5 Unique Facts About The Two Super Bowls Hosted In Michigan
Everyone knows that the Detroit Lions have never won, or even appeared in, the Super Bowl. But the NFL's bigger-than-life title game has come to Michigan twice in its history, both times being held at the Lion's home stadium.
Here are five lesser known facts about each of these two events.
Super Bowl XVI - January 24th, 1982 - Pontiac Silverdome
Held at the Pontiac Silverdome, this title match-up featured the San Francisco 49ers and Cincinnati Bengals. The 49ers, led by Joe Montana, defeated the Bengals 26-21.
1. It was the first Super Bowl played in the northern U.S.
Most Super Bowls are played in warmer locations to avoid the possibility of winter weather causing chaos for travel. Before Super Bowl XVI in Michigan, all of the games had been held in the south or southwestern U.S. The next one played in the north was Super Bowl XXVI held in Minneapolis in 1992. Only six Super Bowls have taken place in the northern U.S.
2. University of Michigan Marching Band performed part of the pregame festivities
They performed the Canadian National Anthem, which was not televised. It was the first of two Super Bowls, both in Michigan, to have two national anthems performed.
3. Both teams were making their first appearance in the Super Bowl
The 49ers have won five Super Bowls, but this was their first NFL title and first time making it to the Super Bowl. Meanwhile, this was the first of only two appearances for the Bengals. They lost again to the 49ers in Super Bowl XXIII.
4. The quarterback from the Detroit Lions last NFL Title did the coin toss
The Lions won three pre-Super Bowl NFL titles in the 1950s with Hall of Fame QB Bobby Layne under center, the last in 1957. They haven't been to a title game since and some blame Layne for cursing the team when he was traded from the team in 1958.
5. First sports television broadcast to use a telestrator
Graphic overlays give stats and information constantly during sports broadcasts today and it all stems back to Super Bowl XVI. CBS broadcast the game and introduced the telestrator, nicknamed the CBS Chalkboard, which allowed players and areas of play to be highlighted by superimposing lines and rings over the live broadcast.
Super Bowl XL - February 5th, 2006 - Ford Field
This title game featured the Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks. The Steelers won 21-10.
1. First Super Bowl to be played on 'FieldTurf'
Up until this point, every Super Bowl had been played on either natural grass or the original carpet-like 'Astro Turf'. By the mid 2000s, several NFL and college football stadiums were transitioning to the more natural looking FieldTurf.
2. Last Super Bowl to air on ABC
This ended up being not only ABC's final Super Bowl broadcast, but also their last NFL broadcast of any kind to this date after decades of hosting Monday Night Football. The following season, MNF moved to ESPN under a new deal, which also removed ABC from the Super Bowl rotation of networks.
3. The Pontiac Silverdome was used for team practices
The former home of the Detroit Lions, now demolished, was used by the Pittsburgh Steelers before the game. In fact, FieldTurf was even installed temporarily for those sessions. The Seattle Seahawks practiced at the Detroit Lions practice facility in Allen Park
4. Detroit wasn't happy about The Rolling Stones for the Halftime Show
Although one of the most iconic rock bands of all time, the choice to have The Rolling Stones do the Halftime Show sparked controversy in the Detroit community because the band did not represent the music of Detroit and no other artist from the area was included.
5. First Super Bowl broadcast in full HD
The two previous Super Bowls were mostly presented in high definition, but Super Bowl XL was the first one where every aspect of the game was shown in HD.