The Fall of the Roman [Numeral] Empire: Super Bowl 50 Questions

By Last Updated: February 2, 2016Views: 3157

The Super Bowl is nearly upon us and there are some burning questions that need answered. Questions about Peyton Manning. Questions about Cam Newton. Questions bout the Broncos and Panthers in general. And there are questions about a certain numbering system that has been the bane of elementary schools and motion picture copyrights for generations.

Some of those questions are:

On Peyton Manning:

  • How will the outcome of this game effect Peyton Manning’s legacy?
  • Will this be Peyton Manning’s last game?
  • Will he actually die on the field?

On Cam Newton:

  • Will Newton be the first quarterback ever to win a national championship, the Heisman Trophy and a Super Bowl?
  • Will Newton’s dynamic style of play confound the Denver defense?
  • Will he be the Lebron James of football?
    (in other words, will he lose championships in a small market before leaving to win them in Miami?)

About the Broncos:

  • Will the best defense be able to stop the high-powered offense of Carolina?
  • Will the Broncos be able to mount an effective running game?
  • Will the Broncos, unlike last time they appeared in a Super Bowl, actually play football?

About the Panthers:

  • Will the best offense in football be able to stifle the formidable defense of Denver?
  • Will OLB Thomas Davis be effective with a broken arm?
  • Will anyone figure out where exactly this place “Carolina” is?

But there is one question that is still raging and needs to be explained, one that has confounded everyone from seasoned professionals to that guy I met at the bar last week. That question is:

What happened to the Roman numerals?

The Roman numeral numbering system has been a Super Bowl tradition for every single Super Bowl without exception. Except for the first two of course. So it came as a huge surprise and shock when the logo was announced and it was just a plain old Arabic “50” instead of …wait, what is the Roman numeral for fifty…hang on Googling now…L. Seriously L? That’s weird right? L, huh that’s…interesting.

Anyway, the proud tradition of choosing an arcane number to indicate the incremental progression of a sporting event has been destroyed for future generations and has, IMHO, ruined the morale of the American sporting fandom. I believe the media has declared a War on Romans! What’s next? No more Roman candles? Roman holidays? Roman Polanski? I say this will not stand!man-with-l-for-loser_1

No, I for one will not be swayed. From now on I say is will be called: SUPER BOWL L!

Well, now that I look at it…that looks kinda messed up. It’s like there is a typo on the word bowl –  like I hit the L key too many times. And it reminds me of “loser” you know when you put your hand to your head with index finger and thumb extended. Super Bowl Loser. Who wants to watch the Loser Super Bowl? Yeah, you know what that’s lame. They were right to go with 50. It’s not a big deal I don’t see what all the fuss is about it anyway.

So, that’s one question cleared up.

In conclusion I will leave you with a bit of trivia:

Both head coaches, Carolina’s Ron Rivera and Denver’s Gary Kubiak, replaced John Fox as head coach.

So, no matter what the outcome, win or lose Denver and Carolina fans can agree on one thing: No one likes John Fox.


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One Comment

  1. Linda Patille February 3, 2016 at 4:50 pm - Reply

    Hi Paul — funny article. Thanks. Had to look up the Roman Numeral symbol for 50 before I read your article (failing memory). No way NFL would go for just an “L.” That looser symbol just won’t do. We are a nation of winners, whiners, and even woosers (occasionally). That’s the American Way!

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