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Encyclopedia > Superbowl

The Super Bowl is the championship game of the National Football League, the pinnacle of American football. The game is almost like a national holiday for the United States. It is held annually on the last Sunday in January or the first Sunday in February, and is one of the most watched television broadcasts of the year.

The first Super Bowl was played in 1967.



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 super ball. 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. (See: Professional American football championship games and National Football League championships).

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 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.

Following Apple Computer's 1984 commercial introducing the Apple Macintosh computer, directed by Ridley Scott, the broadcast of the Super Bowl became the premier showcase for high concept or simply extravagantly expensive commercials. Famous commercial campaigns include the Budweiser "Thank you superbowl!" campaign, and the 1999 and 2000 dot-com ads. Prices have increased each year, reaching $2.4 million (US) for a 30 second spot during Super Bowl XXXIX in 2005.


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.

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 in nearby Pasadena; and Super Bowl XIX (which involved the San Francisco 49ers) was played at the nearby Stanford University Stadium 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. While most home teams in the Super Bowl pick to wear their colored ones, the following decided to wear white: Cowboys in XIII, Redskins in XVII, Cowboys in XXVII

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.


  • 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 thereafter were scheduled in February.
  • Super Bowl XXXIX was the first such game to be tied after three quarters of play.


List of results

AFL-NFL Championships:
I 1967-01-15 NFL Green Bay Packers (1) def. AFL Kansas City Chiefs 35-10 (Los Angeles (1))
II 1968-01-14 NFL Green Bay Packers (2) def. AFL Oakland Raiders 33-14 (Miami (1))
III 1969-01-12 AFL New York Jets (1) def. NFL Baltimore Colts 16-7 (Miami (2))
IV 1970-01-11 AFL Kansas City Chiefs (1) def. NFL Minnesota Vikings 23-7 (New Orleans (1))
Final inter-league standings: NFL 2 wins, AFL 2 wins.
NFL Championships:
V 1971-01-17 AFC Baltimore Colts (1) def. NFC Dallas Cowboys 16-13 (Miami (3))
VI 1972-01-16 NFC Dallas Cowboys (1) def. AFC Miami Dolphins 24-3 (New Orleans (2))
VII 1973-01-14 AFC Miami Dolphins (1) def. NFC Washington Redskins 14-7 (Los Angeles (2))
VIII 1974-01-13 AFC Miami Dolphins (2) def. NFC Minnesota Vikings 24-7 (Houston (1))
IX 1975-01-12 AFC Pittsburgh Steelers (1) def. NFC Minnesota Vikings 16-6 (New Orleans (3))
X 1976-01-18 AFC Pittsburgh Steelers (2) def. NFC Dallas Cowboys 21-17 (Miami (4))
XI 1977-01-09 AFC Oakland Raiders (1) def. NFC Minnesota Vikings 32-14 (Pasadena (1))
XII 1978-01-15 NFC Dallas Cowboys (2) def. AFC Denver Broncos 27-10 (New Orleans (4))
XIII 1979-01-21 AFC Pittsburgh Steelers (3) def. NFC Dallas Cowboys 35-31 (Miami (5))
XIV 1980-01-20 AFC Pittsburgh Steelers (4) def. NFC Los Angeles Rams 31-19 (Pasadena (2))
XV 1981-01-25 AFC Oakland Raiders (2) def. NFC Philadelphia Eagles 27-10 (New Orleans (5))
XVI 1982-01-24 NFC San Francisco 49ers (1) def. AFC Cincinnati Bengals 26-21 (Pontiac (1))
XVII 1983-01-30 NFC Washington Redskins (1) def. AFC Miami Dolphins 27-17 (Pasadena (3))
XVIII 1984-01-22 AFC Los Angeles Raiders (3) def. NFC Washington Redskins 38-9 (Tampa (1))
XIX 1985-01-20 NFC San Francisco 49ers (2) def. AFC Miami Dolphins 38-16 (Stanford (1))
XX 1986-01-26 NFC Chicago Bears (1) def. AFC New England Patriots 46-10 (New Orleans (6))
XXI 1987-01-25 NFC New York Giants (1) def. AFC Denver Broncos 39-20 (Pasadena (4))
XXII 1988-01-31 NFC Washington Redskins (2) def. AFC Denver Broncos 42-10 (San Diego (1))
XXIII 1989-01-22 NFC San Francisco 49ers (3) def. AFC Cincinnati Bengals 20-16 (Miami (6))
XXIV 1990-01-28 NFC San Francisco 49ers (4) def. AFC Denver Broncos 55-10 (New Orleans (7))
XXV 1991-01-27 NFC New York Giants (2) def. AFC Buffalo Bills 20-19 (Tampa (2))
XXVI 1992-01-26 NFC Washington Redskins (3) def. AFC Buffalo Bills 37-24 (Minneapolis (1))
XXVII 1993-01-31 NFC Dallas Cowboys (3) def. AFC Buffalo Bills 52-17 (Pasadena (5))
XXVIII 1994-01-30 NFC Dallas Cowboys (4) def. AFC Buffalo Bills 30-13 (Atlanta (1))
XXIX 1995-01-29 NFC San Francisco 49ers (5) def. AFC San Diego Chargers 49-26 (Miami (7))
XXX 1996-01-28 NFC Dallas Cowboys (5) def. AFC Pittsburgh Steelers 27-17 (Tempe (1))
XXXI 1997-01-26 NFC Green Bay Packers (3) def. AFC New England Patriots 35-21 (New Orleans (8))
XXXII 1998-01-25 AFC Denver Broncos (1) def. NFC Green Bay Packers 31-24 (San Diego (2))
XXXIII 1999-01-31 AFC Denver Broncos (2) def. NFC Atlanta Falcons 34-19 (Miami (8))
XXXIV 2000-01-30 NFC St. Louis Rams (1) def. AFC Tennessee Titans 23-16 (Atlanta (2))
XXXV 2001-01-28 AFC Baltimore Ravens (1) def. NFC New York Giants 34-7 (Tampa (3))
XXXVI 2002-02-03 AFC New England Patriots (1) def. NFC St. Louis Rams 20-17 (New Orleans (9))
XXXVII 2003-01-26 NFC Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1) def. AFC Oakland Raiders 48-21 (San Diego (3))
XXXVIII 2004-02-01 AFC New England Patriots (2) def. NFC Carolina Panthers 32-29 (Houston (2))
XXXIX 2005-02-06 AFC New England Patriots (3) def. NFC Philadelphia Eagles 24-21 (Jacksonville (1))
XL 2006-02-05 (Detroit (1))
XLI 2007-02-04 (Miami (9))
XLII 2008-02-03 (Glendale (1))
XLIII 2009-02-01 (To be announced)
XLIV 2010-02-07 (To be announced)

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 - Baltimore Colts (won 1, lost 1; franchise now Indianapolis Colts)
2 - Kansas City Chiefs (won 1, lost 1)
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)

See also

External links

The National Football League
Baltimore Ravens | Buffalo Bills | Cincinnati Bengals | Cleveland Browns | Denver Broncos | Houston Texans | Indianapolis Colts | Jacksonville Jaguars | Kansas City Chiefs | Miami Dolphins | New England Patriots | New York Jets | Oakland Raiders | Pittsburgh Steelers | San Diego Chargers | Tennessee Titans Arizona Cardinals | Atlanta Falcons | Carolina Panthers | Chicago Bears | Dallas Cowboys | Detroit Lions | Green Bay Packers | Minnesota Vikings | New Orleans Saints | New York Giants | Philadelphia Eagles | San Francisco 49ers | Seattle Seahawks | St. Louis Rams | Tampa Bay Buccaneers | Washington Redskins
The Super Bowl | The Pro Bowl | NFLPA | AFL | NFL Europe

  Results from FactBites:
Urban Dictionary: superbowl (332 words)
superbowl sound football nfl american football pittsburgh steelers bears chicago bears cum fake janet jackson monday pittsburgh fake pittsburgh steelers seahawks sex sexual acts spit sunday superbowl monday
A sporting event in which major corporations shamelessly promote thier products with obnoxious commercials, and music artists who were never meant to sing together, sing together.
Did you see that Superbowl commercial when the monkey tries to fuck that lady?
Chemists create 'Superbowl' molecule; May lead to better health (906 words)
The superbowl molecule belongs to a class of artificial bowl-shaped molecules that were first developed in the 1980s to mimic naturally occurring enzymes, which facilitate molecular synthesis and transport within the body.
The superbowl molecule consists of five concave surfaces, or bowls: four on the outside and one on the bottom.
Superbowl molecules are similar in function to buckyballs, the experimental soccer-ball shaped molecules also known as fullerenes (C60), which also show promise for drug delivery and other useful applications.
  More results at FactBites »



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