How the Super Bowl Works

By: Kevin Bonsor & John Donovan  | 
Super Bowl
An aerial shot of Super Bowl LIV at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami where the Kansas City Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers 31-20. The Super Bowl is annually the most-watched single-day sporting event in the world. Getty Images/Getty Images

Each year, millions of football fans celebrate it, family and friends gather around the television to watch it and advertisers flock to it as if it were the holy grail of consumerism. Super Bowl Sunday is not just an ordinary day in America. It's a de facto national holiday.

What's the big deal, anyway?


The Super Bowl is the championship game of the National Football League (NFL), annually the most-watched single-day sporting event in the world. In 2021, 96.4 million viewers watched Super Bowl LV when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Kansas City Chiefs — and that's just U.S. viewership. The most-watched Super Bowl in history was Super Bowl XLIX in 2015, when 114.4 million viewers saw the New England Patriots beat the Seattle Seahawks.

The game's intrigue is partially due to the finality of its outcome. Unlike other professional sports leagues that decide their champion in a series of games, the NFL decides its champion with only one; the Super Bowl.

Even if you're not a die-hard football fan, you may still have an interest in the parties, food and commercials that revolve around the game. In this article, we'll discuss the history of the Super Bowl, examine its popularity, and learn some interesting facts about the game.