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Although most of us don't spend much time thinking about math during the Super Bowl, the truth is that the big game is full of it. This shouldn't come as a surprise since, as we've discovered over and over again, math is always all around us…if we take the time to see it.

While there are no doubt dozens of good mathematical questions that might come to mind while watching the Super Bowl, today we're going to talk about 3 of them:

  1. Why is the phrase "Super Bowl" always accompanied by a Roman numeral?

  2. Does the coin toss that takes place before the Super Bowl actually matter?

  3. Are there any impossible Super Bowl scores?

So go ahead and put on your favorite team's jersey, start limbering up, and stay tuned to arm yourself with a few festive math fun facts that you can throw around at the Super Bowl party you're heading to this weekend!

Super Bowls and Roman Numerals
On Sunday, February 2, 2014, the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks will be playing each other in Super Bowl XLVIII—aka, Super Bowl 48. Yes, in case you didn't know it, the Roman numerals that you always see after the phrase "Super Bowl" are there to indicate that this is the 48th such big game to take place in the history of the National Football League (the first was in 1967).


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