(Log Angeles, Ca) The Rams are taking off for Atlanta to take on the Patriots in Super Bowl LIII. As they head east, here are 10 fast facts to know about the big game itself.
1) THE FIRST SUPER BOWL WASN’T SUPER BOWL I
Well, at least not at first. When the Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs played the first Super Bowl back on Jan. 15, 1967, it was known as the AFL-NFL World Championship Game. This was back before the AFL-NFL merger became official in 1970. The game officially took on the title of “Super Bowl” with the third iteration of the game on Jan. 12, 1969. Former Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt is credited with coming up with the term.
2) FIRST ONE IN L.A.
Super Bowl I was actually played at the L.A. Coliseum. It was broadcast on two networks — CBS and NBC — and watched by an estimated 51 million viewers. The Packers, led by head coach Vince Lombardi, defeated the Chiefs 35-10 in that game. The Coliseum also hosted Super Bowl VII, which the undefeated ’72 Miami Dolphins won 14-7.
3) VINCE LOMBARDI TROPHY
Speaking of Lombardi, the trophy awarded to the winner of each Super Bowl bears his name. Considered one of the greatest coaches of all time, Lombardi won the first two Super Bowls with the Packers and won six NFL Championships. Originally known as the “World Professional Football Championship” trophy, it was renamed in memory of Lombardi following death from cancer in 1970.
4) CITIES ROTATE
The Super Bowl is played in a different city and stadium each year — mostly in domes or warm-weather climates. This year, the Super Bowl is in Atlanta, which will host its third Super Bowl. Atlanta’s two previous times hosting the big game were Super Bowl XXVIII in 1994 and Super Bowl XXXIV in 2000, which the Rams won 23-16.
5) MOST APPEARANCES
It probably won’t come as a shock to learn that the New England Patriots have the most Super Bowl appearances in league history with 11. While they’ve been nine times since head coach Bill Belichick took over in 2000, the Patriots also won the AFC in 1985 — losing to the vaunted ’85 Bears in Super Bowl XX — and in 1996, falling to quarterback Brett Favre and the Packers.
6) MOST VICTORIES
The Patriots, however, do not have the most Super Bowl victories. That distinction belongs to the Pittsburgh Steelers, who’ve won six in eight appearances. Pittsburgh last won the AFC in 2010, falling to the Packers in the Super Bowl. But just a couple years before, the Steelers beat the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII.
7) FOUR RAMS APPEARANCES
Super Bowl LIII will be the Rams’ fourth appearance in the big game. While the franchise won two NFL Championship games before the AFL-NFL merger in 1945 (as the Cleveland Rams) and in 1951, the first NFC conference championship game in 1979, sending the L.A. Rams to Super Bowl XIV. The franchise didn’t get back until the 1999 season as the St. Louis Rams, defeating the Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV. Next Sunday will be the franchise’s first appearance in the big game since 2001, when the club lost to the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVI.
8) WHO’S NEVER BEEN?
While 12 franchises have never won a Super Bowl, only four have never even reached the game: Cleveland, Detroit, Jacksonville, and Houston. The Chargers, Titans, and Cardinals have all been once but came away empty handed. The Bengals, Panthers, and Falcons have been twice with the same result. And the Vikings and Bills have been four times with zero wins.
9) WHY ROMAN NUMERALS?
The practice of using roman numerals for the Super Bowl began with Super Bowl V in 1971. The idea is repeatedly also the idea of former Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt. Part of the reason is to prevent confusion with the year — since, for instance, the Super Bowl for the 2018 season is being played in the calendar year of 2019.
10) COMING BACK TO L.A.
The Los Angeles metropolitan area has hosted seven Super Bowls, and is scheduled to host an eighth in 2022 — Super Bowl LVI — at the Rams’ new home at the Los Angeles Stadium and Entertainment District. While the Coliseum hosted the first two Super Bowls in L.A., the Rose Bowl actually hosted each of the other five games in Pasadena. The most recent Super Bowl in L.A. was Super Bowl XXVII, during which the Cowboys defeated the Bills 52-17 to cap the 1992 NFL season. King of Pop Michael Jackson performed the halftime show.
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