Every year, over 100 million people tune in to watch the Super Bowl. However, there are very few fans who know these 10 facts about the biggest game of the year.
Whether you're a die-hard fan or just watch for the commercials and halftime show, these facts are sure to surprise you. How much did the first Super Bowl ticket cost? What has been the most expensive ad? How many chicken wings do Americans really eat on game day? The answers to those and more burning questions are coming right up!
1. NBC missed taping the kickoff after halftime at the first Super Bowl.
The year was 1967 and technology was...eh. During halftime, NBC televised a live interview with comedian Bob Hope, then failed to switch back to the game in time for Green Bay's kickoff. The entire play was scratched and redone for the camera.
2. Legend has it that the name "Super Bowl" came from a child's toy known as the "Super Ball."
Where the name "Super Bowl" originated has long been a point of contention. While some say it first appeared in newspapers, Lamar Hunt, founder of the American Football League, thinks he came up with it. He said, "My own feeling is that it probably registered in my head because my daughter Sharron and my son Lamar Jr. had a children’s toy called a Super Ball and I probably interchanged the phonetics of 'bowl' and 'ball.'"
3. The movies "Space Jam" and "Little Giants" both started out as successful Super Bowl commercials. Here's the spot that inspired "Space Jam":video-player-present
And this is where Steven Spielberg's inspiration for "Little Giants" came from!video-player-present
4. In 1989, star Bengals player Stanley Wilson missed the Super Bowl due to a cocaine binge the night before.
The night before the Bengals were set to play the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XXIII, Wilson said he had to go grab his playbook before a team meeting. When he never showed up, coach Jim Anderson found him in a bathroom, high on crack cocaine. He was banned from the NFL and the Bengals lost the game. To this day, Anderson says that his actions negatively impacted the team's history.
5. Referees who officiate the Super Bowl also get rings.
Only the very best refs get chosen to officiate the Super Bowl, and it's an accomplishment that the NFL celebrates by awarding them with their own ring. Mike Perelra of Fox Sports explained, "The officials get Super Bowl rings just like the players do. They aren’t as big as the players’ rings, but they are still valuable pieces of jewelry. These rings mean the world to the officials and they wear them with such pride."
6. An estimated 1.5 million American workers call in sick to work the Monday after the Super Bowl.
It probably has something to do with the 325 million gallons of beer we drink on the day of the big game. These 1.5 million who call in sick are just the beginning, though. According to Fox Sports, another 7.5 million are late and 10.5 million take off the day in advance. Considering all of this, some have suggested making the Monday after the Super Bowl a national holiday.
7. The first Super Bowl tickets cost $6 to $12.
These were considered "Broadway prices," and The New York Times reported that fans were angry to see the NFL charging so much. Today, tickets range from $1,200 for nosebleed seats to $9,000 for club level at the 50-yard line.
8. Americans eat 1.3 billion chicken wings every Super Bowl.
That translates to 162.5 million pounds of wings -- enough for every citizen of the U.S. to have four each.
9. The most expensive Super Bowl commercial to date was made by Chrysler.video-player-present
The two-minute spot in 2011 cost the company $12.4 million. Was it worth it? In Forbes, Rob Siltanen, founder of the ad agency that produced the commercial, called it a "game-changer" and claimed that the company's sales shot up 54 percent.
10. Dion Rich, aka the "World's Greatest Gate Crasher," has snuck into over 30 Super Bowls.
Rich has also crashed the Olympics and Oscars, but Super Bowls are his real claim to fame. He made it into 21 of the first 22 Super Bowls, but hasn't crashed one since 2002. These days, security is just too tight, even for him.