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Super Bowl History

By Wikipedia

The Super Bowl is the championship game of the National Football League. The game is almost like a national holiday in the United States. It was held annually from mid-to-late January on a Sunday but is now the first Sunday in February, and is one of the most watched television broadcasts of the year.


An AFL-NFL Championship Game was first played after the 1966 football season on January 15, 1967, between the champions of the American Football League and the NFL. The game was a result of the merger agreement between the two leagues that took full effect for the 1970 season. The third such game, after the 1968 season, was called the "Super Bowl", and that name is now used to refer to the first two AFL-NFL Championship Games as well.

The name was inspired by Kansas City Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt's daughter playing with a small rubber ball with high bouncing powers called a superball. After the 1970 season, the game reverted from an essentially interleague championship to the NFL championship, featuring the champions of the NFL's two conferences, the American Football Conference and the National Football Conference. The winning team receives the Vince Lombardi Trophy, named for the coach of the Green Bay Packers, who won the first two Super Bowl games. The trophy was named prior to Super Bowl V in his honor following his death in 1970.

Previous to the 1966 football season, American professional football's championship games were played for various league championships, and games were not played between league champions. The game was called the "All-America Football Conference Championship Game", the "AFL Championship Game" or the "NFL Championship Game", depending on the league playing it.

Ratings and commercials

The Super Bowl tends to have high Nielsen television ratings which usually come in around a 40 rating and 60 share (i.e. on average, 40 percent of all U.S. households, and 60 percent of all homes tuned into television during the game). This means that on average, 80 to 90 million Americans are tuned into the Super Bowl at any given moment. Also it is estimated that 130-140 million tune into some part of the game. The most watched and, to that point, the most exciting Super Bowl was 1998's Super Bowl XXXII between the Denver Broncos and Green Bay Packers which received a 44.5 rating and 67 share, attracting 90 million viewers. In terms of household percentage, the most watched was Super Bowl XVI in 1982 which was watched in 49.1% of households (73 share) or 40,020,000 households at the time.

The Super Bowl has long been the showcase for extravagantly expensive commercials and is often where new ad campaigns are launched. Famous commercial campaigns include the "Big Brother" Apple Macintosh ad of 1984, the Budweiser "Bud Bowl" campaign, and the 1999 and 2000 dot-com ads. Prices have increased each year, with reports citing a record $2.5 million (US) for a 30 second spot during Super Bowl XL in 2006.

Due to legalized gambling, Las Vegas is the only city that is not allowed to run commercials during the game. This ban includes the pre and post game shows.


The location of the Super Bowl is chosen well in advance, usually 3-5 years before the game. The chosen venues have either been located in the southern regions of the United States where the wintertime weather is expected to be mild, or in domed stadiums where weather is not an issue.

Coincidentally, no NFL team has ever played the Super Bowl on its own home turf. However, Super Bowl XIV (which involved the then-Los Angeles Rams) was played in the Rose Bowl stadium in nearby Pasadena; and Super Bowl XIX (which involved the San Francisco 49ers) was played at the nearby Stanford Stadium on the Stanford University campus in Palo Alto.

The designated "home team" alternates between the NFC team in odd-numbered years (the Philadelphia Eagles in 2005), and the AFC team in even-numbered years (the New England Patriots in 2004). The home team is given the choice of either wearing their colored jerseys or their white ones; this started with Super Bowl XIII. Prior to that, the home team always wore the dark jerseys. The Dallas Cowboys wore their rarely-used blue uniform tops in Super Bowl V, and lost to the then-Baltimore Colts, which has led to the widely-held belief that the Cowboys do not play well in their blue shirts. While most home teams in the Super Bowl choose to wear their colored jerseys, only the Cowboys in XIII and XXVII and the Washington Redskins in XVII have worn white as the home team.

The television network showing the game changes from year to year. In the United States it is shared between three of the four major television networks - ABC, CBS, and FOX. Super Bowl XXXVIII was shown on CBS, Super Bowl XXXIX was shown on FOX, and Super Bowl XL will be shown on ABC, which will be the final NFL game broadcast on on that network for the foreseeable future.

With the new television contracts beginning in 2006, NBC, which last telecast Super Bowl XXXII in 1998, will take ABC's place in the network rotation starting with Super Bowl XLIII in 2009.


  • The Super Bowl uses roman numerals to differentiate each game rather than the year it was held since confusion commonly arises as the NFL season spreads over two calendar years. For example, the New England Patriots, winners of Super Bowl XXXIX are the champions of the 2004 NFL season, even though the championship game was played in February of 2005.
  • In the months leading up to Super Bowl XXX (30) it was discovered that some proxy servers were blocking the web site for the event. The reason for this was that "XXX" is usually associated with pornography, and proxy servers thought those trying to visit that site were trying to access pornography.
  • Super Bowl XXXVI was originally scheduled to be played on January 27, 2002. But the game was moved back one week to February 3, 2002 because of the September 11, 2001 attacks. This was the first Super Bowl to be played in February. Most of the events two years afterward were scheduled in February. Also, because of the attacks, the Super Bowl is now a National Special Security Event (NSSE).
  • Super Bowl XXXIX was the first such game to be tied after three quarters of play.
  • No American Football Conference (AFC) team has ever won a Super Bowl that was broadcast on ABC (The NFC is currently 6-0). The closest an AFC team came to winning the Super Bowl on that network was when the Buffalo Bills lost to the New York Giants 20-19 in Super Bowl XXV.

Game history

The winner of the AFC Championship Game faces the winner of the NFC Championship Game, in the culmination of the NFL playoffs. From the 1966 season to the 1970 merger of the American Football League and the NFL, the two leagues met in a championship game.

AFL-NFL Championships

National Football League American Football League
Game Date Winning Team Score Losing Team Location
I Jan 15, 1967 Green Bay Packers (1) 35-10 Kansas City Chiefs Los Angeles (1)
II Jan 14, 1968 Green Bay Packers (2) 33-14 Oakland Raiders Miami (1)
III Jan 12, 1969 New York Jets (1) 16-7 Baltimore Colts Miami (2)
IV Jan 11, 1970 Kansas City Chiefs (1) 23-7 Minnesota Vikings New Orleans (1)

NFL Championships

American Football Conference (AFC) National Football Conference (NFC)
Game Date Winning Team Score Losing Team Location
V Jan 17, 1971 Baltimore Colts (1) 16-13 Dallas Cowboys Miami (3)
VI Jan 16, 1972 Dallas Cowboys (1) 24-3 Miami Dolphins New Orleans (2)
VII Jan 14, 1973 Miami Dolphins (1) 14-7 Washington Redskins Los Angeles (2)
VIII Jan 13, 1974 Miami Dolphins (2) 24-7 Minnesota Vikings Houston (1)
IX Jan 12, 1975 Pittsburgh Steelers (1) 16-6 Minnesota Vikings New Orleans (3)
X Jan 18, 1976 Pittsburgh Steelers (2) 21-17 Dallas Cowboys Miami (4)
XI Jan 9, 1977 Oakland Raiders (1) 32-14 Minnesota Vikings Pasadena (1)
XII Jan 15, 1978 Dallas Cowboys (2) 27-10 Denver Broncos New Orleans (4)
XIII Jan 21, 1979 Pittsburgh Steelers (3) 35-31 Dallas Cowboys Miami (5)
XIV Jan 20, 1980 Pittsburgh Steelers (4) 31-19 Los Angeles Rams Pasadena (2)
XV Jan 20, 1980 Oakland Raiders (2) 27-10 Philadelphia Eagles New Orleans (5)
XVI Jan 24, 1982 San Francisco 49ers (1) 26-21 Cincinnati Bengals Pontiac (1)*
XVII Jan 30, 1983 Washington Redskins (1) 27-17 Miami Dolphins Pasadena (3)
XVIII Jan 22, 1984 Los Angeles Raiders (3) 38-9 Washington Redskins Tampa (1)
XIX Jan 20, 1985 San Francisco 49ers (2) 38-16 Miami Dolphins Stanford (1)
XX Jan 26, 1986 Chicago Bears (1) 46-10 New England Patriots New Orleans (6)
XXI Jan 25, 1987 New York Giants (1) 39-20 Denver Broncos Pasadena (4)
XXII Jan 31, 1988 Washington Redskins (2) 42-10 Denver Broncos San Diego (1)
XXIII Jan 22, 1989 San Francisco 49ers (3) 20-16 Cincinnati Bengals Miami (6)
XXIV Jan 28, 1990 San Francisco 49ers (4) 55-10 Denver Broncos New Orleans (7)
XXV Jan 27, 1991 New York Giants (2) 20-19 Buffalo Bills Tampa (2)
XXVI Jan 26, 1992 Washington Redskins (3) 37-24 Buffalo Bills Minneapolis (1)
XXVII Jan 31, 1993 Dallas Cowboys (3) 52-17 Buffalo Bills Pasadena (5)
XXVIII Jan 30, 1994 Dallas Cowboys (4) 30-13 Buffalo Bills Atlanta (1)
XXIX Jan 29, 1995 San Francisco 49ers (5) 49-26 San Diego Chargers Miami (7)
XXX Jan 28, 1996 Dallas Cowboys (5) 27-17 Pittsburgh Steelers Tempe (1)
XXXI Jan 26, 1997 Green Bay Packers (3) 35-21 New England Patriots New Orleans (8)
XXXII Jan 25, 1998 Denver Broncos (1) 31-24 Green Bay Packers San Diego (2)
XXXIII Jan 31, 1999 Denver Broncos (2) 34-19 Atlanta Falcons Miami (8)
XXXIV Jan 30, 2000 St. Louis Rams (1) 23-16 Tennessee Titans Atlanta (2)
XXXV Jan 28, 2001 Baltimore Ravens (1) 34-7 New York Giants Tampa (3)
XXXVI Feb 3, 2002 New England Patriots (1) 20-17 St. Louis Rams New Orleans (9)
XXXVII Jan 26, 2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1) 48-21 Oakland Raiders San Diego (3)
XXXVIII Feb 1, 2004 New England Patriots (2) 32-29 Carolina Panthers Houston (2)
XXXVIII Feb 6, 2005 New England Patriots (3) 24-21 Philadelphia Eagles Jacksonville (1)
XL Feb 5, 2006       Detroit (2)
XLI Feb 4, 2007       Miami (9)
XLII Feb 3, 2008       Glendale, Arizona (1)
XLIII Feb 1, 2009       Tampa (4)
XLIV Feb 7, 2010       TBD**

(*) Note: Pontiac is a suburb of Detroit.

(**) Note: New York City was originally to host Super Bowl XLIV in 2010, but due to problems with the proposed West Side Stadium the bidding has been reopened. As of September 12, 2005, the location is yet to be determined.

Super Bowl appearances

8 - Dallas Cowboys (won 5, lost 3)
6 - Denver Broncos (won 2, lost 4)
5 - San Francisco 49ers (won 5)
5 - Pittsburgh Steelers (won 4, lost 1)
5 - Oakland Raiders (won 3, lost 2; one win as Los Angeles Raiders)
5 - Washington Redskins (won 3, lost 2)
5 - New England Patriots (won 3, lost 2)
5 - Miami Dolphins (won 2, lost 3)
4 - Green Bay Packers (won 3, lost 1)
4 - Buffalo Bills (lost 4)
4 - Minnesota Vikings (lost 4)
3 - New York Giants (won 2, lost 1)
3 - St. Louis Rams (won 1, lost 2; one loss as Los Angeles Rams)
2 - Kansas City Chiefs (won 1, lost 1)
2 - Baltimore Colts (won 1, lost 1; franchise now Indianapolis Colts)
2 - Cincinnati Bengals (lost 2)
2 - Philadelphia Eagles (lost 2)
1 - Baltimore Ravens (won 1)
1 - Chicago Bears (won 1)
1 - New York Jets (won 1)
1 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers (won 1)
1 - Atlanta Falcons (lost 1)
1 - Carolina Panthers (lost 1)
1 - San Diego Chargers (lost 1)
1 - Tennessee Titans (lost 1)




The field of Reliant Stadium before Super Bowl XXXVIII from space!

Courtesy of NASA

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