September 16, 2022

It's a Numbers Game! Football Blog Tour: Guest Post + Giveaway

Welcome to the It's a Numbers Game! Football Blog Tour!

To celebrate the release of the newest addition to the It's a Numbers Game series AND the start of football season, this week blogs across the internet will be featuring special excerpts from It's a Numbers Game! Football by Eric Zweig with a foreword by NFL superstar Patrick Mahomes.  Join us each day this week as we explore the stats, digits, and dimensions of the game.  And be sure to have a pencil and paper ready to try your hand at some fun gridiron calculations! 

It's Super

For more than 40 years after it was formed in 1920, the NFL couldn’t be sure it would be football’s primary league. There were several other leagues rivaling the NFL. The most serious competitor came in 1960 with the birth of the American Football League. The AFL vied with the NFL for players and fans. It attracted players by offering bigger contracts, and it attracted fans with what people thought was a more exciting kind of football. The AFL played games in a wide-open style, with lots of passing. NFL teams of that time still liked to run the ball and control the game with tight defense. In 1966, the NFL and the AFL agreed to merge to form one big league. Until 1970, they each played their own individual schedules with their own separate playoffs, but starting at the end of the 1966 season, the NFL champions began to meet the AFL champions for a special championship game. 
The first Super Bowl was played between the NFL’s Green Bay Packers and the AFL’s Kansas City Chiefs on January 15, 1967, after the 1966 regular season. It was officially known as the NFLAFL Championship Game. But Lamar Hunt, who owned the Chiefs, had come up with a superb new name. His kids had been playing with a toy known as a Super Ball, and so he called the big game the Super Bowl. 


Unlike the World Series, the Stanley Cup, the World Cup, or the NBA Finals, the Super Bowl is always designated by its number. However, instead of using regular numbers, the NFL uses Roman numerals, which are actually letters that can be combined to represent numbers. To create other numbers, you combine Roman numerals. So, for example, to represent 3, you put 1 together 3 times, so it is: III. XVI would be 16. LII is 52.  
Other combinations can be trickier because when a letter of a smaller value is used in front of a letter of a higher value, it means you have to subtract. For example, an I in front of a V means 1 subtracted from 5. IV therefore means 4. Here are some other examples: IX is 9. XL means 10 subtracted from 50, so XL is 40.  
To make higher numbers, you need to combine more and more letters. For example: XXIX is 29 XLVIII is 48. The idea of using numbers to mark the big game began with the fifth Super Bowl, or Super Bowl V, in 1971.  
Because the Super Bowl is played after New Year’s Day, it takes place in the calendar year following the regular season. So, the Super Bowl played in 1971 decided the best team of the 1970 season. And instead of calling it the 1971 Super Bowl, they assigned it a Roman numeral to avoid confusion. 


If the first Super Bowl was played in 1967 and the first Grey Cup game was played in 1909, how much older is the Grey Cup than the Super Bowl? What would your answer be in Roman numerals?

ANSWERS: 967 – 1909 = 58, LVIII 


Do you know how to calculate a quarterback’s completion percentage? What was the score of the highest scoring Super Bowl game? Become a football fanatic and learn all about the numbers and math behind this popular sport.

With every throw, tackle, and kick, numbers are being calculated on the football field. Get ready to learn all the ways digits and math factor into the game, from the countless statistics used to measure an individual player’s performance to the numbers used in defensive formations. Read about the greatest players from football history and get fascinating facts, like the price of a Super Bowl commercial. Discover which NFL team defenses have allowed the fewest points and check out cool graphics that show the angles in different pass patterns. Also features a er

Jam-packed with sports trivia, awesome photos, and fun activities at the end of every chapter, this number-focused look at the game is a definite touchdown.

About the Author

Right: Young Eric as quarterback!


Originally from Toronto, ERIC ZWEIG grew up as a fan of the CFL’s Argonauts, the NHL’s Maple Leafs, and the MLB’s Blue Jays. When he broke his wrist as a young boy, Eric got Argonauts quarterback and future NFL star Joe Theismann to sign his cast. Eric has been writing professionally about sports and sports history since 1985. He worked for a small Toronto-based publisher affiliated with the NHL for more than 20 years, and has written more than 40 books for adults and for children since 1992. Eric currently lives in Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada.



  • Five (5) winners will receive the 4-book It's a Numbers Game! series, including Football, Soccer, Basketball, and Baseball
  • US/Canada only
  • Ends 9/25 at 11:59pm ET
  • Enter via the Rafflecopter below
  • Visit the other stops on the tour for more chances to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Blog Tour Schedule:

September 12th Bookhounds ​​​​​​
September 13th Mama Likes This
September 14th Always in the Middle
September 15th Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
September 16th — A Dream Within A Dream


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