We are nearing the Christmas of North American sports - the day that sees more attention paid to one sporting event than any other day: Super Bowl Sunday.
I enjoy the Super Bowl as much as the next person, but after 55 years, the game has changed in many ways and has developed a number of odd quirks. I thought I would run you through a few of them here.
Here we go:
Food and football
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Super Bowl Sunday is the second-largest food consumption day in the United States every year. It is second only to Thanksgiving, which is also a day many Americans tend to watch football for extended periods of time.
White jersey = win?
I certainly do not think a certain jersey makes one play better, but in the last 16 Super Bowls, the team wearing white has won 12 times. Weird, right?
The Packers, Patriots, Eagles and Chiefs all picked up a single victory in their primary-color jersey. That’s it since 2005.
Look at Peyton Manning through that span. He played in four of these Super Bowls - two for the Colts and two for the Broncos. In his first Super Bowl, the Colts wore white and beat the Bears. A few years later, they were wearing blue and they lost to the Saints.
Moving into Manning's Denver days, the Broncos wore their orange jerseys and were outclassed by Seattle. Two years later, the Broncos wore white and beat Carolina.
Speaking of Seattle, after they wore white to beat the Broncos, they were back in the Super Bowl the following year, this time wearing blue. Guess what? They lost.
Look at Tom Brady as well. He went to nine Super Bowls playing for New England. In the six games he wore white, he brought home five rings. In the three games that he wore blue, he lifted the Lombardi Trophy once.
The NFC and AFC alternate each year which team is designated the “home” team, and the home team gets to choose what uniforms they wear. This year, Tampa Bay is the home team. Care to guess which uniform they’ve opted to wear?
Can Brady match Manning?
Peyton Manning and Tom Brady are easily two of the best QBs of all time. Manning broke many records that Brady has since surpassed; and Brady, of course, has several more rings.
However, Manning is the only quarterback in NFL history to win a Super Bowl with two different teams (Indianapolis and Denver). Brady will be trying to do that this Sunday. Will he do it?
When the NFC reigned supreme
When the 49ers won the Super Bowl in 1985, it kickstarted a Super Bowl winning streak for the NFC that didn’t cease until John Elway and the Broncos beat the Packers 13 Super Bowls Later. Since that streak ended, the AFC teams have won 15 of the past 23.
Initially, few people cared
The early Super Bowls were by no means the spectacle they are today. In fact, tickets for Super Bowl I cost $12 for the really good seats (right around $90 in today’s dollars) and the game didn’t even sell out.
Cut to Super Bowl LIV last year, where tickets for nosebleed seats cost more than $7,000. Obviously a lot has changed since the ‘60s, but the fact that one of the biggest days of the year evolved from something many people did not care about is a little bit fascinating.
That’s it for me. Hopefully everyone enjoys the big game.
Dan Determan may be reached at 218-855-5879 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@PEJ_Dan.