Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For January 25, 2008

SUPER SUNDAY by John MacIntyre

A TRADITION BEGINS

Although the Super Bowl seems like it is as ancient an American tradition as Thanksgiving turkey (it is, after all, the second-largest U.S. food consumption day, following Thanksgiving), the first Super Bowl wasn't played until 1967.

ALL IN A NAME

NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle wanted to call the game "The Big One," but AFL founder and Kansas City Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt had jokingly referred to the proposed interleague championship as the "Super Bowl," a thought he had after seeing his kids playing with a toy called a Super Ball. That ball is now on display at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

TICKETS

Number of tickets that went unsold at the first Super Bowl: 30,000

Number of Super Bowls since that time that have not sold out: 0

Average face value ticket price for Super Bowl I: $6 to $12

Average face value ticket price for the Super Bowl in 2008: $600 to $700

Amount one ticket broker was offering for six seats in Shaquille O'neal's suite at the Super Bowl in Miami last year: $112,500

PRESIDENT WHO?

Number of people who voted in the last U.S. election: 121 million

Number who voted for the current president: 61 million

Number of Americans who watched the last Super Bowl: 144 million

Number of people worldwide who watched the last Super Bowl: 800 million

THEY SAID IT

"The Super Bowl is Americana at its most kitsch and fun." -- Sting

MEDIA FRENZY

Number of accredited news organizations covering the Super Bowl: 130

Number of languages in which the Super Bowl will be broadcast: 32

Number of accredited media members covering the first Super Bowl: 338

Number of accredited media credentials expected to be issued for this year's Super Bowl: 4,000

TAKE FIVE

Five Championships Won:

San Francisco 49ers: 1982, 1985, 1989, 1990, 1995

Dallas Cowboys: 1972, 1978, 1993, 1994, 1996

Pittsburgh Steelers: 1975, 1976, 1979, 1980, 2006

THEY SAID IT

"I predict one of these two teams will win the Super Bowl." -- Gilbert Gottfried

DID YOU KNOW ...

Only six teams have yet to appear in the Super Bowl: Arizona Cardinals, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars and New Orleans Saints. The Dallas Cowboys, on the other hand, have had eight Super Bowl appearances.

30 SECONDS

Cost of a 30-second televison spot on Super Bowl I in 1967: $42,500

Cost in 1987: $600,000

Cost in 2008: $2.7 million

1984

"1984" the television commercial (not the George Orwell novel) was launched in the third quarter of Super Bowl XVIII by Apple Inc. Directed by Ridley Scott, fresh from the making of "Blade Runner," the commercial was played only once. The commercial shows the heroine running through an Orwellian world to throw a sledgehammer at a TV image of Big Brother -- an implied representation of IBM.

THE DRAW

Percentage of consumers who say the game itself is still the biggest draw, according to Big Research: 34

Percentage who say commercials are the most important part of the Super Bowl: 15

THEY SAID IT

"The Super Bowl is like a movie, and the quarterback is the leading man." -- Leigh Steinberg

WASN'T THAT A PARTY

Number of Super Bowl watchers who watch with at least one other person, according to Hallmark: 95

Average number of people attending a Super Bowl party: 18

Rank of New Year's Eve and the Super Bowl as the most popular party dates throughout the year: 1, 2

'TIL DEATH DO US PART

Percentage of men who say they would have to be on their deathbed or in a coma to miss the Super Bowl, according to a survey by eBay: 14

Percentage of men surveyed who say they would skip the birth of their firstborn child in order to watch the Super Bowl: 66

Percentage who say nothing would make them miss the Super Bowl: 10

A HOLIDAY

Amount that American employers lost during the week leading up to last year's Super Bowl because workers are distracted by the big game's hype, according to data from Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.: $780 million

Amount that employers lost in unproductive wages on the Monday following the Super Bowl as workers discussed the game, the commercials and the half-time show: $156 million

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