The Super Bowl returns to Houston next Sunday! For the third time in its 51 year history, this championship game to determine the NFL’s number one team will be right in our hometown. Miami, Florida and New Orleans, Louisiana top the list of cities that have hosted the Super Bowl the most, having each hosted ten times. Next on the list is Los Angeles, California, which has hosted seven Super Bowls.
The matchup between the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons will air on Fox on Sunday, Feb. 5. Kickoff is slated for 5:30pm, but the pre-game festivities and coverage will begin hours earlier. The Patriots are making their eighth trip to the championship, having won the Lombardi Trophy four of those times. For the Falcons, this will be just their second appearance at the Super Bowl. They lost to the Denver Broncos in 1998.
Both teams have a long history in the NFL, as the Falcons came into the league in 1966 and have over that entire time period racked up a sub-.500 record. A high point was during the 1998 season when their nickname “The Dirty Birds” was coined and they made their first trip to the Super Bowl. Another notable stretch was during Michael Vick’s time there, from 2001 through 2006 as they alternated winning and losing seasons. Vick, an explosive player, became the first quarterback to rush for over 1,000 yards in a single season in 2006. Unfortunately, a year later he was criminally convicted as being the leader of a dog fighting ring and was banned from the NFL for two years.
The Patriots, on the other hand, have a 16 year winning streak currently going under the guidance of head coach Bill Belichick, who has been at the center of such controversies as “Deflate Gate” and “Spy Gate.” He has led the team to only the second perfect regular season and playoff record in NFL history, only to lose the Super Bowl that year to the New York Giants. (The 1972 Miami Dolphins are the only team with a truly perfect record, winning all regular season and playoff games, and the championship.)
Some more fun facts about Super Bowl LI:
• Luke Bryan, country music super-star, will perform the national anthem just before kick-off.
• Halftime performer, Lady Gaga, has been planning her performance since she was four years old.
• One 30-second advertising spot costs as much as $5 million.
• Patriots quarterback, Tom Brady holds the record for the most Super Bowl touchdown passes with 13.
• Women Super Bowl viewers make up over 46% of the audience.
Enjoy the game, the performers, the food and spectacle of it all as we celebrate the NFL in H’town!