Kirby Stephens Design

Super Bowl LI. Seriously?

Ah! Super Bowl LI. That's Super Bowl 51 for those of us not still in middle school. The use of Roman numerals has been mathematically obsolete for more than 1,100 years. But hey, they look important. Google "Roman numerals" and you will see people also searched:

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Last year the NFL broke a 48-year tradition (the first game had no number) and branded the big game with a radical change to Arabic numbers, or as we call them, "numbers." This made sense as the Roman numeral for 50 is just "L". It would have been obviously weird. 50 is cool. It's a nice number.

SB logo 50

So I have to wonder who had the bright idea to change back to Roman numerals this year? 51 would have worked so much better than LI, and certainly made things easier for future Super Bowl fans. —Quick, figure out what XCVIII is.

I'll have to admit I do like the letter X. It's always been a favorite. I think the broadcasters like it too. It looks powerful on a TV screen. At least, it usually does.

SB logo IX


SB logo XIII

Super Bowl logos used to be unique, each year offered a new design. They weren't always beautiful or elegant, but at least they had their own personality. In recent years, they have unified around the trophy, with only the number, and in some version, the host stadium architecture added for distinction. I blame the "L." It just messes with you. The only way to make it work is to give it context. 

SB logo L group


So I believe we can look forward to making fun of Super Bowl LIX in eight years. There should be almost as many jokes as the pornographic Super Bowl logo in 1996.

SB logo XXX

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