NFL Ditches Roman Numerals for Super Bowl 50, But Won't Switch to Metric System

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
June 4 2014 6:49 PM

NFL Ditches Roman Numerals for Super Bowl 50, But Won't Switch from Using Yards in Favor of Metric System

sb50
Super Bowl 50 pronounced with a silent L.

NFL

The NFL announced on Wednesday it’s ditching its traditional Roman numeral format for the 2016 Super Bowl, the league’s 50th big game. Goodbye, Super Bowl L. Hello, Super Bowl 50.

Why the change? It’s not because remembering the values of Roman numerals is hard on the average Super Bowl watcher’s brain, the NFL is more concerned that it’s not easy enough on the eye. The NFL is big on aesthetics apparently. Come to think of it, “Super Bowl L” isn’t all that easy on the tongue either.

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Here’s more from Jaime Weston, an NFL VP for branding via ESPN:

"When we developed the Super Bowl XL logo, that was the first time we looked at the letter L," Weston said. "Up until that point, we had only worked with X's, V's and I's. And, at that moment, that's when we started to wonder: What will happen when we get to 50?" Weston said her team has been working on the Super Bowl 50 logo since April 2013, having gone through 73 versions. At some point along the way, it was concluded that having the "L" stand alone didn't work.

Super Bowl 50 will be held at the 49ers new home, Levi's Stadium.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.