'Ooh! Me nuts!'
Yesterday was 'Super Sunday' - the annual orgy of consumerism that surrounds the final game of the American Football season. As usual, I stayed up to watch it - although last year in Australia it was on at breakfast time, which was odd (beer and cornflakes don't really go together). The game this year pitted the Seattle Seahawks against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and after a slow first half the Steelers wound out winners by 11 points. After Janet Jackson's 'wardrobe malfunction' of two years ago, this year's halftime show (the lengthily-named 'Super Bowl XL Sprint Half-time show featuring the Rolling Stones') was supposed to be family-friendly. I was delighted to learn that two of out their three songs were censored by panicky TV executives. The five-second delay obviously paid off as they saved the global public from hearing Mick Jagger complete the fantastic couplet:-
One time you were my baby chicken
Now you've grown into a fox
And once upon a time I was your little rooster
Am I just one of your c****?
Answers on a postcard...
Apart from archaic censorship, American sports are dominated by statistics and numbers. As an enthusiast of stats and facts, I collected a few Super Bowl facts. Enjoy!
- Fans at the game ate 5,000lb of hotdogs, which stretched end to end would reach 5 miles
- 24,000 cans of soda were sold at the Superbowl - more than 85 elephants drink in a day
- Super Bowl XXXIV (2000) ads cost an average of $73,333 per second
- Eight percent of those watching will be tuning in just to see the ads.
- In 1999, ABC made dot-com advertisers pay in advance for time in the advertising showcase
- Super Bowl ticket prices over the years: Super Bowl I (1967) $6-$12; Super Bowl XV (1981) $40; Super Bowl XXII (1988) $100; Super Bowl XXX (1996) $200-$350; Super Bowl XXXIII (1999) $325; Super Bowl XL (2006) $620 (£350)
- A commercial in the Super Bowl will reach 40% of all U.S. households (40 million out of 100 million or approximately 90 million people in the U.S. alone)
- Superbowl weekend will have fewer weddings than any other weekend in the year
- 6% of the American workforce will call in sick on Monday
- 20% of Super Bowl viewers stated they liked the TV ads more than the game
- 38% of people made some type of wager on the Super Bowl
- More Americans watched the 2004 Super Bowl than voted in the 2004 presidential election.
- Half of all Americans would rather go to a Super Bowl party than a New Year's Eve party.
- Two out of five Super Bowl watchers are not even football fans.
- 13% of Americans order takeout/delivery food from a restaurant for a Super Bowl gathering. 58% of them will choose pizza.
- On Super Bowl Sunday, Americans will eat an estimated 20 million pounds of potato and tortilla chips and eight million pounds of avocados.
- Sales of antacid increase by 20% on Super Bowl weekend.
- 35% of those who attend the Super Bowl write it off as a corporate expense.
- 58% of people would rather take their bathroom breaks during the game than miss the commercials.
Official Super Bowl XL website
The Center for Research on the Effects of Television, Cornell University