America’s most-watched annual sporting event returns this weekend for Super Bowl LV.
The game will be played in Tampa, Florida between the league’s defending champions, the Kansas City Chiefs, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Friends, family, strangers on social media and sports personalities alike are highlighting a host of statistics and fun facts in the lead up to the game, just as in previous years.
But how many of those claims are actually true? The VERIFY team is breaking down several of this year’s Super Bowl factoids.
Is Tampa Bay the first team to play a Super Bowl at home?
This is the first time a team has played the Super Bowl in their home stadium, but it’s not the first time a team has done so in front of a home crowd per se.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame has a list of every stadium that's hosted a Super Bowl and which teams played in those games. No previous team has played in their home stadium for the Super Bowl. So the Buccaneers will indeed make history when they play in Raymond James Stadium this weekend.
But there are two previous times in which an NFL team played in their home market.
Super Bowl XIV in 1980 was played in the Rose Bowl in the Los Angeles suburb of Pasadena, California. The Los Angeles Rams, who played in nearby Anaheim for the first time that season, made it to Super Bowl XIV and ultimately lost to Pittsburgh, 31-19.
Five years later, in 1985 Super Bowl XIX was played at Stanford Stadium in Stanford, California. Stanford is just 30 miles from San Francisco and much of the advertising around the game featured San Francisco landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge. That game included the San Francisco 49ers, who beat Miami in that game 38-16.
Will this year be the Super Bowl with the largest starting quarterback age gap in history?
Assuming both the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes and the Buccaneers’ Tom Brady start, yes it will.
Once again, the Pro Football Hall of Fame provides a list of every starting quarterback in Super Bowl history and their age at the time they started. The previous record was set two years ago when Tom Brady was 17 years older than his counterpart Jared Goff.
This year, Tom Brady at 43 is 18 years and 45 days older than Patrick Mahomes, who is 25. Despite their age difference, the pair has quarterbacked the teams who have won the last two Super Bowls.
Does Tom Brady have more Super Bowls wins than most teams?
Yes. Tom Brady’s six Super Bowl wins is the same amount of victories as the two winningest Super Bowl teams in NFL history. And his Super Bowl appearances and wins are more than any other player.
The teams with the most Super Bowl wins all-time are the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New England Patriots, each with six wins. All six of the Patriots’ wins were with Tom Brady at the helm, meaning he has six Super Bowl wins as well.
No NFL team or player has more than six Super Bowl wins. That means Brady has more Super Bowl wins than 30 NFL teams and has the same amount of Super Bowl wins as the remaining two.
This upcoming Super Bowl will be the 10th in Brady’s career. Only one NFL team has appeared in more Super Bowls than he has, that being the New England Patriots who have been in 11 Super Bowls, nine of which were with Brady.
No other NFL player has made double-digit Super Bowl appearances.
Will Patrick Mahomes be the youngest quarterback to start in two Super Bowls?
Yes, his start on Sunday will make him the first quarterback to start in two Super Bowls before turning 26.
The 25-year-old started in his first Super Bowl last year while just 24.
However, Mahomes wasn’t the youngest quarterback to ever start in the Super Bowl.
Both Dan Marino and Ben Roethlisberger were 23 when they made their first Super Bowl appearances. Marino never returned to the Super Bowl. Roethlisberger didn’t return until he was 26.
While several other 24-year-olds have started at quarterback in the Super Bowl, no others returned the following year like Mahomes has.
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