The ultimate championship of all championship games for the National Football League and millions of fans around the United States is the annual Super Bowl. In this game, the championship teams from the American Football Conference and the National Football Conference face each other to determine which team is the best in the league.
The Super Bowl has been a fan favorite since it began in the late 1960’s and decades later it is still the most watched sporting event as well as being frequently cited as the most watched overall event in television history. The Super Bowl is considered by many to be the equivalent of a major holiday in the United States. This extraordinary popularity has led to enormous amounts of money being spent by advertisers for mere seconds of air time during the broadcast and has also led to some very creative commercials and half-time shows.
Roman numerals are used to designate respective Super Bowl games, which are played in January or February of the year following the official season. Each game is marked with a number rather than according to the year, since each football season begins in one year and ends in the next. Using Roman numerals helps avoid confusion. For example, the 25th Super Bowl game is represented as Super Bowl XXV.
The tradition had long been to schedule the Super Bowl in January, but the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, caused that season’s game to be changed to February for the first time. The following year, the Super Bowl was once again scheduled for January, but since 2003, it has been played in February. It doesn’t seem to make much difference to fans when it is played, according to record-breaking television ratings and ticket sales.
The team that wins the Super Bowl is awarded the Vince Lombardi trophy, which is custom crafted by Tiffany and Company. A new trophy is crafted each year, unlike various other sporting awards and trophies. The winning team keeps it permanently, instead of returning it to be awarded to the following year’s Super Bowl champions. Each player and the coaches of the winning team are also awarded extravagant Super Bowl rings.
As of 2006, the record for the most Super Bowl wins was a three-way tie between the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Dallas Cowboys, and the San Francisco Forty-niners. Each team has five wins to their credit.