DAILY DIRT: Some final thoughts on today’s Super Bowl


The big game can sometimes be overshadowed by the party food.

Daily Dirt for Sunday, Feb. 11, 2024

The reason why the NFL uses roman numerals to designate what number of Super Bowl it is pure genius … Welcome to today’s three thoughts that make up Vol. 862 of The Daily Dirt.

1. Welcome to Super Bowl Sunday.

As you prepare your game-time snacks and straighten up the house for the influx of friends, here are a few items to think about before the Chiefs beat the 49ers later today:

In the U.S., only on Thanksgiving Day is there more food consumed than on Super Bowl Sunday. For Super Bowl LVIII, it is projected:

  • 1.45 billion wings will be eaten.
  • 11.3 million pounds of potato chips will be consumed.
  • 50 million cases of beer will be purchased (and presumably downed).
  • 10 million pounds of ribs will be sold during the week prior to the Super Bowl. 

Also, there is typically a 35 percent increase in pizza sales on Super Bowl Sunday when compared to other Sundays.

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ record as a starter in the playoffs is 14-3. Before he became the starter, the Chiefs’ all-time playoff record was 9-18. Maybe we should just call today St. Patrick’s Day instead of Super Bowl Sunday.

Mahomes, 28, will become the first quarterback in NFL history to start four Super Bowls prior to turning 30.

Last year’s Super Bowl on Fox averaged 115.1 million viewers, making it the most-watched television program in U.S. history. The average audience for Rihanna’s half time performance last year was 121 million, also the highest in Super Bowl history. Usher is today’s featured halftime guest. 

Nine of the 10 most-watched television programs in U.S. history have been Super Bowls. The M*A*S*H finale in February 1983 is the only outlier.

During the regular season, females account for about 30 to 35 percent of viewers. For Super Bowls however, females account for closer to half the total audience. This year the percentage could be even greater with the possibility Taylor Swift will be in attendance.

According to a Harris Poll and UKG Workplace Institute, an estimated 16.1 million U.S. employees plan on not going to work on “Super Bowl Monday”.

Forbes.com reports for 44 percent of the viewers say the game itself is the most important part of the Super Bowl. Another 19 percent said the halftime show was the most important part and 18 percent surveyed said the commercials were the most important.

If Kansas City defeats San Francisco it will be the ninth time an NFL team won back-to-back titles. The others were Green Bay Packers (1966-67), Miami Dolphins (1972-73), Pittsburgh Steelers (twice 1974-75 and 1978-79), San Francisco 49ers (1988-89) Dallas Cowboys (1992-93), Denver Broncos (1997-98) and New England Patriots (2003-04).

This will be the 22nd time CBS has televised the Super Bowl, more than any other network.

For CBS, Jim Nantz will be providing the play-by-play and Tony Romo the color commentary. For Nantz this will be his seventh Super Bowl and for Tony Romo his third. Tracy Wolfson and Evan Washburn will add sideline commentary. Jay Feely will provide special team analysis and George Strerafore will cover rules.

Next season, Super Bowl LIX will be at the Caesar’s SuperDome in New Orleans on Feb. 9, 2025. Fox will televise the game.

CBS says a 30-second ad for Super Bowl LVIII cost $7 million. The ads were sold out before Thanksgiving. The average cost for a Super Bowl ad is double the cost from 12 years ago. Fox generated roughly $600 million with in-game advertising in last year’s Super Bowl.

2. The reason the NFL uses roman numerals for the Super Bowl actually makes sense.

Super Bowl LVIII is the 58th Super Bowl. According to the NFL, the big game used roman numerals starting with Super Bowl V, when the Baltimore Colts beat the Dallas Cowboys 16-13. 

“The Roman numerals were adopted to clarify any confusion that may occur because the NFL Championship Game — the Super Bowl — is played in the year following a chronologically recorded season,” according to the league. 

The NFL wanted to keep the Super Bowl number distinct from the annual season, because the 2023 season ends with a Super Bowl in 2024. The actual 24th Super Bowl, XXIV, was in 1990.

3. We’ve been reporting this week on the various costs connected to today’s Super Bowl.

Here’s one final eye-opener that area: ESPN reports the highest asking price for a front seat was $43,923 — each.

Steve Thought O’ The Day – Reba McIntire sings the national anthem today at the Super Bowl. The time taken for an artist to sing the Star-Spangled Banner at a Super Bowl is always one of those zany prop bets, and the going line for Reba, at last report, was 89.5 seconds. The average Super Bowl length is about 1 minute, 50 seconds. Alicia Keys was clocked at 2 minutes 35 seconds during Super Bowl XLVII. 

Steve Eighinger writes daily for Muddy River News. He now uses Roman numerals to denote his age.

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