The Super Bowl is in the news:
Eagles’ 1st Super Bowl Win Draws 103.4M Viewers, Smallest Audience In Nine Years – Update
Dominic Patten / Deadline:
UPDATE, 1:13 PM: As late as it went and as rowdy as it got, the City of Brotherly Love made pretty swift progress this morning picking up the debris of last night’s victory celebrations for the Philadelphia Eagles’ first Super Bowl win ever….
Perhaps the numbers confused them. The III:XXX kickoff time might well have been tough to decipher. And, of course, the II/IV/MMXVII date might have been trouble. Or would have, if they TOO had been written in Roman numerals.
Remember the “Pentium” chip?
Intel was going to go tricksy and beat down competitor Hobbittses, but the precious didn’t think so far ahead. Wikipedia:
The original Pentium branded CPUs were expected to be named 586 or i586, to follow the naming convention of prior generations (286, i386, i486). However, as the firm wanted to prevent their competitors from branding their processors with similar names (as AMD had done with their Am486), Intel filed a trademark application on the name in the United States, but was denied because a series of numbers was considered to lack trademark distinctiveness.
But they didn’t think it through. Not a whit, not a wit. You see, if “Pentium” was going to be the “5” in the 586 chip, guess what came next? Yup: the SEXIUM.
Which Intel couldn’t go with and ended up with the lame and hilarious “Pentium II” for “6” and then “Pentium III” and “Pentium IV” for “786” and “886” respectively.
4 out of 5 asylums agree!
The Borg-designated chips floundered their way down the Microprocessor trail, and seem to have fallen prey to the same mathematical idiocy that created the Big Twelve (ten football teams) and Big Ten (fourteen football teams) conferences. It ought be noted that this idiocy is never commented on by sports commentators, who have trouble enough understanding statistics and their application in the real world.*
[* Number of teams to win a Super Bowl after having a losing season the year before isn’t a statistic. It’s a bit of numerical trivia. And teams’ Monday Night records are completely outside the bounds of statistical analysis and fall instead into that favorite American numerical perversion that I like to refer to as “Voodoo Statistics” — numbers with no basis in statistical analysis but SOUND like they are meaningful, ofttimes with minuscule sampling bases and tortured justifications for their existence. That “existence” generally being “killing time during a boring game.”]
The NFL now finds itself in the same dilemma, albeit with a half-century to have noticed.
Yes. Super Bowl LIX licks the competition. (There is no actual competition). But for a league noted for its marketing genius, the year-long orgy of Super Bowl puns, jokes and dirty comments ought to be cause for concern.
And, face it: Nobody in America really gives a damn about the Roman Numerals that a previous NFL christened the “Super Bowl” with to keep the name from sounding as cheesy as it actually is. The Roman numerals lent the game an aura of respectability that wasn’t much in evidence in the first and second Super Bowls. (The first one didn’t come close to selling out). NBC and CBS (both of whom got to carry them, since they each had the exclusive contract with the AFL and NFL, respectively) thought so little of the gimmick games that both WIPED their videotapes of them.
Well and good. But we can drop the Roman numerals now? Hardly anyone can read them and make SENSE of them:
Numerous reports circulated all week about the inability of the average man in the street to make sense of the “Super Bowl LII” logo. Virtually no one could suss out what “LII” meant.
And take a moment to consider what Super Bowl 58 is going to look like in a mere six years (logos photoshopped by author):
SUPER BOWL LVIII
And sixteen years hence?
SUPER BOWL LXVIII
And so forth.
The terms “increasingly unwieldy” and “an embarrassment!” come to mind.
There is a good reason that Western Civilization adopted Arabic numbers: Roman numerals are a nightmare for counting and AC-counting. This would be a GREAT place to stop using them. No one is going to think LESS of the Super Bowl just because we use actual numbers that most of the audience and players can actually understand.
How about this instead of LIX:
SUPER BOWL 59
The regular numbers are clean, easy to read, and probably don’t need a complete redesign every year. After all, this isn’t an Apollo Mission Patch. It’s a football game.
One that could do with a little less opaque pretension and a little more graphic elegance.
Of course, there will be a bit of a problem with Super Bowl 69, but there’s an easy solution.
They can call it “Super Bowl Pentium.”