The National Football League is the official home and highest level of professional American football. Currently, 32 teams play in its four conferences or leagues.
Each season leads from the league games through a series of play-offs to a final showdown between the two winning teams called the Super Bowl.
This is the final play-off game to decide the overall champion and has become a major global sporting event. Not surprisingly placing a Super Bowl bet is a widespread popular tradition among fans.
And the Super Bowl halftime show has become as famous as the game itself. Major global entertainment acts appear on an expenses-only basis believing the exposure is worth more than any appearance fee.
Facts About the NFL and the Super Bowl
Everyone thinks they know about the NFL and the Super Bowl.
With so much exposure and attention focussed on the league and its grand finale even Americans who aren’t football fans can recite long lists of facts about them. But we’ve found some amazing facts that even the keenest football fan may not know.
Try these on your sport-mad friends – and see if you can catch them out.
Did you know?
Eight stadiums across the US that have previously hosted the Super Bowl have since been demolished. Do you know them? They are in Tulane, Tampa, Stanford, Miami, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Detroit and San Diego.
The coldest ever Super Bowl was played at the New Orleans Tulane Stadium in 1970. The thermometer read a chilly 39 degrees as the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Minnesota Vikings. Rules have since changed to make 50 degrees the official minimum for the Super Bowl.
When the Green Bay Packers won the first Super Bowl in 1967 the players each received a $15,000 bonus. Today the winning players receive around ten times that amount each. Add in the bonuses from previous rounds and today’s winners may pocket around $250,000 each.
NFL Commissioner Bert Bell tragically died from a heart attack – while watching a game between the Eagles and the Steelers in Philadelphia in 1959. It is a believed the excitement of a touchdown prompted the fatal attack.
Over the Super Bowl weekend Americans are estimated to eat around 1.5 billion chicken wings.
The day of the game itself is considered the second-highest day of food consumption in America’s year, second only to Thanksgiving.
It is estimated that eight million pounds of guacamole are eaten on the day (along with around 14,500 tons on chips).
Throughout its history the Browns, Jaguars, Lions and Texans have never even made it to a Super Bowl final.
The first player to catch a pass from Brett Favre in the NFL was Brett Favre. The Green Bay receiver’s pass hit a Tampa Bay Buccaneer’s helmet and bounced back into his own hands. It was September 1992 and Favre’s first completed pass for Green Bay.
Each year the NFL gets through 700,000 specially made footballs.
The New York Jets have never beaten the Philadelphia Eagles in an NFL game. They’ve met 12 times – and the Eagles have come out in top in every single one.
A 30-second TV commercial during the Super Bowl costs more than $5 million. A ticket for one of the best seats can cost around $60,000.
In 1999 Orlando Brown of Cleveland Browns was badly injured when he got popcorn in his eye. The 6’ 7” offensive linesman crashed into a penalty flag that was weighted with popcorn kernels and suffered loss of vision.
The Denver Broncos and the Patriots are the teams with the most Super Bowl losses. Each has been to the final but come away defeated five times.
And here are some NFL trivia questions to test yourself and your friends:
1 Which team made their first appearance at Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004?
2 What was the New England Patriots original name?
3 Which team’s defence was known as The Steel Curtain?
4 Which city are the Giants from?
5 Who did Gary Kubiak play for as a quarterback in 1983?
6 Can the Super Bowl end in a tie?
7 What were the Chicago Bears originally called?
8 Which city were the Los Angeles Rams representing when in 1999 they won the NFL Championship?
9 What is the official standard weight of an NFL football?
10 Which team was first to win five Super Bowls?
11 Which two states have three NFL teams each?
12 Which Oakland Raiders player wore the 00-numbered jersey?
1 Carolina Panthers
2 Boston Patriots
4 East Rutherford
5 Denver Broncos
7 The Decatur Staleys
8 St Louis
9 14-15 grams
10 San Francisco 49ers
11 Florida and California
12 Jim Otto