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Super Bowl in the United States

One of the biggest annual sporting events in the United States, the Super Bowl, also sometimes known as the Big Game, is the final championship game of the National Football League (NFL).

Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA.

©iStockphoto.com/maislam

The game is the culmination of the football season that begins during the previous year, usually on the Thursday after Labor Day. The first game is known as the NFL Kickoff game.

Is Super Bowl Day a Public Holiday?

The Super Bowl is always held on the first Sunday of February, which is a non-working day in the United States.

Holidays in the United States

How Is the Super Bowl Celebrated in America?

The Super Bowl, also sometimes known as Superbowl, is the most-watched sporting event in the United States and even though it is not an official holiday, many people treat it like a national holiday. To celebrate it, people get together with family and friends to watch the event on television at home or in restaurants and bars.

Super Bowl parties are held all over the country, where people wear the colors or jerseys of their favorite teams. Bars and restaurants usually set up special viewing areas for the live telecast of the game and may offer specials on food and drinks.

Food and drinks are a major part of super bowl parties. Some favorite Big Game foods include chips with Guacamole or Buffalo Chicken Dip, chicken wings, Chili, and pizza. Beer is one of the most-consumed beverages on Super Bowl Sunday.

Half-time Show and Super Bowl Ads

In addition to the game itself, millions of people across the country tune in to watch the half-time show where pop stars, musicians, and singers perform while the players take a break.

Super Bowl commercials are also very popular. The popularity of the Big Game has been used by companies to promote their brands during commercial breaks. The advertisement spaces are highly coveted and companies pay huge premiums to produce and air their ads.

What Is the Super Bowl?

The Super Bowl is the final game of the NFL season, which usually begins on the Thursday after Labor Day during the previous year. With the exception of the Kickoff Game, most other games are played on Sundays and Mondays, though sometimes, games can be scheduled on other days of the week. 32 teams play 16 games each, making the season 256 games long.

The Workings of an NFL Season

The 32 teams are divided into two conferences—the American Football Conference (AFC) and the National Football Conference (NFC). The 16 teams in each of the conferences are further divided into four divisions: North, South, East, and West Divisions.

During a season, each team in a division plays two games against each of the other teams in the division—one in their home city, and one elsewhere. In addition, each team plays two home and two on-the-road games against a division from its own conference and one game each with a division in the other conference. Who gets to play which division is determined by a rotation system.

Finally, the previous year's ranking within their division determines with whom a team plays its last two games of the season: the second-ranking team plays with the other second-ranking teams in the remaining two divisions of its conference.

The Playoffs

The NFL season, which ends in December or January, decides which six teams from each conference qualify for the Playoffs—division winners are automatically eligible. Two wildcard teams are chosen based on their wins during the season.

The Playoffs are played in three rounds: the Wild Card Round, the Divisional Round, and the Conference Championships. The winners of the Conference Championships go on to face each other at the Super Bowl.

History of the Super Bowl in the USA

The first Super Bowl game was played between the National Football League's (NFL) Green Bay Packers and the American Football League's (AFL) Kansas City Chiefs on January 15, 1967, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California. It was the only game in Super Bowl history that was broadcast on more than one TV network. Since then, the game has been broadcast exclusively on one network chosen by a negotiated contract every year.

In 1970, the AFL and NFL formally merged to create the NFL as we know it today. Roman numerals were attached to the Super Bowl in 1971. Since then, all Super Bowls, except Super Bowl 50 played on February 7, 2016, has had a Roman numeral attached to it.

Named After the Super Ball

It is believed that the name Super Bowl was given to the championship by Kansas City Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt who is thought to have been inspired by the then-popular toy, Super Ball.

Super Bowl Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2015SunFeb 1Super BowlSporting event
2016SunFeb 7Super BowlSporting event
2017SunFeb 5Super BowlSporting event
2018SunFeb 4Super BowlSporting event
2019SunFeb 3Super BowlSporting event
2020SunFeb 2Super BowlSporting event
2021SunFeb 7Super BowlSporting event
2022SunFeb 6Super BowlSporting event
2023SunFeb 5Super BowlSporting event
2024SunFeb 4Super BowlSporting event
2025SunFeb 2Super BowlSporting event

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