How the Super Bowl Works

By: Kevin Bonsor & John Donovan  | 
Super Bowl
Philadelphia Eagles fans cheer on their team as they hosted the San Francisco 49ers at Lincoln Financial Field Jan. 29, 2023, for the NFC Championship. The Eagles ultimately defeated the 49ers for a spot in Super Bowl LVII. Tim Nwachukwu/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 2022, 99.8 million viewers watched Super Bowl LV when the Los Angeles Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals — and that's just U.S. viewership. The most-watched Super Bowl in history is still 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. Here, we'll discuss the history of the Super Bowl, examine its popularity, and learn some interesting facts about the game.