Top XLII Facts About the Super Bowl

Some actually true.

  1. Super Bowls are numbered with Roman numerals to honor Roman Gabriel, legendary quarterback for the Los Angeles Rams.

  2. If you are more likely to have a computer on your lap during the game than a platter of chicken wings, InformationWeek provides The Super Bowl Laptop Companion for you.

  3. It is a myth that there is a significant increase in wife abuse on the day of the Super Bowl. This effect has only been observed in Buffalo, New York in the early 1990s. Even Tim Russert gave his spouse a less-than-friendly whack on the backside in 1994 after the Bills fell to the Cowboys for their fourth consecutive Super Bowl loss. But other than that, it's not generally true at all, really.

  4. Miami Dolphins placekicker Garabed Sarkis "Garo" Yepremian probably had the most memorable Super Bowl blooper play in 2004, when he appeared in an ad for erectile dysfunction medication during halftime.

  5. In the not-debunked-yet category, we have this health bulletin:

    For die-hard fans of the New York Giants and New England Patriots, this Sunday's Super Bowl won't be just a game. It may be a health hazard.

    Heart attacks and other cardiac emergencies doubled in Munich, Germany, when that nation's soccer team played in World Cup matches, a new study reports.

    With all due respect, if watching a Super Bowl game can kill you, you are not a "die-hard fan". You are a die-easy fan.

  6. Many people find the TV commercials more interesting than the game. In Super Bowl XXXIX, a particularly clever Budweiser commercial was accidentally played during a third-quarter second-and-14 play by the Philadelphia Eagles, and nobody actually noticed.

  7. Speaking of the Eagles, one of the things I learned in reading Jonah Goldberg's book Liberal Fascism was that the Eagles were named after the "Blue Eagle", the symbol companies were expected to display to show their obesience to the National Industrial Recovery Act in the 1930s. It was probably the US government's greatest effort to corporatize the economy; it involved a lot of scary propagandizing and intimidation, similar to what was going on about the same time in Germany.

  8. The Washington Redskins get a lot of grief for their team's name; would that the Eagles got similar treatment.

  9. Craig Morton quarterbacked in Super Bowl V for Dallas and Super Bowl XII for Denver; in these two appearances he threw one (1) touchdown pass and seven (7) interceptions.

  10. Steve and Zak DeOssie are the 10th father-son combination to have been on Super Bowl teams.

  11. However, New England Patriot Randy Moss is the clone of Washington Redskin Art Monk (Super Bowls XVIII, XXII, and XXVI); that's a first.

  12. It's well-known that Green Bay fans are called "cheeseheads". Not so well-known: Minnesota Vikings fans are dubbed "suicidal".

  13. Fans speculate that Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo was "jinxed" when girlfriend Jessica Simpson came to the game. Just to be safe, New England coach Bill Belichick has had Gisele Bundchen shipped to a point in the Indian Ocean approximately 1200 miles southeast of Madagascar.

  14. Bill Simmons spent the first four paragraphs of his Super Bowl ESPN column describing how hard it is to have an undefeated season … in the "Madden" video game. This allows Bill to deduct the cost of his video console on his 2008 taxes.

  15. An AP story from yesterday:

    With the Super Bowl fast approaching, a senior Republican senator says he wants the NFL to explain why it destroyed evidence of the New England Patriots cheating scandal.

    "I am very concerned about the underlying facts on the taping, the reasons for the judgment on the limited penalties and, most of all, on the inexplicable destruction of the tapes," said Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., in a Thursday letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

    Specter backed down later that day when it was explained that it was too late to get either the Steelers or the Eagles in the Super Bowl.

  16. The letters in "Arlen Specter" can be rearranged to spell "Sen. Rectal Rep"

  17. The NFL attempted last year to register the term "THE BIG GAME" with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

  18. This is also actually true:

    The [NFL], which owns both the Super Bowl name and the broadcast, has restrictions that limit TV screens to 55 inches at public viewings, except at venues like bars and restaurants that regularly broadcast sporting events. Airing the game at events that promote a message, including a religious message, is forbidden.

    It's also said that church-based events have been renamed to "Big Game Fellowship" or "Superb Owl" parties to avoid legal hassles.

  19. More Super Bowls have been played in New Orleans than in any other city. Unless you count Miami.

  20. You'll want to check out this careful collection of three music videos made by Super Bowl players and … oh yeah, a Miller Lite commercial.

  21. [SBIX Logo] Franco Harris made a bit of a stir in 1975's Super Bowl IX. He threatend to boycott because he deemed the game's logo to be "just way too girly". But he relented, and went on to be named MVP as the Steelers crushed the Vikings 16-6.

  22. Richard Dent of the Chicago Bears won the MVP award when his Chicago Bears defeated the New England Patriots 46-10 in Super Bowl XX. Despite this, he's not as despised in New England as is his twin brother, Bucky 'F.' Dent.

  23. If you're in the mood, you might want to check out The XLI Worst Super Bowl Moments.

  24. The northernmost Super Bowl was XXVI, played in the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis. The Buffalo Bills were playing, which means the other team won.

  25. If the Minnesota Vikings and the Buffalo Bills were to play each other in a Super Bowl, experts speculate that the universe would end as the laws of physics, causality, and esthetics would collapse in upon themselves upon the victory of one team. Either that, or the game would go into sudden-death overtime, forever. When asked, Stephen Hawking admitted: "It's a theoretical possibility."

  26. [Gentle Ben] Patriots offensive lineman Logan Mankins vowed at the beginning of the season not to shave his beard until and unless the Patriots lost. His teammates are appreciative:

    There are some small animals in there," Pats offensive lineman Dan Koppen said of Mankins. "There's food and all sorts of stuff growing in there, too."

    If I saw Mankins aimed at me across the line scrimmage, I think I would immediately turn and run back to the locker room and hide.

  27. Two strangers are at the Super Bowl, with great 50-yard line seats. There's an empty seet between them, though. One guy asks the other, "Is anyone sitting here?"

    The other shakes his head. "No, it's empty."

    "I can't believe anyone in their right mind would turn down a chance for this seat!"

    "Well, it's my wife's seat. We've been going to Super Bowls for thirty years. She passed away. This is the first Super Bowl she missed in all that time."

    "I'm sorry to hear that. But couldn't you find someone else - a friend, a relative, or even a neighbor to take the seat?"

    The man shakes his head, "No. They're all at the funeral."

  28. My favorite quote from a Super Bowl MVP to a Supreme Court Justice: "Come on, Sandy Baby, loosen up. You're too uptight." (John Riggins to Sandra Day O'Connor, 1982)

  29. Here is Letterman's "Top Ten Things You Don't Want To Hear At Your Super Bowl Party". Number 10:

    "I'll take your coats and Michael Vick will take your dogs"

  30. There has never been a shutout in the Super Bowl. Thanks, perhaps, to Garo Yepremian.

  31. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers will be the big act at halftime. From the USA Today report on his press conference:

    Asked if he knew that Hillary Clinton had addressed a political rally to refrains from Petty's former hit American Girl after winning the New Hampshire democratic primary, Petty said he'd only been informed in the days afterward. He also declined to publicly back a presidential candidate, saying, "You wouldn't want to take a guitar player's advice."

    Tom is an OK guy in my book.

  32. Although Kevin Rousseau comments somewhat snarkily: "I guess Joan Jett and the Blackhearts were busy."

  33. Lingerie Bowl V has been cancelled.

  34. But if you can't stand Tom Petty—well, first, what the hell is your problem, dude?—but if you can't stand Tom Petty, there are other things on other channels. My favorite:

    Spike's idea is to show an eating contest featuring the likes of Eater X, Tim "Gravy" Brown" and rising star (in the eating world, anyway) Joey Chesnut. Spike will telecast an undercard of hard-boiled-egg consumption (world record: 65) as well as a ham-eating main event.

  35. If you watch the Super Bowl for the ads, you can get a description here. There's going to be an Iron Man preview—yay!— in the second quarter.

  36. Also there's this mysterious description of the spot from the "White House Office of National Drug Control Policy"

    Drug dealer loses teen business to prescription drugs.

    What's that about? Good thing, or bad?

  37. Perhaps it's related to this suggestion from Robert Knight, who's less than amused by a certain subcategory of prescription drug ads:

    Maybe FOX, CBS and NFL executives should try sitting next to a 9-year-old child while the guy explains on screen that men should consult doctors if "an erection lasts more than four hours."

  38. Almost certainly no ad will be better than this one:

  39. There were 12 fumbles in Super Bowl XXVII: 4 by the Dallas Cowboys, and 8 by the Buffalo Bills. (7 were lost, 2 by the Cowboys, 5 by the Bills.)

  40. Among the people predicting a Giants win tomorrow: Plaxico Burress, Dionne Warwick, and Fran Tarkenton. Yes, former Vikings quarterback Fran Tarkenton. Yes, former great singer, and former shill for the Psychic Friends Network, Dionne Warwick.

  41. Among the people picking the Pats: … well, just about everyone else, sorry, Fran and Dionne.

  42. Finally: Teddy Bruschi is frickin' awesome.

Last Modified 2012-10-14 10:31 AM EDT