The NFL provides the greatest reality TV programming of all time. Each NFL season is a completely new and original experience for every player, fan and coach alike. New stories, new personalities, new winners and new losers, as well as a plethora of new statistics. And every season culminates with the Super Bowl, one of the most-watched sporting events across the globe.
Here are the most important, most intriguing and most bizarre statistics to keep in mind about the 47-year history of the Super Bowl:
164,100,000: People who watched Super Bowl XLVII
CBS' broadcast of Super Bowl XLVII between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers last Feb. 3 was watched at some point by 164.1 million viewers, setting a new record for total audience, according to the network. The Nielsen Co. reported an estimated 108.4 million people witnessed the Ravens' 34-31 victory in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, making Super Bowl XLVII the third most-watched program in U.S. television history. Super Bowl XLVI in 2012 (111.3 million viewers) and the 2010 game (111 million) are the only two programs that have drawn more eyes, according to the NFL.
4:14: Record running time of Super Bowl XLVII
A 22-minute partial power outage early in the third quarter of Super Bowl XLVII not only thrust the Mercedes-Benz Superdome into semi-darkness, it delayed the game on the field for 34 minutes and led to some entertaining analysis from CBS' broadcast team. Prior to the blackout, San Francisco had the ball and was trailing Baltimore 28-6 following Jacoby Jones' 108-yard kickoff return to open the second half. When play was finally resumed, the 49ers scored 17 unanswered points, making it a five-point game entering the fourth quarter. The Ravens held off the 49ers' late charge in the end, winning the longest Super Bowl ever played.
23-24: Coin toss winners' record in the Super Bowl
Baltimore won the coin toss last February, but deferred, electing instead to receive the ball to open the second half. The Ravens became the fourth team in Super Bowl history to defer, and all four instances have taken place in the last five years. While not winning the coin toss has still produced more Super Bowl winners over the history of the game, Baltimore joined Green Bay (Super Bowl XLV in 2011) as the only teams to defer on the toss and go on to victory.
35-3: Record of the team with fewer turnovers in the Super Bowl
Baltimore had just one turnover (Ray Rice fumble) compared to two by San Francisco (Colin Kaepernick INT, LaMichael James fumble) in last year's Super Bowl. By winning the turnover battle, the Ravens improved the all-time record of the team with fewer giveaways to 35-3. The formula appears to be fairly straightforward: Protect the football and become a champion.
Check out Athlon Sports' special Super Bowl section for more coverage on the Broncos vs. Seahawks and the history of the big game.
$4 million: Average cost of a 30-second commercial for Super Bowl XLVIII
The going rate for a 30-second spot during FOX's upcoming Super Bowl XLVIII broadcast went for about $4 million. That's up from about $3.8 million on CBS last year and a far cry from the $42,000 it cost for 30 seconds of air time during Super Bowl I. However, with a guaranteed audience of more than 100 million in place, it should surprise no one that the available ad space has been sold out since early December.
338: Media credentials issued for Super Bowl I
By 2012, the number swelled to 5,156 accredited media members covering Super Bowl XLVI, a record for the event. With this year's game in the New York metropolitan area, also known as the media capital of the world, it's possible that Super Bowl XLVIII will set a new milestone for media participation.
3,652,409: Combined attendance for all 47 Super Bowls
Following last year's sellout crowd of 71,024 at the Mercedes Benz-Superdome in New Orleans, all-time Super Bowl attendance climbed past the 3.6 million mark. This year's venue, MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., can hold 82,500 people. While there's little doubt this game won't be a sellout, the mere possibilty of wintry precipitation adds an additional element to the first outdoor, cold-weather Super Bowl.
103,985: Largest crowd to attend a Super Bowl
The 1979 season featured the largest crowd to ever attend a Super Bowl when the Steelers defeated the Rams 31-19 in Pasadena, Calif. The Rose Bowl hosted the Los Angeles Rams that year in what remains the closest thing to a home-field advantage in a Super Bowl.
6-10: Worst record by a Super Bowl winner the following year
Baltimore went a disappointing 8-8 this season, missing out on a chance at defending its Super Bowl title. However, the Ravens still fared better than Denver in the aftermath of the Broncos' back-to-back championships ( Super Bowl XXXII, XXXIII) in the late 1990s. Following the retirement of quarterback John Elway, the Broncos went 6-10 in 1999, finishing last in the AFC West. This also represented the worst showing by a defending Super Bowl champion.
414: Kurt Warner's record for passing yards
The former grocery bagger threw for a Super Bowl-record 414 yards in the win over the Tennessee Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV. This included his 73-yard game-winning touchdown pass to Isaac Bruce with just over two minutes remaining. Warner also owns the No. 2 passing performance (377 yards for Arizona in a loss to Pittsburgh) and the No. 3 performance (365 yards in a St. Louis loss to New England).
204: Timmy Smith's Super Bowl rushing record
The Denver Broncos began Super Bowl XXII by taking a 10-0 lead into the second quarter over the Washington Redskins. But then Doug Williams and Timmy Smith happened. The record 35-point second quarter put the game all but out of reach by halftime. The game was special for a variety of reasons. First, Williams was the first black quarterback to win the Super Bowl, while Smith became the only player to top 200 yards rushing. He finished with 204 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries as the Redskins set the Super Bowl record for total offense (602 yards). Ironically, Smith ended his NFL career with exactly 602 yards rushing (21 games).
22.6: Lowest QB rating for a Super Bowl winner
Ben Roethlisberger completed 9-of-21 passes for 123 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions in Pittsburgh’s Super Bowl XL win over Seattle. It is the worst performance by a Super Bowl-winning quarterback. At 23 years and 340 days old, Big Ben also was the youngest quarterback to ever win the big game.
11: Players that have won the MVP and the Super Bowl in the same year
Bart Starr (1966), Earl Morrall (1968), Terry Bradshaw (1978), Mark Moseley (1982), Lawrence Taylor (1986), Joe Montana (1989), Emmitt Smith (1993), Steve Young (1994), Brett Favre (1996), Terrell Davis (1998) and Kurt Warner (1999) are the 11 double-dippers. Peyton Manning most likely will have a chance to join this exclusive club, as he's all but assured of receiving his record fifth NFL MVP award on Feb. 1, the day before leading his Broncos against the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII.
10: Largest comeback in Super Bowl history
The aforementioned Redskins established this record as well after trailing 10-0 to Denver before finishing off the Broncos 42-10. The deficit was tied in the 2009 season when Drew Brees and the Saints fell behind 10-0 before coming back to defeat the Colts 31-17 in Super Bowl XLIV.
9: Bills’ Super Bowl record for turnovers
The Dallas Cowboys crushed the Bills 52-17 in Super Bowl XXVII. This lopsided affair was headlined by a Super Bowl-record nine turnovers by Buffalo. Strangely enough, Dallas also claims the No. 2-most forced turnovers with eight against Denver in its Super Bowl XII win and had seven takeaways against Baltimore in its Super Bowl V loss. How did the Cowboys lose to the Colts after forcing seven turnovers?
7: Fewest rushing yards by a team in a Super Bowl
The Monsters of the Midway were one of the most dominant defensive units in NFL history, and it led to the Chicago Bears' lone Super Bowl win back in 1985. In the Louisiana Superdome, William Perry and Mike Singletary posted the best defensive performance in Super Bowl history by holding New England to just seven yards rushing. The Patriots' 123 total yards of offense is the second-lowest total in Super Bowl history.
5: Most Super Bowl starts by any one quarterback
John Elway started his fifth Super Bowl and won his second Lombardi Trophy in Super Bowl XXXIII following Denver's 34-19 victory over Atlanta. Two years ago, Tom Brady matched Elway with his fifth Super Bowl start. However, neither can claim the most Super Bowl victories as Pittsburgh’s Terry Bradshaw and San Francisco’s Joe Montana won all four of their Super Bowl starts.
3: Fewest points scored in a Super Bowl
The 1971 Miami Dolphins are the only team to ever play in a Super Bowl and not reach the end zone. Miami's 24-3 loss to Dallas in Super Bowl VI still stands as the fewest points scored by a team in the history of the game. The 1974 Minnesota Vikings are the only other team to score at least seven points on Super Sunday. In the Vikings' defense, they did reach the end zone — albeit via a defensive touchdown when Terry Brown recovered a Steelers’ fumble in the end zone. Fred Cox missed the extra point, as the Vikings also set the Super Bowl record for fewest yards of total offense with 119.
1: People to win the Super Bowl as a head coach and player
Tom Flores won two Super Bowls as the head coach of the Raiders and was technically on the 1969 Kansas City Chiefs roster. However, he did not see any time on the field in Kansas City's win against Minnesota in Super Bowl IV. Mike Ditka, a Hall of Fame tight end for the Bears, Eagles and Cowboys, caught two passes for 28 yards and a touchdown in Super Bowl VI. He then led the Bears to a win in Super Bowl XX in 1986 to become the only Super Bowl-winning coach who also earned a world title as a player.
0: Super Bowls without at least one field goal attempt
Four times has a Super Bowl featured one combined field goal attempt, but never has a Super Bowl lacked for at least one field goal try. Super Bowl VII, XXIV, XXXIX and XLII each featured just one field goal effort.