Little Known Super Bowl History & Facts
Updated: December 6, 2022
Super Bowl LIV is fast approaching and with it comes all the fanfare, hoopla, and more. There will be talk of Super Bowls past, records, MVPs, and even great halftime shows. What many fans may not realize is another facet of Super Bowl history, one less well-known.
Let’s take a look at some of things the typical football fan might not know about the NFL’s ultimate game.
It started with this…
The very first Super Bowl was played in 1967. It wasn’t even known as the Super Bowl yet. It was the AFL-NFL Championship game.
It was played at Los Angeles Coliseum and the average Super Bowl ticket price was around $12, a far cry from today’s cheapest tickets which will run in the neighborhood of $3,000.
Even at $12, the game didn’t sell out and to this day is still the only Super Bowl that was not a sellout.
Oh, and the second half kickoff had to be replayed. NBC missed the kick because it was showing an interview with Bob Hope.
Imagine telling Vince Lombardi you have to kick off again because the TV broadcast wasn’t ready!
There have been some great halftime shows in Super Bowl history.
Originally, halftime acts were local high school and college bands. There were some variety acts added and in the late 1980s some musical performers made the cut.
Everything changed in 1993.
The halftime entertainer was Michael Jackson at Super Bowl XXVII.
Ever since, the NFL has gone after the biggest acts to perform at halftime.
The thing people may not realize is that each and every Super Bowl halftime entertainer does so without being paid.
That’s right. No pay.
The NFL does cover the cost of transportation and setup, but it does not make a payment to the entertainer for services rendered.
Can I get a ball?
The two teams that make it to the Super Bowl are given 108 footballs each.
Teams are to use 54 of the balls for practice and the other 54 for the game. In the end, 120 footballs are used on Super Bowl game day.
That’s a lot of footballs!
Where are you from?
There have been 104 players that have started a Super Bowl at quarterback.
One university has provided more starting quarterbacks that any other in Super Bowl history.
Would you believe that school is the University of California?
With Jared Goff’s start last year for the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LII, Cal started its fifth Super Bowl quarterback.
Michigan, Notre Dame, and Stanford have the most Super Bowl champion quarterbacks at seven each. Purdue is second with six.
The Big 33 SB Connection
A high school all-star game that started in the 1950s has a connection to Super Bowl history.
The Big 33 All-Star Classic has been played over the years featuring the best players in Pennsylvania against the best players in states like Ohio and Maryland.
The game, still being played today, has produced at least one player on one of the Super Bowl participants each and every year since the beginning.
Herb Adderley, who played at Northeast High School in Philadelphia, played in the Big 33 All-Star Classic in the 1950s and went on to star for the Green Bay Packers.
He played in the first two Super Bowls. Every year since players like Joe Namath and Joe Montana, Big 33 participants, have gone on to play in Super Bowls.
Last year, New England’s Brian Hoyer and the Rams’ John Johnson kept the streak alive. Every single Super Bowl has featured a player from this high school all-star game.
Only one player has ever played in five consecutive Super Bowls.
The average football fan would likely have no idea that it was backup quarterback Gale Gilbert who did so.
Gilbert, another University of California quarterback, backed up Jim Kelly in four straight Super Bowls and then served as the San Diego Chargers backup the following season.
Unfortunately for Gilbert, he was on the losing team in all five games.
Too cold to play here
There is a reason why 27 of the 52 Super Bowls played have taken place in one of three metropolitan areas.
Miami, Los Angeles, and New Orleans have played host to more Super Bowls than any other cities because of the NFL’s warm weather rule.
The league will not select Super Bowl venues in climates where the temperature goes below 50 degrees.
Cities like Minneapolis and Detroit have hosted games but have domed stadiums.
The only time the NFL went against its cold weather rule was for Super Bowl XLVIII, which was played at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.