Football NFL Championship Game
In football, the national championship game is referred to as the Super Bowl. It is one of the biggest events in America, inside and outside of sports. It is a huge spectacle for the whole world to see, and it also generates billions of dollars.
How Did it Start?
Before the Super Bowl, there were two leagues competing against each other for players and supporters. These two leagues were the NFL and the AFL. The first Super Bowl took place in 1967, the year after the NFL and AFL merged to form one league. Originally called the AFL-NFL World Championship Game, it pitted the top team from each league against one another. The Green Bay Packers easily defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 35-10 in this game, that would later become known as Super Bowl I. Many things have changed in the league over time, but the Super Bowl is the one thing that has remained the same since 1967.
Who Plays in the Super Bowl?
To get to the big game, a team must get through the playoffs. Six teams from each conference (AFC and NFC) make it. First is the wild card round, where the first two teams in each conference get a bye, and the rest battle for a chance to play the top two teams in the next round. This next round is called the divisional round, where the winners advance to the conference championship. With only four teams left, the winners of the two conference championship games make the Super Bowl.
The last two remaining teams battle it out in a winner take all game with the whole world watching, all for a chance to hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy. This is the award given out to the winner of the Super Bowl, and is one of the most prized awards in all of professional sports. The venue for the game changes each year, with Super Bowl LIII being hosted by Atlanta in the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The host is determined years in advance and can have a huge impact on a host cities economy.
How Big is the Super Bowl?
The Super Bowl has typically been the most watched broadcast in the US. Out of the top 20 broadcasts in the US of all time, 19 out of 20 are Super Bowl broadcasts. Yet, the most recent game in 2019 had its lowest TV rating in over ten years, as the number has been steadily declining for a few years now. However, this "small number" is actually pretty big, as almost 100 million people tuned into the big game. Also, the rise of digital streaming has had a big impact on the declining TV ratings, as the streaming record was broken by Super Bowl LIII. CBS, NFL Network, Yahoo Sports, and Verizon all had live streams for viewers, making it the most streamed Super Bowl ever.