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Posted: February 02, 2016

10 fun facts about the Super Bowl

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            10 fun facts about the Super Bowl
The Denver Broncos walk into Super Bowl Opening Night Fueled by Gatorade at SAP Center on February 1, 2016 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

By Jeff Hoyt

Are you ready for the "Golden Game?" The 50th Super Bowl will take place in Santa Clara, California, on Feb. 7th, featuring the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers.

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Here are a few other fun facts and figures to consider about the big game:

1. The name – The NFL has come a long way from the first Super Bowl, which was not even called the Super Bowl. It was called the AFL-NFL World Championship Game. Keep that in mind as you ponder buying that eBay bargain "authentic" ticket stub with "Super Bowl I" printed on it.

2. Ticket prices – TiqIQ lists the average Super Bowl 50 ticket price at just over $6,350 as of Friday. Compare that to the nearly $4,100 average ticket price for last year's Super Bowl during the same two weeks before the big game, and it seems likely that Super Bowl 50 will set a new record. It's quite a change from 1967, when championship game tickets topped out at $12 each and the "secondary market" consisted only of ticket scalpers outside the L.A. Coliseum.

3. Pass the guac – What is a Super Bowl without snacks, and plenty of them? Estimates suggest that during the Super Bowl, we consume 4,000 tons of popcorn, 8 million pounds of guacamole with 14,500 tons of chips and over 1.2 billion chicken wings, among other snacks. Americans will wash that down with over 325 million gallons of beer.

4. Betting – While many people watch the Super Bowl simply for the football action, bets on the “Golden Game” have taken on a life of their own as fans place bets on everything from the outcome of the game to the result of the opening coin toss and how long the National Anthem will be sung. According to Superbowlbets.com, every year an estimated 200 million people worldwide wager approximately $10 billion on some form of Super Bowl bet.

5. History, good and bad – The Broncos are now tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Dallas Cowboys and the New England Patriots for the most Super Bowl appearances with eight. Unfortunately, they also lead in the number of Super Bowl losses with five. The Patriots have four losses, along with the Minnesota Vikings and the Buffalo Bills, but they also have four wins compared to none for Minnesota and Buffalo.

6. Old vs. new – Out of the last 12 Super Bowls, 11 of them featured one of three AFC quarterbacks: Tom Brady, Peyton Manning or Ben Roethlisberger. Manning's latest playoff victory makes that 12 out of 13 (unless Denver starts Brock Osweiler, which has as much chance of happening as Janet Jackson repeating as halftime entertainment). The other quarterback? Joe Flacco of the Baltimore Ravens, the only one of the bunch never to lose a Super Bowl.

Meanwhile in Carolina, the NFC supplies a former No. 1 pick at quarterback and a team that has appeared in the Super Bowl once, but lost its only appearance. Coincidentally, had Arizona won instead, that would still have been the case.

7. Where's the "L?" – This is the only year that the NFL is abandoning the classic Roman Numeral designation, thinking that Super Bowl 50 sounds more appealing than Super Bowl L. However, Roman numerals will be back next year with Super Bowl LI. We can’t wait to get our kicks at Super Bowl LIX.

8. Maybe next year (but probably not) – Only four teams have never reached the Super Bowl. The recently added Jacksonville Jaguars and the Houston Texans have not done so, nor have two of the league's oldest members: the Detroit Lions and the Cleveland Browns. So far, it looks like that tradition will hold through the 2016-17 season.

Both the Lions and Browns won championships in the pre-Super-Bowl era, but have not so much as played in a championship since. Ask your grandfather about when the Lions and Browns were good… or maybe your great-grandfather.

9. TV commercials – The cost of Super Bowl ads has hit an almost absurd $5 million for a 30-second spot, up 11 percent from last year. Then again, how many TV events offer a captive audience where arguably the ads gather as much (or more) attention than the show?

10. TV viewers – Last year's Super Bowl topped the list with 114.4 million viewers watching an exciting game that came down to the last seconds before New England sealed a victory over Seattle with a goal-line interception. Of the top 10 individual television broadcasts ever, all but one are Super Bowls. The "M*A*S*H" series finale currently sits in seventh place at 106 million viewers. Logically, in a few more years, the entire top 10 list will be comprised of Super Bowls.

Regardless of which team you root for, enjoy Super Bowl 50 with plenty of friends and plenty of snacks. If the game is a blowout, you can still enjoy the commercials and your share of 8 million pounds of guacamole.

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