We’ll assume you know the football basics, like that a touchdown is worth six points, they’re “uniforms” not “costumes,” and a tight end lines up “tight” to the offensive line (though, he usually does have a tight end).
But, just in case you don’t know anything about football, here are a few—or 21—fun facts about Super Bowl 50. Make this the year that you actually have something to say about the game, rather than just the commercials.
Key Super Bowl Facts
It’s Super Bowl 50, Not Super Bowl L
For the first time ever—since Super Bowl V, anyway—the NFL is using regular ol’ numbers and not Roman numerals. Apparently L, the Roman numeral for 50, isn’t aesthetically pleasing due to its lack of symmetry. It also conjured up visions of the word LOSER. But after this year, things will return to normal Roman numeral business as usual. Why Roman numerals at all? Because the NFL season takes place over two calendar years, which can get confusing.
Opening Kickoff Turned Touchdown Has Only Happened Once
The opening kickoff in a Super Bowl has only been returned for a touchdown once. Chicago Bears returner Devin Hester ran the ball 92 yards for a touchdown in Super Bowl XLI in 2007, marking it as the first. Despite the quick score, the Bears still lost to the Colts 29-17. Pro Tip: If you’re going to bust this piece of trivia out, do it right before the game starts.
There are 4 Teams That Have Never Been to the Super Bowl
There are four current NFL teams who’ve never played in a Super Bowl: the Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, and Jacksonville Jaguars. But if you think that’s depressing, try being a Minnesota Vikings or Buffalo Bills fan. Both teams have appeared in four Super Bowls, but have never won.
Sorry, No Overtime
Despite the hopes and prayers of advertisers and networks, the Super Bowl has never ran overtime. Oh, and this year? It’s about $5 million for a 30-second spot.
The 49ers Ruled the Super Bowl
Hosting Teams Can’t Play
A host team has never played in the Super Bowl, much to the disappointment (this year anyway) of 49ers’ fans everywhere. However, Super Bowl XIX in 1985 was hosted by Stanford University and the Niners did make it to (and win) that one, which is pretty close.
What You Should Know About Super Bowl 50
The Starting Quarterbacks are 13 Years Apart
Peyton Manning, Quarterback for the Broncos, is 39 years old. Cam Newton, Quarterback for the Panthers, is 26. That’s a 13-year age difference AND the largest between starting quarterbacks in Super Bowl history.
Both Quarterbacks are Numero Uno
This is the first-ever Super Bowl where both quarterbacks were drafted No. 1 overall. Peyton Manning played his rookie season in 1998 for the Colts and Cam Newton was selected by the Panthers in 2011.
Show ‘Em the Money
The Super Bowl is one of those games where you get paid just to play. Each player on the winning team pockets $100,000, and the losers? Well, they still get $51,000, which is enough cash to buy approximately three seconds of one Super Bowl commercial.
Peyton Manning Lives for the Super Bowl
Peyton Manning is the only QB (Quarterback) to take multiple teams to the Super Bowl on more than one occasion. He’s been twice with the Colts and twice with the Broncos, though he’s only won once: Super Bowl XLI, when the Colts beat the Bears 29-17. You know, the one we mentioned earlier—see how it’s all coming together?
The Unlucky 13
There are 13 teams that have never won a Super Bowl, like ever. The Panthers are one of them. They’ve only been once before in 2003 and they lost to the Patriots.
Facts about the Denver Broncos
Manning’s Struggle is Real
Peyton Manning’s QB rating this year is one of the worst ever for a starting quarterback playing the Super Bowl. Thanks to nine TD passes and 17 interceptions in the regular season, Manning’s regular rating is 67.9. So, it’s not the WORST ever, but it’s pretty close. In comparison, Cam Newton’s is 99.2. This might be Manning’s last season, so still expect him to bring it—or at least try.
If Manning does win, he’ll be the oldest QB ever to do so. John Elway helped the Broncos beat the Falcons in Super Bowl XXXIII (1999) and still holds the current record for oldest Quarterback. He was 38.
The Broncos Lose (a Lot)
The Broncos have lost more Super Bowls than any other team, with a total of five losses. But, if they win, they’ll be the ninth franchise with at least three Super Bowl titles.
But, The Broncos Bring It
The Broncos lead the NFL in total defense this year. They were also No. 1 in pass defense and No. 1 in sacks. So, it’s gonna be pretty fun to watch them against Carolina, who currently lead the league in scoring.
The Broncos Dress to Win
Each designated home team gets to choose which uniforms they wear. Teams wearing white uniforms have won 10 of the past 11 Super Bowls. So, naturally the Broncos are wearing white.
And Now, The Carolina Panthers
Cam, the All-Star Quarterback
If Cam Newton leads his team to a victory, he’ll be the first quarterback to win the Heisman, National Championship, NFL MVP, and a Super Bowl. What have you accomplished this week?
The Panthers are NFL’s 29th Franchise
They started playing in 1995, originally in the NFC West with the 49ers, Falcons, Rams, and Saints. When the NFL expanded to 32 teams in 2002, they were relocated to the newly-created NFC South.
“The Cats” Meow 8-0
The Cats (but, uh, probably don’t call them that unless you’re actually a fan) were the only team to go 8-0 at home this season.
Look Out, Steelers
Carolina’s rushed for over 100 yards a game in 29 straight games. That’s the longest streak in the NFL since the Steelers did it 43 games in a row from 1974-77.
You Should Probably Cheer for Them
The line’s still changing, but no matter where it ends up, the Panthers are definitely favored to win Super Bowl 50.
And, if you’re still not sure which team to root for, ask yourself which animal you like best: horses or cats? There you go.
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