Facts and Figures: Super Bowl history

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With the completion of this week’s games, Super Bowl LIII is just three weeks away. Time to begin sharpening up on your Super Bowl knowledge.

To start, you must know the basics about the most visible item at the game, the Lombardi Trophy. It weighs in at seven pounds, takes up to four months to create, costs $50,000 and is made of sterling silver by Tiffany and Co.

Super Bowl I (which was called the NFL-AFL championship) was carried by two networks. The NFL games during that time were carried on CBS while the AFL aired on NBC. A compromise for the historic first meeting of the two leagues was in order.

CBS assigned play-by-play honors to Ray Scott for the first half and Jack Whitaker for the second. Frank Gifford was the color analyst while Pat Summerall served as the sideline reporter. NBC countered with Curt Gowdy on play-by-play, Paul Christman on color and Charlie Jones roaming the sideline.

Summerall went on to be a TV play-by-play announcer for 11 Super Bowls along with four times as color analyst and that first game as sideline reporter. Al Michaels has been play-by-play on 10 occasions and Dick Enberg had the honor nine times. John Madden has called the color 11 times while Phil Simms and Merlin Olsen filled that role half a dozen times.

Jim Nantz (fifth Super Bowl) and Tony Romo (first) will handle the game this year for CBS. The game will entertain between 118-120 million viewers nationwide.

Super Bowl I tickets went for $12 each on Jan. 15, 1967. New Orleanian trumpeter Al Hirt was part of the entertainment. Super Bowl LIII tickets are at $3,000 and up.

As for the money involved in playing the big game, the Super Bowl this year will generate an estimated $650 million in revenue. Las Vegas will have more than $115 million bet on the game.

In the inaugural Super Bowl in 1967, the winners’ share was $15,000 per player while the losing players walked away with $7,500 each.

In Super Bowl XLIV (2010), the Saints’ players each pocketed $83,000 for the days’ work while the Colts took home $42,000 per man. Super Bowl LIII will reward $118,000 to each winning player.

The only New Orleans Super Bowl appearance and victory to date featured Drew Brees and Peyton Manning in battle of record-setting quarterbacks. Collectively, they completed an all-time game-high 63 passes. Brees was 32 of 39 (82%) for 288 yards. Manning 31 of 45 (68%) for 333 yards.

Most consecutive Super Bowl roster appearances are by a backup QB? Yes. There’s a fun trivia question for your social circle. Caleb Gilbert in Super Bowls XXV-XXIX holds that honor. The 11-year veteran was with the Bills and Chargers in Super Bowl games.

The aforementioned Manning is only starting QB to win Super Bowl with two different teams, leading Denver to victory in Super Bowl 50 in 2016 and the Colts to the 2007 Super Bowl XLI over the Bears. While with Denver, Peyton became the oldest QB at 39 years and 320 days to win a Super Bowl.

Super Bowl XXI MVP Phil Simms was paid $75,000 to shout for the first time in broadcast commercial history, “I’m going to Disney World.” John Elway (losing QB with the Broncos) was paid the same just in case.

In a tale of two cities, Super Bowl III famously saw the New York Jets beat the Baltimore Colts. Nine months later, the Miracle Mets upset the Baltimore Orioles in the World Series.

Dallas LB Chuck Howley is the only player to be chosen as the game MVP from the losing team for his efforts in Super Bowl V. In Super Bowl XII, Randy White and Harvey Martin, defensive stalwarts for the Cowboys, shared MVP game honors when Dallas cruised past Denver.

Super Bowl XIV between the Rams and Steelers was played before a record crowd of 103,985 in the Rose Bowl.

The coldest Super Bowl ever played was in Jan. 12, 1975. Of all the places, the site was New Orleans. Super Bowl IX saw the Steelers beat the Vikings, 16-6, at a chilly 39 degrees inside Tulane Stadium.

Four current NFL teams have never been to Super Bowl – the Texans, Browns, Lions and Jaguars.

The Patriots have played in a record 10 Super Bowls, winning five. The 49ers are 5-1 in Super Bowl while Denver is 3-5, Dallas 5-3 and Pittsburgh 6-2. All have won back to back games. The Packers and Dolphins have also won back-to-back titles.

There has never been a shutout in the contest , although Dallas did beat Miami, 24-3, in Super Bowl VI in New Orleans.

Back to Super Bowl I, NBC was in a commercial break when the second half began. The Packers were asked to re-kick to the Chiefs.

Joe Montana won four Super Bowls in as many tries and never threw an interception in any of those games.

Bill Belichick has made 11 appearances in the game as an assistant or head coach.

Tom Brady has made eight Super Bowl starts, winning five. He is a four-time game MVP.

Linebacker Ken Norton made three consecutive Super Bowl appearances, two with Dallas, one with San Francisco. Like Montana, Terry Bradshaw won four Super Bowls without a loss while taking home MVP honors twice. Defensive end Charles Haley won five rings (Cowboys and 49ers).

In 1967, a 30 second TV ad spot went for $40,000. This year, it will cost you $5.5 million for that half-minute of precious airtime.

On Jan. 14, 1973 in Super Bowl VII, head coach Don Shula was carried off the field victorious after the Dolphins went 17-0 for the season. Miami beat Washington to become only undefeated team to win the big game. As Shula reached down to shake hands with a fan, someone stole his watch from his wrist.

Teams wearing road jerseys have won 12 of the past 14 Super Bowls. The AFC representative is designated as the road team for this year’s Super Bowl but the NFC team can choose their jerseys as the home team.

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Rene Nadeau

Rene Nadeau


Born and raised in the New Orleans area, Rene Nadeau has been involved in sports ever since his earliest memories. Rene played basketball, wrestled, ran track, and was an All-District running back in football at John F. Kennedy High School. He went on to be a member of the LSU football program, developing a passion for the game in even…

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