The decision to use Roman numerals for Super Bowls was something of a genius stroke by the NFL.
Roman numerals just make the event seem bigger than life. The Giants didn't win the "2008 Super Bowl" like it's some random NBA Finals. The Bears didn't win "Super Bowl 20" like it was some UFC pay-per-view event. Adding some X's and I's after "Super Bowl" makes it unique.
However, the NFL will break from tradition for the 50th Super Bowl, which will be held at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. on Feb. 7, 2016. ESPN's Darren Rovell first reported and the NFL confirmed that it'll just be "Super Bowl 50."
BREAKING: NFL to ditch Roman numerals for Super Bowl 50 game to be played in 2016 pic.twitter.com/DA53EF2VMp— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) June 4, 2014
Apparently "Super Bowl L" didn't pop off the page. Rovell said the league went through 73 versions of a Super Bowl 50 logo, and the standalone "L" just didn't look good in any of the logos they tried.
If you're a traditionalist, don't fret: Rovell and the NFL said the Roman numerals will be back for the 51st Super Bowl, Super Bowl LI.
The Roman numerals have been hard to keep track of through the years (off the top of my head I can't recite the exact letters for the Broncos-Seahawks Super Bowl we just had, though I'd assume plenty of folks in Seattle could help me out with that), but it's one part of what makes the Super Bowl the biggest sporting event in America every year. The NFL has been using the Roman numerals since the fifth Super Bowl, which was Super Bowl V between the Colts and Cowboys.
Even if the Roman style is getting the boot for the year, it's good to know the NFL understands that it's a part of the history of the game at this point.
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