clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Super Bowl 50: NFL Decides to Drop Roman Numeral L

Love Roman numerals on your Super Bowls? You'll have to settle for the number 50 this year.

The letter "L" is associated with many is the symbol for the quantities of inductance in electricity or angular momentum in physics; it is the symbol for the SI unit of volume, the liter; on a dollar bill, it signifies that that bill was printed at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco; finally, it is the Roman numeral signifying the number 50, which is the important meaning in the context of this article.

You see, the NFL has decided to switch from Roman numerals to traditional Arabic numbers for the 50th Super Bowl, which will follow the 2015 football season:

Could the fact that "L" also signifies "loss" in sports standings be partially to blame for this move? Or did the thought of "Super Bowl L" just seem uninteresting to NFL brass that has been used to multiple numerals over the past few decades?

However, those who are fans of Roman numerals are not being left behind entirely. According to Brian McCarthy of the NFL's public relations department, this is only a temporary move:

Well that settles that. Apparently we'll be back to Super Bowl LI after the 2016 season.

Whether you like Roman numerals or not, one thing is for sure: the number 50 would look just as good as any other in a list that contains the numbers I, II, XXXI, and XLV.