DALLAS -- In North Texans' quest to learn everything about Super Bowl XLV, they run a risk of being led astray. Misinformation and overhype abound. Hey, for starters, when was the last time you referred to yourself as a North Texan? Anyway, events as gargantuan as the big game come with commonly digested urban legends.
They take root like other cultural myths -- such as if a college student's roommate dies, he immediately gets a 4.0 for the semester. Or that the New York sewer system is infested with alligators. Some regurgitated Super Bowl ideas range from 1 billion people watching the game to the Super Bowl pushing the nation's sewer systems to the brink. We break down some of the most common Super Bowl assumptions.------
More than 1 billion people worldwide watch the Super Bowl
Come on now, this is American football. As big as the game is, the number is off by hundreds of millions of viewers. Around 150 million in the United States are expected to tune in to the spectacle at Cowboys Stadium. Super Bowl XLIV (2010) averaged a record 106.5 million viewers, topping the 27-year-old record held by the series finale of M*A*S*H. A total of 153.4 million watched some portion of the game.
While that's a galaxy of eyeballs on one single event, there aren't 850 million folks outside of the United States tuning in to watch a sport most of them don't play. An estimated 700 million worldwide watched the FIFA World Cup final last summer, and an estimated 600 million watched some portion of the 2008 Beijing Olympics opening ceremony.
A report by London-based Futures Sport and Entertainment shows that the 2009 European Champions League final (that's soccer, people) and the Super Bowl continue to grow in interest globally, though the soccer did outpace that year's Super Bowl, 206 million viewers to 162 million, partially because soccer is more familiar in the populous Asia-Pacific region.
Super Bowl XLV will be distributed to more than 185 countries and will be broadcast in 30 languages.
Super Bowl Sunday accounts for half of the yearly total of avocado sales in the U.S.
Guacamole is indeed popular as a Super Bowl treat -- Super Bowl-o-mole some call it. Avocado industry experts are projecting 69.6 million pounds will be consumed during the game. According to the Hass Avocado Board, 69.6 million pounds of avocados would cover the Cowboys Stadium playing field 26.9 feet deep. NFL great Joe Montana is even a pitchman, with his own recipe for the yummy green stuff.
But Cinco de Mayo (which was credited for 74.4 million pounds of avocados sold in 2010) is still a bigger seller. On average, avocado shipments each week are around 20 million pounds, according to the California Avocado Commission.
Halftime of the big game wreaks havoc on cities' sewer systems
Well, it is a popular time for flushing, to be sure. But so is every weekday morning, from about 6 to 8 a.m. when the workforce is scrubbing up, Susan Bruninga, of the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, told Parade magazine in 2010. She also pointed out that as more viewers use DVRs and utilize the power to pause and restart the game whenever they wish, the myth will disappear. Flush away, folks -- please.
Super Bowl or Super Bull Indicator?
Here's the premise: If an NFC team or an original NFL team (pre-1970 merger) now in the AFC (the Browns, Colts and Steelers) wins the Super Bowl, expect a bullish market. But an AFC victory means trouble on Wall Street. The theory has been an accurate indicator after 35 of the 44 Super Bowls, according to the NFL, though any connection seems unfathomable. The last two matchups made investors happy, as the Colts and Saints in 2010 and Cardinals and Steelers in 2009 were original NFL/NFC teams. The market finished up both years. This year's matchup is like that too.
The Indicator does have its off years, though, most recently after the NFC's New York Giants won XLII in 2008, and the market tanked.
Hangovers cause the U.S. workforce's productivity to plummet on Monday
Super Bowl party get a little too rowdy? Stay a little too late? It certainly happens, according to a 2008 study by The Workforce Institute at Kronos Inc., though it's not like the highways will be empty Monday morning. The report estimated that 1.5 million adults might call in sick the day after the big game.
It also estimated that another 4.4 million employees might arrive to work late. Perhaps not shockingly, the majority of those surveyed who said they might call in sick were between the ages of 18 and 34.