Thursday, June 5, 2014

Blog CLXV (165): The Fall of the Roman Empire

The National Football League just announced that Super Bowl 50 will be Super Bowl 50 and not Super Bowl L.  The league began using Roman numerals to mark their championship game starting with the second one in 1967.  (There was no Super Bowl I; it was the 1966 NFL-AFL Championship Game. At the time there were two professional leagues playing American football and what became the Super Bowl pitted the champs of each league against one another.  The American Football League merged into the NFL in 1970 with the Super Bowl remaining as the championship game of this super-sized league).

It would seem that the NFL has learned the same lesson I learned; it is fun to call things Blog III or Super Bowl VI.  Everyone knows the lower numbers and the Roman numbers add a bit of flash to your undertaking, but when you starting getting into really big numbers like 160 or CLX Roman numbers become a real liability.  I figured I was in for a penny, in for a pound and kept the Roman system, but I put the more familiar Arabic numbers in parenthesis.  It will be interesting to see if the NFL stays with Arabic or goes back to Roman.


  1. The NFL has already announced that they will return to Roman Numerals in 2016 LI. They thought that the popular symbol of L for loser was too risky and that 50 was graphically more appealing.