Sports have always been about numbers, but for years, tethering Roman numerals to the Super Bowl was a winner for many reasons. It was a
charming means to separate pro football from other sports that identified their championships based on the year, such as the ’27 Yankees.
Football played nearly its entire regular season one year and the playoffs the next but, unlike the NBA and NHL, remained hyphen-free. People understood the 1985 Bears marched through the playoffs in January 1986. Or they remember their winning Super Bowl XX.
Like children, Roman numerals were cuddly in their infancy and became complex as they grew.
Take the Patriots’ 32-29 win over the Panthers.It had a classic ending, but over time, the game drowned in a sea of alphabet soup. You’re forced to scroll the list of Super Bowls before stumbling across XXXVIII.
The Super Bowl was slang for AFL-NFL Championship game until 1970, when it officially took its name of grandeur. The first three title games were retroactively named Super Bowls, but that’s ancient history. It’s all about marketing now. Super Bowl 50 looks cooler and sells better than Super Bowl L, which looks like a lo$$.
Power Takes are opinion blasts from Bucky, Sully & members of The News’ sports staff -- three will appear in Wednesday’s and Friday’s sports sections.
Today’s Power Takes
• Jay Skurski’s Power Take: Pro Bowl has become an unnecessary joke
• Bucky Gleason’s Power Take: Super Bowl ‘Roman Empire’ likely to fade into history
• Jerry Sullivan’s Power Take: Golden State can make legitimate run at 72 wins