls.
  • The longest run in a Super Bowl was 100 yards after an interception by Pittsburgh Steeler James Harrison during Super Bowl XLIII. (Formerly 75 yards by Willie Parker during Super Bowl XL).

The Game

  • Over 700,000 footballs are produced for official NFL use every season, and 72 of those are used for the Super Bowl. What you didn’t know is that those football are made from specially modified pigs commissioned by the league with “NFL” watermarks tattooed into their skin. Oonk Oonk.
  • The Super Bowl will be watched by roughly 152 million people worldwide, in 232 countries, broadcast in 34 different languages. I think it’s safe to say it’s a global game.
  • At one point during their 1980 Super Bowl season, 31 players on the Los Angeles Raiders 40-man roster were convicted felons. That may or may not be true. Either way, it’s funny!

The Teams

  • Tom Brady is one of four players with multiple Super Bowl MVP awards –- the three others are quarterbacks as well: Bart Starr (2), Joe Montana (3) and Terry Bradshaw (2).
  • The Patriots have won three Super Bowls; with a win they’ll join the Steelers (6), Cowboys (5) and 49ers (5), Packers (4) as the only franchises to win 4 Super Bowls.
  • Bill Belichick is the third head coach to appear in five Super Bowls. The others are Don Shula (6), Tom Landry (5).
  • The Giants will be playing in their 19 NFL title game dating back to 1933. The Giants have won five NFL championships in their history –- including three Super Bowls.
  • The Giants’ 19 NFL championship game appearances are the most in NFL history.
  • Tom Coughlin is actually a good coach and Eli Manning is an elite quarterback.

The Dough $$

  • In 1967 during the first Super Bowl, a 30-second television commercial cost $42,000. The same length commercial during the 2011 Super Bowl will cost upwards of $3 million. That difference is staggering.
  • 35% of attendees write off the Super Bowl as a business expense.
  • Consumers will spend approximately $5.5 billion on Super Bowl related items. That’s jersey’s, snuggees, cheese logs, party decorations, and a whole lot of guacamole.

The Party

  • Super Bowl fans spend more than $50 million on food during the four days leading up to the game. Is there any wonder why we are the fattest and laziest country on the face of the planet?
  • Super Bowl Sunday is the biggest winter grilling day of the year. Perfect opportunity to say visit Phil the Grill for all your backyard grilling needs.
  • The average number of people at a Super Bowl Party is 17. This gives you time to go get a few more folding chairs before your guests arrive. Don’t forget the seat cushions.
  • More than 1 billion chicken wings are consumed during the game. (Factoid loves hot bird)
  • Americans will drink more than 325.5 million gallons of beer on Super Sunday. It would take 493 Olympic-sized pools to hold that much beer.

The Payout

  • The law is out in full force on Super Bowl Sunday looking for clowns who chose to drink and drive. More drivers are involved in alcohol related accidents on Super Bowl Sunday than any other day of the year (besides St. Patrick’s Day), according to the Insurance Institute. Sounds like insurance companies and courts are raking in the dough thanks to the big game, not to mention tough truck companies.
  • In 2009, it was reported that 2.9 million HD televisions were sold for the Super Bowl. That’s a sizable profit for manufacturers.
  • The economic impact in local communities hosting the game can exceed $400-500 million.

The Next Day

  • The trouble with a killer party is the recovery. On the Monday following the Super Bowl, antacid sales increase by 20% and somewhere between 6 and 7% of Americans play hooky from work. So my advice to you, pick a DD, stop for some pepto and rollaids on the way home, and prepare to pray to the porcelain God is you went too hard.

Enjoy you Super Bowl!

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