Super Bowl 48

Jan 31, 2014 -- 3:56pm


I picked the Denver Broncos to defeat the Seattle Seahawks 27-17.

Super Bowl 48, annoying hype and all:
Fourteen days of hype leading up to three hours of football --the one day where everyone puts aside their differences and stops doing what they normally do. Including, sometimes, the team you're rooting for.
   Super Bowl 48 (Yeah, we know --XLVIII in Roman numerals) cranks up Sunday on Fox with kickoff time at 6:30 pm (Eastern) between the AFC's Denver Broncos and the NFC's Seattle Seahawks. Denver is a slight two-point favorite, a point spread that has hardly moved in two weeks, according to If that line holds until kickoff on Sunday, it will be the closest Super Bowl spread since 1982, when the 49ers and Bengals were a push in Super Bowl 16. (More on betting below.)
   For what it's worth, every year, EA Sports runs their Madden football video game to simulate the Super Bowl contest. This year, the outcome had Denver winning in overtime, 31-28. (watch) This simulation has predicted the last eight out of 10 winners.
   On the other hand, while Denver has gone 16-3 (including playoffs) since switching to the orange jerseys for home games at the start of the 2012 season, in the last nine Super Bowls, teams wearing the dark jerseys are 1-8. That includes the Seahawks' loss in Super Bowl 40, when they wore their home blues. The Broncos will be their home orange Sunday, the dark jersey.

   Much has been made of the game being played outdoors in a cold-weather site, but it looks like weather won't be a factor at all. The high temp Sunday is now expected to be 44, and while there could be some rain or wet snow mix during the day, forecasters say any precipitation will be gone by the 6:30 kickoff. The drop in temperature as darkness hits is only expected to be a low of 27 and, more important, winds should be negligible.

   QUEEN LATIFAH will sing "America the Beautiful" before the game; RENEE FLEMING will sing the National Anthem; BRUNO MARS will perform at halftime with the RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS. Commercials are costing advertisers an average of $4 million per 30-second shot, making it the most expensive ad package in TV history. Most of the ads will be disappointing, but with numbers like that, you know who's really playing today: The ad agencies!

   Fox's game broadcasters will be the usual suspects: JOE BUCK, TROY AIKMAN, PAM OLIVER and ERIN ANDREWS, and rules analyst MIKE PEREIRA. And you thought there were too many useless jobs in government? They'll also be wedged into the pregame coverage.

   There's been some anal retentiveness over branding this game as being played in New York. Technically, it's not. It's being played in East Rutherford, NJ, about 10 miles from New York City. The only people who really care about making this distinction are people from New Jersey, who already have an inferiority complex but if you were in Wyoming and told someone you're from East Rutherford, NJ, chances are he'd say, "Where's that located?" and the sissy pants from New Jersey would have no choice in his answer: "It's right next to New York."

   This seems like a good place to mention that the Roman numeral thing is starting to get ridiculous. In 40 years, are people going to have to still use Roman numerals for the Super Bowl? How will that even fit on a ticket? Will anyone be able to figure out the actual number? When we hit 50, they oughtta retire it. It's gonna look kinda weird to read, "Super Bowl L," and you know people are going to say "L" instead of "50." And sportswriters are probably gonna try to make jokes about it, none of which will be funny, and even worse, some of them will probably think they're clever when they write things like "elevate his game." Get it? "L"? "ELevate"?

Last year, for the first time in three years, Super Bowl viewership dropped.
   It wasn't a big drop at all, going from 111.2 million viewers in 2012 to 108.7 million last year. Last year's drop was blamed on a drop off in post-season viewership. The 10 post-season games in January, 2012 averaged a healthy 38.3 million viewers. This includes four games that averaged over 40 million viewers, with 57.6 million tuning in for the NFC Championship game between the New York Giants and the San Francisco 49ers.

   But last year, playoff viewing was down by nine percent for the ten games, averaging "only" 34.8 million viewers. Only the two conference championship games averaged over 40 million viewers.
   This year, viewing is up. The wild card weekend, always a "below-average watch," averaged 34.7 million viewers, the most-watched wild-card weekend ever. Overall, average viewing for the January post-season was 37.2 million.
   Either way, Sunday's game will be the most watched program on TV this year --by a wide margin-- and the Super Bowl will stream online for a second time, after attracting 2.1 million unique visitors last year.

   FYI: There is no truth to the claim, repeated every year, that a billion people watch worldwide. A billion people do not watch. Where'd this myth come from? Turns out the game is broadcast to around 225 countries whose combined population is roughly one billion, which the media quickly twisted into, "The Super Bowl will be seen by over a billion people in 225 countries." So unless India changes its definition of football, and until the Chinese suddenly start making enough money to buy the TVs they're manufacturing, it's simply not true.

Pre-Game Show:
Airing from 2-6pm Eastern, the Pre-Game Show will carry a lot of the usual fluff, but Fox has prepared some features that might be of particular interest for sports viewers.
   --Look for a tribute to longtime Fox NFL broadcaster PAT SUMMERALL, who passed away in April. That's scheduled to air in the 3 o'clock hour (all times are Eastern).
   --An examination of some of the great games in New York/New Jersey history, including the 1958 Championship Game between the Baltimore Colts and NY Giants. This will also run in the first hour.
   --TERRY BRADSHAW has a taped interview with Hall of Fame quarterback JOE NAMATH, a New York and NFL icon. It'll include a segment where the pair walks down Broadway, a gimmicky nod to Namath's nickname, Broadway Joe. This will air sometime in the show's first 90 minutes. Namath does not ask Bradshaw, "I wanna kiss you." (Hard to believe that happened 10 years ago.)
   --A feature on the New York and New Jersey ties of Hall of Fame coach VINCE LOMBARDI, who was born in Brooklyn, played at Fordham and coached at Army, St. Cecilia's in New Jersey and with the NY Giants. The piece is scheduled to run in the 4pm hour or early in the 5 o'clock hour.

Super Bowl Poll: 
It’s a no-brainer why cities across America compete to host the Super Bowl --football fans converge and spend a ton of money during their visit. But a survey from the Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism (LIGHT) at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey finds football fans have MORE money to spend than many other sports.

   According to LIGHT’s recent poll of 800 adults:
   --NFL football fans are more likely to earn $100,000 or more than non-football fans by 27 percent to 18 percent.
   --45 percent of non-fans earn less than $75,000 a year, compared to 39 percent of football fans who earn the same amount.
   --71 percent of football fans have attended some college or earned a four-year degree or better, compared to 62 percent of non-fans.

   That all adds up to more disposable income to dispose of on football-related events. Other insights:
   --Football fans are more likely to gamble, at 53 percent compared to 38 percent of non-football fans.
   --Three-quarters of those polled have a favorite NFL team, including 83 percent of men and 68 percent of women.

Super Bowl Tickets:
StubHub is pricing tickets to move, but you get what you pay for. (Seating chart here)
   The prices start at around $1,400 per ticket, and they're mostly in the end zone or far corners, and then, in most cases, in the upper deck, although MetLife Stadium like to brag that every seat offers great line-of-sight viewing. At last check (last night), the StubHub site had about 2,900 tickets remaining.
   There are some seats at midfield level, say between the 40-yard lines. They're running anywhere from five, six, and seven grand each, give or take.

   And then there are the seats in the suites. The only suites with vacancies are located in the corner of an end zone. They're listing from $10 grand to $11,500 per ticket to a whopping $180,772 --and that was just for one ticket-- to an astronomical (ready?) $367,520. Again for only one ticket. Mister, that's the cost of a house, and then some. According to the Census Bureau, the average sale price of a home in December, 2013 was $311,400.

Sadly, hometown fans get stiffed when it comes to Super Bowl tickets. According to the NFL, the Super Bowl teams are each allocated 17.5 percent of the tickets to the game. How each franchise distributes those tickets is their business.
   Everyone sells a few at the legitimate gate, or online, but only a few. Some teams hold lotteries where season ticket holders are believed to have an edge, but again, only some of the tickets are up for grabs. Season ticket holders usually have to buy what's called a personal seat license. The cost of that "PSL" is an addition to your season tickets. One of the benefits, the front office will say, is that all PSL holders have an equal chance to get Super Bowl tickets if the team makes it.

   If you don't get a Super Bowl ticket through your PSL, and many PSL holders don't, the club will suggest you check with the team's travel partner for packages. When you go to the travel partner page on the team website, you find hundreds of tickets for sale starting at whatever rate. And those are all tickets allocated by the NFL, as they like to claim, "for the fans."
   Where does a franchise spread out most of its tickets? To corporations, businesses and sponsors that have longtime relations with the franchise. Same with the other 65 percent of the tickets the NFL hordes. The majority of game tickets go to suits and various corporate sponsors that support the league throughout the season.
   It's business. Sports has always been a business. Fans are always an afterthought. Cheer loud now!

The NFL distributes only one percent of Super Bowl tickets directly to fans, controlled through an annual random drawing that begins in February of the prior year and ends the following June. Otherwise, prepare to pay top dollar to a scalper.
   Here's the address: 
   Super Bowl Random Drawing
   P.O. Box 49140
   Strongsville, OH 44149-0140
   Only one request per address is accepted. All duplicate requests will be disregarded. You will be notified via regular mail in late October-early November as to the status (win or lose) of your eligibility to purchase Super Bowl tickets.
   There is also a drawing for disability and companion seats as well. Find the address at

Other TV events: 
Puppy Bowl Ten will have teams made up of breeds including Brody the American Eskimo, Lily the Basset Hound, terriers, Dalmations, Spaniels and even a Bernadoodle --which is a designer mix between a Bernese mountain dog and a poodle.
   Plus, in addition to the game, producers will also have Meep the Bird (@MeepTheBird) "tweeting" his commentary, the Bissel Kitten halftime show and a piggie pep squad.
   Puppy Bowl kicks off at 3 pm (Eastern) on Animal Planet; the Hallmark Channel's Kitten Bowl begins at 6 am (Eastern), and this year there's also a (wait for it...) Fish Bowl scheduled from 6 to 10 pm (Eastern) on Nat Geo Wild.

Those Commercials:
For a lot of viewers, the Super Bowl commercials are the show within the show.
   We'd probably love the commercials as much as the advertising execs do if only they were as clever, creative or as funny as the advertising executives thought. Most of them turn out lame, or "been there, done that." They were better when the actual football games were blowouts. Of late, the games have been competitive and exciting and it's the commercials that have gone south.

   Aside from the ones we shared with you yesterday, three others have since been "leaked":
   --This Chevy spot uses a 70s disco classic in a clever way. Hey, cattle need love, too!
   --A Toyota spot that will appeal to Muppets fans, but few others
   --And this one, plugging a contest for a Texas-based product. This doesn't seem likely to air during the game. Some of these spots air during the pre-game, which starts a 2pm Eastern on Fox, 90 minutes before kick-off.
   And not everyone's doing the viral leakage thing. I'm guessing more a couple of more commercials will be sneak-released today and tomorrow, and then that'll be it until Sunday.

   And then there are the finalists for the Doritos "Crash the Super Bowl" contest. This is the eighth year they've been doing this. The winner is chosen by popular vote via social media, and a marketing team (which have different criteria). The top choice of the fans will walk away with a million bucks, while the marketing team's choice will take home $50,000. The winner also gets to "work on the set of the next Avengers movie," which probably means things like, "Hey, can you hold this a second?" All five ads will become part of Doritos’ ad campaign for the rest of the year. From more than 5,000 entries, these are the five finalists:

   "Breakroom Ostrich" - Who's been eating all the Doritos in the office break room? Not the ostrich. (The guy who did this? Cost him $800 to produce.)
   A fairly clever "Time Machine" gag. (Production cost: $300)
   Another office humor take on missing Doritos, the "Office Thief." ($1,500)
   Sibling goes all "Cowboy Kid" to coral  Doritos. (Production cost: $5,000)
   This "Finger Cleaner" bit has a creepy reference to glory holes. (This entry is from Australia. Production cost: $6,500)
   The last day to vote was Wednesday and we find out Sunday, but if you put any stock in the viral vibe, the front runners are the Finger Cleaner and the Time Machine ads. Figures. One appeals more to men, the other to women.

Other entries included:
   --Daddy apologizes over hoarding the Doritos, and with good reason.
   --The Amish discover Doritos, vending machines and elevators.
   --You can't be a 5-star restaurant without Doritos.
   --A Doritos explosion opens a space portal and leads to a last-second surprise.
   --A family road trip miraculously leads to the Valley of Doritos.
   --This hottie decides to bathe in tub filled with Doritos. (It's kind of a ripoff from 2011)
   --Four-legged Doritos thief.
   --This one combines the apocalypse and "The Hunger Games."
   --Football in Denmark is bad because they don't have Doritos in Denmark.
   --Doritos as Mermaid bait.
   --Doritos, kryptonite, even for super kids.
   --Doritos as man bait.
   --Fathers use bathrooms for all sorts of things.
   --Parrots love Doritos.
   --Giving Doritos to Dogs, however, is dangerous.

Super Bowl Betting: 
The Super Bowl may be the world's biggest betting parlor. For the traditional bettor who watches point spreads, over-unders and scoreboards, you're mindful of injuries and weather.

   Of course, there's way more to Super Bowl betting and once bookies realized fans wanted to bet on more than just the point spread or the over-under, all bets were off. You can bet everything from yards gained on first play from scrimmage to points scored in final two minutes of game. There are odds down for the number of TD passes thrown, number of sacks, number of turnovers... and much more. And of course, people wager on the coin-toss (it's a perfect 50-50 roulette bet --there's only black or red).

   These days, about 60 percent of all Super Bowl bets are of the offbeat kind, what the bookies call the prop bet, because you're betting on props. There are over 300 prop bets for you degenerate gamblers, from simple ones, like the duration of game or the announced attendance, to more bizarre ones, like the number of letters in last name of Super Bowl MVP!
   And don't be confused by the point-five in those over-under figures. That's to hold you to account for the number you pick (since no one's going to bet on a point-five figure for the attendance.

Who will BARACK OBAMA pick to win the game? Broncos -150; Seahawks +110

Who will the Super Bowl MVP thank first?
   --Teammates, 1/1
   --God, 3/1
   --Fans, 11/2
   --Opposing team or player on opposing team, 1o/1
   --Family, 12/1
   --Coach, 14/1
   --Owner, 25/1
   --No one, 9/2

Length of RENEE FLEMING's National Anthem: Over-Under is 2 minutes, 15 seconds. They always go closer to two minutes in the Super Bowl because the anthem is really about the singer and not the song. But that's a really long time. To give you an idea of how long a 2 minute, 15 second anthem is, KELLY CLARKSON clocked in at 1 minute, 35 seconds; CHRISTINA AGUILERA's botched performance went 1 minute, 45 seconds; and CARRIE UNDERWOOD went just over 1 minute, 43 seconds.

What kind of hat will BRUNO MARS wear?
   --Fedora, even money
   --Fur hat, +700
   --Tuque, +500 (Pronounced TOOWK, a Tuque is a knit cap)
   --No hat, +150

   --Will any Red Hot Chili Peppers be shirtless: Yes, -150; No, +110
   --Will the announcers say marijuana during the game: Yes, +350; No, -600

Gatorade Shower Color:
   --Orange, 1/1
   --Clear/Water, 5/2
   --Yellow, 15/4
   --Red, 15/2
   --Blue, 10/1
   --Green, 15/1
   Editor's note: Ganja Green, 20/1.
   --Odds yellow Gatorade is actually water imported rom West Virginia, 15/1.

   PEYTON MANNING has gotten plenty of ink for yelling "Omaha" during his signal calling. It's a charity thing, but now it's a gambling thing. How many times will Peyton Manning say Omaha? The Over/Under is 27.5. Odds:
Over -135; Under -105.

   Will RICHARD SHERMAN receive a penalty for taunting: Yes, +400; No -700
   Will he receive a penalty for Unnecessary Roughness: Yes +550; No -900
   Will he have an interview with Fox sideline reporter Erin Andrews: Yes, +250; No -400
   Editor's note: Will he get a haircut? No -800.
   FYI: Fox Sports president ERIC SHANKS said Fox would love to interview Sherman again immediately after the game if he agreed and the situation called for him to be interviewed.

   Will Broncos running back KNOWSHON MORENO cry during the National Anthem? Moreno gained noteriety back when the Broncos played the Kansas City Chiefs. He kicked off the game by crying during the National Anthem. We don't know why, but the bet is on: Will he or won't he? Yes, +200; No -300.

(Because it gets old really fast)
By the numbers: 
   --XLVIII: 48 (Yeah, we know!)
   --Six: Number of Super Bowls Denver Broncos have appeared in. This is their seventh trip.
   --Seattle Seahawks: One. This is their second appearance.
   --12 years and 250 days. Age difference between Denver's PEYTON MANNING (born March 24, 1976) and Seattle's RUSSELL WILSON (Nov. 29, 1988). That will break the existing record of 10 years and 253 days, which was set in Super Bowl XLIII between KURT WARNER's Cardinals and BEN ROETHLISBERGER's Steelers.
   --Only team to have won Super Bowls on all the major networks. The NY Giants
   --Only team to win Super Bowls in four different decades. The NY Giants, 1986, 1990, 2007, 2011
   --Only team to lose Super Bowls in four different decades. The New England Patriots. 1985, 1996, 2007, 2011

   --One. Number of deaf players. Seattle Seahawks fullback DERRICK COLEMAN, who's been deaf since age three, is the first legally deaf football player in the NFL. A Duracell ad, Duracell ad featuring Coleman overcoming his handicap comes with the tagline, "Trust the Power Within." Yesterday on Good Morning America, he invited twins RILEY and ERIN KOVALCIK to the Super Bowl as part of the NFL's "Makes Fans' Dream Come True" promotion. Riley, who is also hearing impaired, had written Coleman a letter after the Seahawk's defeated the San Francisco 49s to make it to the Super Bowl. (Watch)

   --First player to say the "I'm Going to Disney World" after winning the Super Bowl? PHIL SIMMS.
   --Two. Number of times there were no turnovers in a Super Bowl: Super Bowls 25 and 34.
   --Only Super Bowl in which the losing team scored more touchdowns than the winning team? Super Bowl 16, Cincinnati scored three touchdowns, the 49ers two. The Niners won thanks to four field goals, 26-21.
   --1.25 billion: Number of chicken wings expected to be consumed on Sunday. Might not be a bad idea for a napkin advertiser to buy some air time next year. (More on eating below)

   --Two: Amount of wings the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, NY, will sell on game day. In tons. That's two tons. The Anchor Bar invented Buffalo Wings. The story goes that back in 1964, the son of owner TERESSA BELLISSIMO came in with a group of hungry friends. She deep-fried wings, tossed them with hot sauce, and served them with celery and blue-cheese dressing. The men devoured them, the dish was added to the menu, and a tradition was born. Buffalo restaurants soon created rival versions. The Anchor Bar rocks!

   --82,500: Seats inside the MetLife Stadium, home of the NY Giants and NY Jets. This will be the first time the NFL has hosted a Super Bowl at a cold weather site out in the actual elements.
   --19: Hours of live Super Bowl coverage you can subject yourself to. You're better off sharing a suite with terrorists at Gitmo.
   --$25-thousand: Cost of the Vince Lombardi Trophy, given to the Super Bowl winners, made by Tiffany's.
   --109-thousand: Number of hotel rooms in the New York metropolitan area. That's triple the number fans could choose from for a Super Bowl hosted at the Superdome in New Orleans, where the game was played last year. Rooms can still be had for as low as $200 a night. Last year, the average hotel room in New Orleans cost $400 a night.

   --2,000: Credentials granted for Tuesday's media day
   --7,000: Tickets sold to fans wanting to attend media day. $25 each.
   --150: Super Bowl rings the NFL pays for, at $5-thousand each, for the winning team to hand out to players and staff.
   --$4 million: Average price tag for a 30-second Super Bowl commercial during the telecast.
   --$42-thousand: Cost of a 30-second ad in Super Bowl, 1967 (before it was even called a Super Bowl)
   --111 million: Anticipated television viewers tuning in --just here in the U-S. Everyone likes to say it'll be a billion worldwide, but that's not true (see above). The record was 111.2 million viewers in 2012; it dipped a little last year.

   --48: Minutes of commercials during last year's Super Bowl on NBC, although some of them were promotional ads for network shows. There were 62 paid commercials totaling 40.5 minutes last year. You can expect something similar this year.

   --$11 billion: Amount consumers are expected to spend on the Super Bowl (hey, those chicken wings aren't free, people) each year. We spent $10.1 billion last year.
   --4.5 million: Number of Americans planning to by a new TV for game day.

Hashed, rehashed and useless trivia:
Two things that come with every Super Bowl: Story lines we get tired of hearing about and trivia we have no interest in hearing about.
   --Will PEYTON MANNING get a second Super Bowl ring? Despite all of his accomplishments, Manning's playoff career has been more about failure than success. Before winning two weeks ago against TOM BRADY and the New England Patriots in the AFC title game, Manning had a losing record in the postseason.
   He'll be 38 years old in March, so this could be very well be his last opportunity to win another Super Bowl. Many sports geeks would argue that if Manning doesn't want to be known as the greatest regular-season quarterback in history, he needs to get it done in the Super Bowl one more time.

   --Can RICHARD SHERMAN continue to back up his trash talk? Sherman's supporters are hoping to see him stick it to all of his haters. And the haters have their mean-spirited memes ready in the event he and the Seahawks come up short. Most didn't see his interview after the on-field shouting with ERIN ANDREWS. The Stanford graduate was low-key, articulate and thoughtful in answer reporters questions.
   That doesn't generate buzz, however, let alone hatred. According to CNN Money, after the post-game interview heard round the world, Sherman's agent JAMIE FRITZ has noticed a significant increase in companies looking to have his client endorse their products. If he gets burned by Manning, the backlash will be tough. But if he plays well and the Seahawks win, Sherman could be laughing all the way to the bank.

   --Greatest Offense vs. Greatest Defense. The Broncos' offense set records for most points scored and total yards during the regular season. Led by Manning, they have the most-feared attack in the NFL. The Seahawks defied the high-scoring nature of the era they play in. Despite all teams in the NFL averaging a combined 23.4 points per game, the Seahawks allowed just 14 points per contest. If these two units play as well as they can, the nail biter will be seeing which one prevails.

   --The Coaches: PETE CARROLL vs JOHN FOX. A long, long time ago, before most of these players were even born, Seahawks Coach Carroll ('78) and Broncos coach Fox ('84) both were defensive coaches for the powerhouse Iowa State Cyclones football team. Proving that it doesn't matter where you start, it's where you end up.

   --Which quarterback has more endorsements, PEYTON MANNING vs RUSSELL WILSON? Pitchman Peyton. He's been in the league longer (16 years vs. two) and has won the Most Valuable Player award a record four times. Peyton can be seen in commercials for everything from Papa John's Pizza (he owns nearly two dozen shops in Denver) to Buick, DirecTV, Oreos, MasterCard and Gatorade. Last year, he made $12 million alone from endorsements. Plus, we all know who the funnier Manning on SNL was.
   Russell Wilson, picked 75th in the 2012 NFL Draft (considerably late for a top QB), has signed deals with American Family Insurance, Alaska Airlines, Levi's and Nike. He's quickly moving up the ranks, but has far to go to reach Peyton money.

   --Seahawks quarterback RUSSELL WILSON is name-checked in EMINEM's latest hit song Monster: "It's payback, Russell Wilson falling way back in the draft. Turn nothing into something, still can make that, straw into gold chump." Which raises the question: Is MARSHALL MATHERS a Seahawks fan?

   --Eligible Bachelors. Good-looking Denver wide receiver ERIC DECKER appears to be taken, per his reality show on E! But there are plenty of other single men playing in uniforms this weekend that are worth keeping an eye on. Sensitive Broncos running back KNOWSHON MORENO is returning to home to New Jersey for his first Super Bowl appearance. Seahawks tight end LUKE WILLSON, a 6'5" rookie from Canada, will heat up the field on Sunday.

   --The Vince Lombardi Trophy is one of the most recognizable prizes in all of sports. It has its own Brinks truck and armed guard to take it to Met Life Stadium in New Jersey. So how much does it cost? It's one of the less-inspired creations of Tiffany & Company in New York. Still, at $12-thousand, it's a bargain. The NFL buys the winning team 150 rings at $5-thousand a pop. Even the losing team gets 125 pieces of jewelry. Can you imagine showing that off to your friends? "Hey guys, here's the silver locket I won for losing the Super Bowl!"

   --Brainbuster trivia: In 1944, because of World War II, the Cardinals (then based in Chicago) combined with the Pittsburgh Steelers to play as one team. The team was called Card-Pitt.
   --In the "Seinfeld" episode "The Label Maker," what Super Bowl was Jerry forced to attend with Newman? Super Bowl 29, San Francisco 49ers vs the San Diego Chargers.

Other Super Bowl Fun Facts (Maiman):
   --Before Gatorade, players dumped bouillabaisse on their coaches
   --This year, every commercial will feature an ebola-infected monkey
   --The very first Super Bowl was played on shag carpeting
   --No team trailing at the end of the fourth quarter has ever won a Super Bowl
   --Officials at Super Bowl XXX were dressed as Zorro

   --Every Super Bowl is decided a week in advance by NFL spokesman [your afternoon guy]
   --Super Bowl MVP Larry Csonka appeared in the film, "Larry Csonka and the Chocolate Factory"
   --Mike Ditka is only person to win Super Bowl as a player, coach and cheerleader
   --Due to football shortage, Super Bowl XVII was played with mangoes
   --Bill Clinton slept with every member of the 1992 Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders

Biggest blowouts in the Super Bowl:
5. LA Raiders beat the Washington Redskins by 29 points in 1984, 38-9.
4. Washington Redskins beat the Denver Broncos by 32 points in 1988, 42-10.
3. Dallas Cowboys beat the Buffalo Bills by 35 points in 1993, 52-17.
2. Chicago Bears beat the New England Patriots by 36 points in 1986, 46-10.
1. SF 49ers beat the Denver Broncos by 45 points in 1990, 55-10.

Super Eating: 
(a category in itself)! 
People eat more food on Super Bowl Sunday than any other day of the year --except for Thanksgiving. Of course, the only difference is on Thanksgiving, there's usually a better game on. Some other food facts --and urban legends:

   More than one in eight Americans order takeout or delivery food for the Super Bowl, according to the National Restaurant Association. While the majority order pizza, about half also order chicken wings and 20 percent get sandwiches. In addition, football fans will consume more than 11 million pounds of potato chips on Super Bowl Sunday, which is second only to Thanksgiving as the day on which Americans consume the most food.

   According to the American Institute of Food Distribution, we football fans eat 42 million pounds of snack foods and other junk food on Super Bowl Sunday. The breakdown:
   --11 million pounds of potato chips,
   --12.2 million pounds of avocados (see controversy below)
   --8.2 million pounds of tortilla chips,
   --4.3 million pounds of pretzels,
   --3.8 million pounds of popcorn,
   --2.5 million pounds of mixed nuts
   --one 12-pound cheese wheel (kidding). Basically, it's more than double our average daily snack food consumption. We'll spend over $50 million buy all this stuff, too. Pass the checkbook and the Maalox.

Top 5 pizza sales days are:
5. New Year's Day
4. The night before Thanksgiving
3. Halloween
2. New Year's Eve
1. Super Bowl Sunday

   --On Super Bowl Sunday, pizza delivery drivers can expect $2 tips to sometimes soar as high as $20
   --Domino's delivery drivers will log about four million miles on Super Bowl Sunday
   --Delivery sales of pizza spike the most during close Super Bowl games (Source:

More food facts: 
   --Fans spend more than $50 million on food during the four days of Super Bowl weekend.

   --Sales of antacid increase 20 percent the day after Super Bowl Sunday. The really scary part: we're probably eating more food on Sunday than people in the Sudan do all year.

   --Domino's Pizza sells more pizzas on Super Bowl Sunday than any other day of the year: more than 1.2 million pies. Some other chains sell over 40 percent more pizzas than they do on a normal Sunday.

   --Those 1.25 billion chicken wings we're eating this Sunday (see above)? The National Chicken Council estimates Americans will eat 90 million pounds of chicken wings over the whole Super Bowl weekend, which breaks down to 450 million individual wings.

   --Just the fans at the stadium will eat 5,000 pounds of hot dogs, drink more than 24-thousand cans of soda and use 80-thousand pounds of ice.

   --By the way, a survey by Scarborough Sports Marketing found that 93 percent of Super Bowl watchers have been to a fast food restaurant in the past month. 80 percent have eaten at one three or more times in the past month. Super Bowl watchers are 18 percent more likely than all consumers to have eaten at a fast food restaurant 10 or more times in the last month. Ugh!

Which States Purchase Most 'Football Food'? 
   --Utah, Louisiana: Lead the way in sales of breaded, unbreaded chicken wings
   --Nebraska, South Dakota: Ahead of the pack when it comes to frozen pizza pies
   --New Mexico, Virginia: Prevail in the potato chip category
   --Kentucky, Louisiana: The dynamo in dip sales
   --South Dakota, Indiana: The superstars of snack mixes
   --North Dakota. South Dakota: Cheer for the mixed nuts
   Source: Wal-Mart

Super eating rumor control: 
   Claim: Two-thirds of all avocados sold in the USA are bought within three weeks of Super Bowl Sunday.
   Status: False. Super Bowl Sunday accounts for about 5% of annual avocados sales, not the much larger figures often claimed (up to 67 percent), according to the California Avocado Commission. However, that five percent amounts to around eight million pounds of avocados --and that's a lot of dip! But on Cinco de Mayo around 14 million pounds are consumed. (However, the Hass Avocado Board says it's bigger than Cinco de Mayo and 49.5 million pounds of avocados --nine percent-- will be consumed this year. That's enough to cover the field from end zone to end zone with a coating of guacamole 11.8 feet deep. But it's all pretty much hype from the avocado people --a four percent increase in a year?)

Top-10 snack foods in the U-S, ranked by sales: 
With the Super Bowl upon us, might as well stock up on munchies:
10. Party Mix
9. Ready-to-eat popcorn
8. Meat Snacks
7. Corn chips
6. Extruded snacks (I don’t know what they are, but they sound nasty)
5. Microwavable popcorn
4. Pretzels
3. Snack nuts
2. Tortilla chips
1. Potato chips

How Not to Pig Out During Sunday's Super Bowl Party:
   --Splurge wisely, and enjoy food in moderation. Don't eat the pretzels, potato chips, or other foods you can have anytime. Go for the foods that make you feel like you're enjoying a special occasion. (Like pork rinds?)
   --Scale down. Sometimes it helps to rate your hunger on a scale of 1 to 5. Stop and think about how you feel at the moment. If the answer is, "Stuffed to the max," save that slice of pumpkin pie for another meal.
   --Eat plenty of protein. It’s the nutrient proven to have the strongest influence on satiety (feeling full). Simply add a couple of extra shrimp or an extra slice of lean turkey to your plate in place of other foods.

   --Fill up on whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Because these foods are high in fiber, they help slow digestion.
   --Make a game plan, and stick to it. Tell yourself, "I'm going to eat just an appetizer, a bowl of salad, and half an entrée." Don't deviate from the plan.
   --Treat rich, calorie-dense foods as you would condiments. A few bites are all you need to enjoy the flavor.

Things we think men will be doing at the game:
   --Eating/snacking, 82 percent
   --Watching the ads, 60 percent
   --Yelling at the TV screen, 52 percent
   --Hanging out with the guys, 46 percent

   --Drinking beer, 44 percent
   --Swearing or cursing, 39 percent
   --Betting on the game, 26 percent
   --Puking, 64 percent

Things women think men will be doing:
   --Eating/snacking, 82 percent
   --Drinking beer, 54 percent
   --Watching the ads, 60 percent
   --Hanging out with the guys, 46 percent
   --Yelling at the TV screen, 92 percent

Things men actually will be doing:
   --Eating, 89 percent
   --Drinking beer, 90 percent
   --Watching the ads, 40 percent

   --Hanging out with the guys, 46 percent
   --Yelling at the TV screen, 22 percent
   --Cursing at the TV screen, 93 percent
   --Puking, 99 percent

More Super Stats: Footballs! 
The NFL has 72 football made for the Super Bowl. They're made the night the contestants are decided at a Wilson plant in Ada, OH. They're regular footballs except they have the names of the teams, the date, location and the Super Bowl logo. The NFL keeps a close eye on those balls the same way that Price Waterhouse guards those Oscar results. In 1997, the balls were lost or stolen and they had to make a second batch. The balls are auctioned off for charity after the game.

   The balls are delivered to the Super Bowl site via courier. "It's amazing how much impact this small town of 5,400 has on America," says DAN RIEGLE, who's Wilson's plant manager. "Every game ball you see passed, kicked or piled upon at the Super Bowl is made right here in Ada. It's a testament to American manufacturing and quality, and a tremendous source of pride." The Wilson Football Factory employs 150 workers, who produce more than 700-thousand game balls annually.

Super Bowl Myth & Rumor Control: 
You've heard of some of these. tackles them with more detailed information but here are the short answers.

Claim: Sewage systems of major cities have broken due to the tremendous number of toilets being flushed simultaneously at halftime.
   Status: False. Rumors of the havoc wreaked by widespread simultaneous toilet flushing after popular broadcast events (such as the final episode of TV's "M*A*S*H" in 1983) have been spread for decades, dating as far back as the 1930s "Amos 'n' Andy" radio program.

Claim: The NFL title game's outcome typically forecasts stock-market performance for the rest of the year.
   Status: True. Eighty percent of the time, a win by an old-NFL team has led to a market growth. Last year, the NY Giants, an old NFL team, beat the New England Patriots, an original AFL team. Result: A year ago, the Dow was at 12,633. This week, it's flirting with 14,000, closing last Friday at 13,860.
   Wall Street uses something called the Super Bowl Indicator, also known as the Super Bowl Predictor. It holds that a win by a team whose original home was the National Football League tends to mean a bull market, but if an old AFL team wins, it means a bear market.
   It could also mean that this is just more proof that the stock market is not based on rational thinking.

Claim: More women are the victims of domestic violence on Super Bowl Sunday than on any other day of the year.
   Status: False. Time magazine says in 1993 women's advocacy groups, citing various reports about increased domestic violence on Super Bowl Sunday, prompted NBC to air a public-service announcement during its game coverage. But the Washington Post investigated--and debunked the claims.

Claim: Super Bowl Sunday is one of the most dangerous days on U-S roads.
   Status: Trick question! Data are actually mixed: car crashes do spike right after the Super Bowl, but fatalities are low compared with other days of the year.

Claim: Super Bowl Sunday is a good time to visit Disneyland, because the park is virtually deserted.
   Status: False.

Claim: Before Super Bowl XXII, a reporter asked Washington Redskins quarterback DOUG WILLIAMS, "How long have you been a black quarterback?"
   Status: False. 
   PS: For more detailed answers, go:

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