This weekend Americans will be participating in a yearly ritual called the Super Bowl. Every year, the Super Bowl breaks its previous year’s attendance record, and its viewership dwarfs that of any other show that will air throughout the year.
In honor of this monumental staple of American society, I thought it would be a little fun to have some short and interesting stories on the Super Bowl.
Fun with numbers
ABC, which will be covering the Super Bowl this year, estimates that 111 million people tuned in to watch the game last year. An additional 57 million people watched at least part of the game, which means that over half of the American public watched the event.
To put the sheer magnitude of this into perspective, about 117 million people voted in the 2012 election,
with 60 million voting for Barack Obama.
Zips in the Super Bowl
The 2013 Super Bowl is a sad one for the Akron Zips. Of the 106 players on the combined rosters of the Super Bowl teams this year, none are former Akron football players. This might not be a surprise to many people, considering the Zips have not had much success in football in the past several years.
Last year’s Super Bowl champions, the New York Giants, however, had two former Zips. Wide receiver Domenik Hixon and linebacker Chase Blackburn both played in the game.
The Baltimore Browns
This might be a confusing title for some of you, considering the football team in Baltimore is
called the Ravens and not the Browns.
This is a fun play on words because, had Art Modell (the deceased owner of the Ravens) had his way,
the Baltimore Ravens would actually be the Baltimore Browns.
Almost everyone who has grown up in the vicinity of Cleveland has probably heard the infamous story of how in 1996 Art Modell moved the beloved Cleveland Browns franchise to Baltimore to create the Ravens.
Many people, however, probably haven’t stopped to consider why the Ravens didn’t keep the Browns name.
Cleveland certainly isn’t the first team in NFL history to have an owner pack up and move out. In fact, it’s happened on several occasions. The Boston Redskins moved to Washington D.C. in 1937.
The Cleveland Rams moved to Los Angeles in 1946 and later moved to St. Louis in 1995.
The Chicago Cardinals became the St. Louis Cardinals in 1960 only to move again to Arizona in 1994.
If Cleveland fans think they’ve got it bad, Los Angeles has it worse. In addition to the teams lost above, Los Angeles also lost two more teams in its history: The Los Angeles Chargers moved to San Diego in 1961 and the Los
Angeles Raiders moved to Oakland in 1995.
What makes Cleveland different than all these other cities is that it is the only city to maintain the naming rights over its team, for better or for worse. In effect, the Baltimore Ravens are the original Browns franchise, while the modern Cleveland Browns are an expansion team.
So for any haters of the Cleveland Browns out there, keep this in mind: The original Browns
are still out competing against most teams in the NFL, and had they not moved in the first place, would be the best franchise in the NFL if they won on Sunday.