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10 fun facts about the Super Bowl

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Are you ready for the "Golden Game?" The 50th Super Bowl will take place in Santa Clara, California, on Feb. 7th, featuring the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers.

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Here are a few other fun facts and figures to consider about the big game:

1. The name – The NFL has come a long way from the first Super Bowl, which was not even called the Super Bowl. It was called the AFL-NFL World Championship Game. Keep that in mind as you ponder buying that eBay bargain "authentic" ticket stub with "Super Bowl I" printed on it.

2. Ticket prices – TiqIQ lists the average Super Bowl 50 ticket price at just over $6,350 as of Friday. Compare that to the nearly $4,100 average ticket price for last year's Super Bowl during the same two weeks before the big game, and it seems likely that Super Bowl 50 will set a new record. It's quite a change from 1967, when championship game tickets topped out at $12 each and the "secondary market" consisted only of ticket scalpers outside the L.A. Coliseum.

3. Pass the guac – What is a Super Bowl without snacks, and plenty of them? Estimates suggest that during the Super Bowl, we consume 4,000 tons of popcorn, 8 million pounds of guacamole with 14,500 tons of chips and over 1.2 billion chicken wings, among other snacks. Americans will wash that down with over 325 million gallons of beer.

4. Betting – While many people watch the Super Bowl simply for the football action, bets on the “Golden Game” have taken on a life of their own as fans place bets on everything from the outcome of the game to the result of the opening coin toss and how long the National Anthem will be sung. According to, every year an estimated 200 million people worldwide wager approximately $10 billion on some form of Super Bowl bet.

5. History, good and bad – The Broncos are now tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Dallas Cowboys and the New England Patriots for the most Super Bowl appearances with eight. Unfortunately, they also lead in the number of Super Bowl losses with five. The Patriots have four losses, along with the Minnesota Vikings and the Buffalo Bills, but they also have four wins compared to none for Minnesota and Buffalo.

6. Old vs. new – Out of the last 12 Super Bowls, 11 of them featured one of three AFC quarterbacks: Tom Brady, Peyton Manning or Ben Roethlisberger. Manning's latest playoff victory makes that 12 out of 13 (unless Denver starts Brock Osweiler, which has as much chance of happening as Janet Jackson repeating as halftime entertainment). The other quarterback? Joe Flacco of the Baltimore Ravens, the only one of the bunch never to lose a Super Bowl.

Meanwhile in Carolina, the NFC supplies a former No. 1 pick at quarterback and a team that has appeared in the Super Bowl once, but lost its only appearance. Coincidentally, had Arizona won instead, that would still have been the case.

7. Where's the "L?" – This is the only year that the NFL is abandoning the classic Roman Numeral designation, thinking that Super Bowl 50 sounds more appealing than Super Bowl L. However, Roman numerals will be back next year with Super Bowl LI. We can’t wait to get our kicks at Super Bowl LIX.

8. Maybe next year (but probably not) – Only four teams have never reached the Super Bowl. The recently added Jacksonville Jaguars and the Houston Texans have not done so, nor have two of the league's oldest members: the Detroit Lions and the Cleveland Browns. So far, it looks like that tradition will hold through the 2016-17 season.

Both the Lions and Browns won championships in the pre-Super-Bowl era, but have not so much as played in a championship since. Ask your grandfather about when the Lions and Browns were good… or maybe your great-grandfather.

9. TV commercials – The cost of Super Bowl ads has hit an almost absurd $5 million for a 30-second spot, up 11 percent from last year. Then again, how many TV events offer a captive audience where arguably the ads gather as much (or more) attention than the show?

10. TV viewers – Last year's Super Bowl topped the list with 114.4 million viewers watching an exciting game that came down to the last seconds before New England sealed a victory over Seattle with a goal-line interception. Of the top 10 individual television broadcasts ever, all but one are Super Bowls. The "M*A*S*H" series finale currently sits in seventh place at 106 million viewers. Logically, in a few more years, the entire top 10 list will be comprised of Super Bowls.

Regardless of which team you root for, enjoy Super Bowl 50 with plenty of friends and plenty of snacks. If the game is a blowout, you can still enjoy the commercials and your share of 8 million pounds of guacamole.

7 things to remember before booking Super Bowl trip

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With the teams solidified for Super Bowl 50, many football fans are starting to think more seriously about their travel plans to San Francisco.  

In response, many travel agencies have begun offering travel packages for the Feb. 7 game. 

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Experts have said fans can expect to pay $5,000 to $15,000 per person, so make sure you know what's included and what's not included.

The easy part: buying airfare.

The hard part: buying a ticket to the game and booking a hotel room.

According to the Better Business Bureau, excited game-goers shouldn't just pick a travel agency with a good reputation. They suggest looking for one with experience planning for major sports events.

"Super Bowl's pretty much it's own animal," BBB president Tom Bartholomy told WSOC-TV. "I would go to their website first, see what they're about, see what they've done, see what they claim to have done and then, see what their reputation is (on) And you'll be able to see are the claims they're making on their website backed up by what their customer experience has been."

Plus, don't forget to do these seven things when choosing a travel agency:

  1. Ask what hotels they work with. Then, double check that's true with the hotels themselves.
  2. Get the package in writing.
  3. Read the fine print, especially cancellation and refund policies.
  4. See if taxes and tips are included.
  5. Pay by credit card. It gives you more protection.
  6. Ask about ground transportation.
  7. Remember, meals aren't usually included in package deals.

Man snatches sports souvenir from young fan, kid's reaction is adorable

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It’s fan etiquette 101: Don’t take a foul ball (or a hockey puck) from a kid.

During Thursday night’s hockey game at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, one guy learned that the hard way.

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In the second period of the Pittsburgh Penguins versus Buffalo Sabres game, a puck ricocheted into the Sabres' bench.

Coach Dan Bylsma, who spent several seasons behind the bench in Pittsburgh, scooped up the puck and pointed to a young fan sitting a few rows behind the bench.

Bylsma tossed the puck over the glass to the little boy, who was anxiously awaiting a cool souvenir.

Then the unthinkable happened.

An adult snatched the puck before the kid could catch it!

Maybe the guy had good intentions with the puck, but come on, it was clearly intended for the kid.

The crowd at Consol Energy Center booed for quite some time as the man refused to hand the puck over to the kid.

The whole time, the young fan stayed composed and handled himself like a true gentleman.

Bylsma later made things right and flipped the kid another puck.

Then the Penguins took matters into their own hands and got the boy a Sidney Crosby sweater.

Way to go, Pens! 

WATCH: Jon Stewart smashes chair into John Cena at WWE SummerSlam

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Has Jon Stewart found a new career path?

On Sunday, the "Daily Show" alum hosted WWE's SummerSlam and even showed off his wrestling chops, entering the ring to help out Seth Rollins by smashing a chair into John Cena. Rollins ended up winning the U.S. title.

>> PHOTOS: Jon Stewart enters ring, turns heel at WWE SummerSlam

SB Nation called the move "a serious heel turn for Stewart, who feuded with Rollins in the past."

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Jerome Bettis parks 'The Bus' in Canton

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The humbled men in gold jackets were unmistakable.

So were the unending seas of yellow Terrible Towels there to greet them.

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jerome Bettis headlined the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2015 on Saturday night, the sixth-leading rusher in NFL history greeted by thousands of fans who made the short trip to Canton and gave the final stop of his singular career a decided western Pennsylvania flavor.

The capacity crowd at Tom Benson Stadium -- most of them clad in some version of black-and-gold -- roared as Bettis made his way down the red carpet, his enshrinement serving as the final destination for a player who embodied the blue-collar mentality of the city and the franchise he helped lead to a fifth Super Bowl title in 2006.

The adulation surrounding Bettis' induction proved fitting on a night so many saw their lengthy waits to join football's most exclusive club come to an end.

Only linebacker Junior Seau was elected in his first year on the ballot. For the rest, Saturday night was a mixture of relief, joy and wonder.

Defensive end Charles Haley cracked jokes between heartfelt disclosures of his battle with depression. Minnesota Vikings center Mick Tingelhoff didn't say a word, instead letting Hall of Fame teammate Fran Tarkenton speak for him shortly after Tingelhoff's bust was unveiled.

"He's waited 37 years to get to the Hall of Fame," Tarkenton said as thousands rose to their feet in appreciation.

Kansas City guard Will Shields spoke with the same thoughtfulness that made him one of the best linemen of his generation during a standout career with the Chiefs.

Contributors Bill Polian and Ron Wolf paid tribute to the icons who paved the way for their success. Wide receiver Tim Brown led chants of "Rai-ders! Rai-ders!" in a joyous moment more than a decade after the last of his 1,094 receptions.

Haley, the only player in NFL history with five Super Bowl rings, gave a rousing, freewheeling speech that included a good-natured jabs at everyone from former San Francisco owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr. to Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. DeBartolo called the decision to trade Haley to Dallas in 1992 his biggest mistake during his tenure.

Haley didn't disagree, though he also made sure to pay emotional tribute to the men who signed his paychecks. That included a touching nod to Jones, who organized a bone marrow drive when Haley's daughter Brianna was diagnosed with leukemia.

While Haley retired after the 1999 season with 100½ sacks and a fistful of championships. Yet he spent the better part of a decade watching former teammates get the call while his phone remained silent.

He blamed it partly on his own struggle with his inner demons. Haley said he was a "22-year-old man with a 16-year-old inside of me screaming for help and I would not ask for it" when he arrived in the NFL in 1986.

Even as he helped the 49ers win a pair of Super Bowls before earning three more with Dallas, Haley couldn't seem to shake the idea that something was wrong, something he couldn't quite articulate.

"My life spiraled out of control for years, for years," Haley said. "But today, guys, I am getting back into the locker room, to my teammates and tell them guys the mistakes that I've made and that the only way you can grow is that you've got to ask for help."

Wolf, who hired Mike Holmgren and traded for Brett Favre shortly after taking over in 1991, led off by praising the core that restored the Packers to legitimacy after two decades of mediocrity.

"There was always a threat to players of other teams that if they didn't shape up, they would be traded to Green Bay," Wolf said. "We worked hard to eliminate that stigma."

Green Bay won its first Super Bowl in nearly 30 years in 1997 when Favre guided the Packers by New England. Wolf, who spent 23 years working for the Raiders, called owner Al Davis a "remarkable teacher" who gave him a chance to grow from a scout scouring for prospects into one of the most respected team builders of his generation.

Polian praised Hall of Fame coach Marv Levy for helping him resurrect the Bills after Polian took over as general manager in 1984. The two men put together the foundation of a team that made four straight Super Bowl appearances behind Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas and Andre Reed, all of whom Polian joined in the Hall. Polian finally won a championship with Indianapolis and Peyton Manning, though Polian couldn't help but wonder how a "kid from the Bronx" ended up in Canton.

There was no wondering for Bettis, who wasn't shy about his desire to follow in the footsteps of other Steeler greats who guided the team to greatness.

Many of them were on hand to watch Bettis join them, including Franco Harris, Joe Greene, Mel Blount and Lynn Swann. Several of Bettis' former teammates, including quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and wide receiver Hines Ward, watched from in front of the stage as the Hall's doors finally opened for the player known simply as "The Bus."

Wrestlers pay tribute to 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper

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Wrestling legend "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, whose birth name was Roderick Toombs, died Thursday.

Piper is regarded as the first true great villain in professional wrestling, a role that earned him as much praise as it did criticism and made him truly unique among wrestling superstars. He highlighted the first WrestleMania, as well, taking part in a match Mr. T and Hulk Hogan.

Wrestling superstars paid tribute to Piper on social media Thursday, and Ronda Rousey, who was given permission by Piper himself to use the nickname "Rowdy," dedicated Saturday's fight to the WWE Hall of Famer.

<iframe src="//;border=false" width="100%" height="750" frameborder="no" allowtransparency="true"></iframe><script src="//;border=false"></script>[View the story "Wrestlers pay tribute to Roddy Piper" on Storify]

A confirmed cause of death was not immediately available. Initial reports said Piper died in his sleep from cardiac arrest. He was 61 years old.

Scenes from @RodeoHouston

Dayton advances over Boise St.

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