The ‘Big Game’ facts

Super Bowl LII is rapidly approaching. Who will you be rooting for? Will you just be tuning in for the commercials or halftime show?

It has become, without question, the biggest sporting event of the year. An article featured on the Organization of American Historians website equates the Super Bowl to a national holiday — and that comparison is apt to some. To put it in perspective, the very first Super Bowl in 1967 didn’t even sell out of all of its tickets. It was, though, a massive hit on television — garnering 65 million viewers which was the largest TV audience a sporting event had drawn up to that point in history.

Americans crowd around the television at home, a relative’s or friend’s home or a bar to watch “The Big Game.” Like Thanksgiving or Easter or Christmas, The Super Bowl has its own set of traditions. Chicken wings, beer, pizza, chips and dip — all staples of the game. The commercials and halftime show have become as important as the game itself, as many tune in just for those.

According to ABCnews.go.com, the amount of chicken wings eaten during last year’s game was 1.33 billion. The weight of all of those wings is over 300 times the weight of every single team in the NFL.

Domino’s pizza states that the Super Bowl is their third biggest delivery night of the year after Halloween and New Year’s Eve. The amount of money people spend on the snacks for the game is also astronomical, with $220 million being spent on chips, $13 million on veggie trays, $10 million on dips, $89 on popcorn, and $58 million on deli sandwiches to accompany the wings and pizza.

These numbers are just for the food. Americans spend an incredible amount on alcohol as well. Beer, flavored alcoholic malts and ciders are in the $1.2 billion range, while wine is sitting at $594 million and hard liquor such as whiskey, rum, vodka, etc. is at $503 million.

The game itself has its own share of fun facts that people may not be aware of. According the Reader’s Digest, each team gets 108 footballs for the game. 54 of the balls are for practice, and the other 54 are for the actual game. On average, 120 balls are used for the game, kicking plays making up the difference. For halftime, the players just relax for 20 minutes before they start getting ready for the second half of the game.

Tickets for the Super Bowl will now set you back thousands of dollars, but ticket prices for the first Super Bowl were only $6. To be fair, adjusted for inflation, $6 dollars in 1967 was akin to $44 dollars today.

The coin used in the toss at the beginning every Super Bowl is specifically crafted each year to reflect the teams competing. On one side of the two-toned coin is the Vince Lombardi Trophy and the other side has the competing teams’ logos.