51 things to know about Super Bowl LI
You already know the basics: The Atlanta Falcons and quarterback Matt Ryan will take on the New England Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady in a battle between North and South; veterans and Super Bowl neophytes.
For all the nitty-gritty game-day details, consult the handy box below. For 51 completely random and mildly interesting facts you can use to annoy people at your Super Bowl gathering, just read on.
1. The Patriots have won four Super Bowls, all of them with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick at the helm.
2. This is only the second trip to the Super Bowl for Atlanta, and they didn’t win the first time.
3. The Patriots have been to the Super Bowl nine times, an NFL record.
4. They have won four times, which is not a record.
5. That belongs to the Pittsburgh Steelers, who have won six.
6. Tom Brady has been to seven Super Bowls, the most trips by any single player. He has been in the NFL for 17 years, and may actually be immortal.
9. In fact, a lot of fans have been comparing this Super Bowl to the plot of “Star Wars,” with the Falcons being the upstart “rebels” and the Patriots being the reigning “empire.” This is not a favorable comparison for the Patriots, but when you have four rings already, you have to deal with a little flak sometimes.
Other people to know
13. Some famous Patriots fans are Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Captain America Chris Evans, most if not all of New Kids on the Block, and President Donald Trump.
14. Some famous Falcons fans are: Samuel L. Jackson, President Jimmy Carter and country star Zac Brown.
About the music
17. Lady Gaga is the Super Bowl halftime act.
18. You will recall, she sang the national anthem for Super Bowl 50 last year.
19. Country star Luke Bryan will perform the anthem this year.
21. Members of the original “Hamilton” cast will sing “America the Beautiful.”
About the commercials
24. The surprise of the ads is sort of ruined these days because so many of the commercials are released ahead of time.
25. So far, people are talking about Budweiser’s immigration-themed spot…
and a deeply unholy Mr. Clean ad.
We are all sinners now. SPEAKING OF, let’s talk about…
Houston, a den of sin
26. Houston is the fourth-most populous city in the United States. A fun way to get people to shun you while the game is on is to ask them to name the other most populous cities (New York is No. 1, followed by Los Angeles and Chicago).
29. Last time the Super Bowl was in Houston, it was NIPPLEGATE.
31. For the young ones, this incident is also where we get the tongue-in-cheek term “wardrobe malfunction.”
32. Also, the last time the Super Bowl was in Houston, the Patriots won…
Superstitions and weird coincidences
33. The Patriots will wear white jerseys and the Falcons will wear red.
35. Five teams other than the Falcons have worn red jerseys, and the overall red jersey record for the Super Bowl is 5-4. The 49ers are especially lucky in the color, having won three of their five championships while wearing it.
37. The Patriots have the same record (16-2).
38. They last won a Super Bowl two years ago.
39. They are playing an NFC South team (in Super Bowl XXXVIII, it was the Panthers).
40. Unrelated, Falcons QB Matt Ryan went to Boston College, in the heart of Patriots territory
Theme songs and bling
46. Maybe you’ve heard of the Matthews family? Theyre a big deal in football. Jake Matthews currently plays left tackle for the Falcons. His cousin is Clay Matthews, of Green Bay Packers fame. According to ESPN, the Matthews family has been represented in — wait for it — EVERY NFL SEASON SINCE 1978.
50. Tom Brady also is long in the tooth at 39, but if he wins, he would still be a few months younger than than the oldest Super Bowl-winning QB, who is…
51. Peyton Manning, who nabbed that honor when the Denver Broncos won Super Bowl 50 last year. He was 39.
That makes it sound like he died. He didn’t, he just retired.