Super Bowl Myths and Legends

A compendium of the most popular legends and rumors associated with the Super Bowl. How many have you heard?

10 Articles
  • Published 29 January 2020
10 Articles

Over the last few decades football’s championship game, the Super Bowl, has surpassed baseball’s World Series as America’s premiere sporting event. In fact, the Super Bowl has now transcended its status as a mere athletic contest to become a great national celebration on a par with many of our political and state holidays. A two-week build-up of massive media coverage leads into a day of partying, overeating, drinking, wagering, and the (anti-)climax of a football game itself. As we should expect, an event of such tremendous national importance has engendered its own unique set of legends, legends that express a number of our national values. Anthropologist Alan Dundes has noted that “Super Bowl legends usually involve numbers and a sense of enormity. The idea of big numbers, of being bigger than other people, is very American.”

Here is our review of some of the more popular legends and rumors associated with the Super Bowl:

Do Car Accidents Increase After the Super Bowl?

The largest surges in the motor vehicle accident rate occur in the home state of the losing Super Bowl team.

True
Do Super Bowl Toilet Flushes Break Sewage Systems?

Sewage systems of major cities have supposedly broken due to the tremendous number of toilets being flushed simultaneously at halftime of the Super Bowl.

False
Does Most Domestic Violence Occur on Super Bowl Sunday?

"Women's shelters and hotlines are flooded with more calls from victims on Super Bowl Sunday than on any other day of the year."

False
Was an NFL Lawyer Who Claimed the Super Bowl Is ‘Rigged’ Found Dead?

In 2018 the hoaxes and fake news about a "rigged" Super Bowl started even before the game was played.

False
Did a Reporter Ask Doug Williams How Long He’d Been a Black Quarterback?

"Doug, are you upset about all the questions about your being the first black quarterback in the Super Bowl?"

False
Did an Eagles Fan Steal an Ostrich from the Zoo During Super Bowl Chaos?

As Philadelphians destroyed their city in celebration, a ridiculous rumor took hold on social media.

False
Was the 2019 State of the Union Address Watched by More People Than the Super Bowl?

Wishing a thing true does not make it so -- especially when it's objectively measurable.

False
Did Maroon 5 Donate Their Super Bowl Halftime Show Earnings to Charity?

A charitable donation didn't spare the band from criticism for accommodating the NFL.

Mixture
Catherine Bell’s Astonishing Super Bowl Prediction

Did actress Catherine Bell accurately predict the winner and score of the 2002 Rams-Patriots Super Bowl before the start of the 2001 NFL season?

False
Did ‘I Am Legend’ Predict the Results of the 2008 Super Bowl?

The 2007 movie presented a horrifying, apocalyptic future, but did that include another Patriots Super Bowl victory?

False