Super Bowl FAQ: Newbies Edition

Posted on December 17, 2021

So the only thing you know about the Super Bowl is that it’s not a “bowl” in the sense of a cereal bowl or a dog bowl. Or, more likely, you at least know it’s the biggest football game of the year. It’s pretty much the World Series of football. The Academy Awards of football. The Miss America of football. You get the idea. 

Super Bowl LV in New Jersey racked up more than $3.4 billion in bets, despite an off-year, due to the pandemic. Incidentally, Louisiana can now take part in the gambling action with the launch of retail sportsbooks this year.

How many teams are in the Super Bowl?

Two. One from the American Football Conference and one from the National Football Conference.

You may ask, why do they need more than one conference? Why do they need to confer so much? Don’t they already know what they’re doing? We don’t know. 

And like amoebas, each of these divisions split, in this case, into four each: North, South, East, and West.

Then there are teams. In the Super Bowl, there are two opposing teams, not unlike the Jets and the Sharks in West Side Story. And they rumble, just differently. But they don’t sing – well, maybe the winners do.

Why is he called a “quarterback”?

Quarterbacks go back to the beginnings of football when they stood between the “center” and the “halfback.” They run and pass and hand off the football and usually call the plays. They’re crucial to a team’s fortunes. That’s likely why they’ve been Super Bowl MVPs more than any other position.

Remember the coolest kid in the cool kids’ clique at your school? That’s the QB.

Why “quarterback”? Here’s another thought:  because life is tricky, and we all wish we could have do-overs on things. So a player in that position is particularly wise; because they more than anyone knows that we can never get that game-quarter back. On the other hand, a Super Bowl quarterback makes a ton of money, so don’t worry about him and his regrets.

How did American football begin?

Football was an offshoot of rugby, a bit like a TV series spinoff. In the mid-1800s, rugby was one of the popular sports played at Ivy League schools.  Walter Camp generally gets credit for adapting rugby to American football. Although Camp was one of a handful of early adopters of the newly modified game along with John Heisman and Glenn “Pop” Warner, Camp is known as the “Father of American Football.”

Why does my British friend insist football is also British?

Because in Britain they use the term “football” for the game that in America is called soccer. Ask your English pal for some chips and see what you get. (Answer: You’ll get french fries.) That’s why we had a revolution because we couldn’t agree on nouns.

Just kidding; didn’t you see “Hamilton”? 

What Americans know as “soccer” actually originated long ago in China but was developed and formalized with rules by England. We didn’t use the same name as England because, well, we were upstarts.

It’s not like a cereal bowl or a dog bowl, so why call it a “Bowl”?

In 1916, architect  Myron Hunt accepted a commission from the Roses Association to design a stadium for a college football game. The stadium was finished two years later.

He modeled the new stadium after Yale’s bowl-like stadium, named Yale Bowl. It was, indeed, similar to a bowl. Hence “Bowl” The Roses Association then called the game the Rose Bowl. Other schools and cities started calling their tournaments “bowls” as well, whatever the shape of their stadiums.

The NFL picked up on this idea in 1951 when they created the Pro Bowl. Then, three years after the NFL and AFL merged, they renamed their already annual championship game the “Super Bowl.”

What is the most popular Super Bowl snack?

The answer, according to The Daily Meal: Chicken Wings are the most searched-for Super Bowl food across the country. Bird World has barely recovered from Thanksgiving and Christmas, and along comes the Super Bowl. 

Is there anyone who doesn’t like the Super Bowl?


What was the most-watched Super Bowl ever? 

Super Bowl XLIX (49 for non-ancient-Romans) set records. The 2015 Super Bowl between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks holds the title of the most-watched Super Bowl.

Super Bowl 2015 is, to date, the most-watched network broadcast in United States television history. 

That Super Bowl tagged 114.44 million viewers. That’s a lot of views. Or just one crazed fan with a ridiculous number of TVs. 

Have the New Orleans Saints ever won a Super Bowl?

They did, indeed! In 2010, Louisiana sports fans saw their Saints win Super Bowl XLIV, defeating the Indianapolis Colts 31-17;  the first Super Bowl to top 100 million viewers.

As of early December this year, CBS Sports didn’t have them listed among the top 10 contenders for the upcoming Big Game, so on February 13, 2022, they may just be home, eating chicken wings.

Photo by Daria Photostock/SHutterstock
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Marian Rosin

Marian Rosin is a freelance writer that has written on a variety of topics including publications like Upnest and Psychology Today. Marian brings experience in the gambling sector as the senior copywriter for Isle of Capri casinos.

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