The Atlanta Falcons loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday was reminiscent of Georgias setback to Alabama in the SEC championship game back in December.
Both teams had double-digit leads in the second half they were unable to hold, and both failed to score go-ahead touchdowns in the waning minutes after reaching the red zone. Georgias loss kept the Bulldogs out of the national championship game against Notre Dame, while the Falcons failed to reach the Super Bowl for the second time in team history.
We know how the national championship game turned out, with Alabama crushing Notre Dame 42-14, and now we await the Super Bowl on Feb. 3, which pits the 49ers against Baltimore in a matchup of wits between brothers Jim Harbaugh of San Francisco and John Harbaugh of the Ravens. Its the first time brothers have been opposing head coaches in the Super Bowl. John is the older of the two by 15 months.
The Super Bowl is an American phenomenon. The first contest was played after the 1966 season on Jan. 15, 1967, at the Los Angeles Coliseum and at the time was known as the AFC-NFC championship game. The Green Bay Packers, coached by the legendary Vince Lombardi, routed Kansas City 35-10 in that initial meeting. Tickets for the game were $10 each and it did not sell out, the only time in Super Bowl history that has happened. Tickets for this years game, if you could buy them at retail, start at $600 each. Ticket brokers or scalpers typically ask for double the retail price.
Kansas City Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt is credited with giving the game the Super Bowl name. He reportedly coined it from watching his children play with a toy, The Super Ball. The game officially became the Super Bowl in the third year -- at the end of the 1968 season -- when New York quarterback Joe Namath guaranteed his Jets would beat heavily favored Baltimore, which they did 16-7.
The NFC holds a slight edge in the overall series at 25-21. Something has got to give this year, as neither the 49ers or Ravens have ever lost a Super Bowl, with the 49ers taking Super Bowls XVI, XIX, XXIII, XXIV and XXIX. Baltimore won its only appearance, beating the New York Giants in Super Bowl XXXV. Pittsburgh holds the record for most wins with six, with the 49ers and Cowboys both at five.
The Superdome in New Orleans is this years site. It marks the 10th time the game has been played in the Crescent City and the seventh time in the Dome. The first three times New Orleans hosted, games were played at Tulane Stadium. The Miami area also has had the game 10 times.
Restaurants, especially pizza establishments, thrive on Super Bowl Sunday. It is the second largest day for food consumption in the United States, trailing only Thanksgiving. The National Restaurant Association estimates that 48 million Americans will order takeout or delivery while watching the game.
It is televisions most popular event of the year and rotates between major networks annually. The 2011 game was watched by more than 111 million viewers. This years game will be carried by CBS, and national advertisers have already purchased all of the ad time at $4 million per spot. Most advertisers unveil new and catchy commercials during the broadcast. Wonder which spot will be the best or most popular this year?
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