What Exactly Does The ‘Bowl’ In ‘Super Bowl Refer’ To?

Oh boy, the Super Bowl; a part of America’s culture, the biggest football game of the year and the world’s most watched event. You’ve seen it so many times by now, the words go unnoticed.

But have you ever wondered what is the ‘bowl’ in “super bowl”?

Well, we sure did, so here’s the answer – you useless info junkie. (the article continues after the ad)

The word bowl is a very, very old word (over a thousand years ago) and it always meant what it means today: “a round, deep basin or dish used for holding food and/or liquid”. Because of a bowl’s distinctive shape, soon after its entry in the English language, people started using it extensively when referring to bowl-shaped items. Fast-forward a couple of centuries later, during the 1900s, the world was used to refer to football stadiums. 

The first bowl-shaped stadium in the United States was none other than the Yale Bowl, a stadium located in New Haven, Connecticut which was built in 1914. Its design allowed for more observers as people could seat on all sides of the stadium. The same design was used in 1923 when the Rose Bowl Stadium was built in Pasadena, California. Eventually, sporting events held in these kind of stadiums were called ‘bowls‘. This led to the term ‘bowl game’ which specifically refers to the game played after the regular seasons between the best teams from a region.

In 1951, the NFL borrowed the terminology when they created the ‘Pro Bowl’. When the AFL and NFL merged in 1970, they created a championship game that was initially called the “AFL-NFL World Championship Game”. Three years later, the game was re-branded and the first ‘Super Bowl’ was born.  

So, now you know!

If you like what you read, then you will definitely love this one: Why Americans Call It ‘Soccer’ When The Rest Of The World Calls It ‘Football’?  

Photo: WikimediaWikimedia
Photoshop: I’m A Useless Info Junkie
Sources: Why Is the Biggest Football Game of the Year Called a Bowl? | Exploring the Service Location Strategies Behind Super Bowl Venue Selection

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