Starting with the 5th Super Bowl, the NFL began using Roman numerals. One day, I asked my mom why they called the 5th Super Bowl “Super Bowl V.” She patiently explained to me the difference between Roman and Arabic numerals, and taught me how to read copyright dates comprised of Roman numerals.
Now, the league has decided not to designate the 50th Super Bowl as “Super Bowl L.” An NFL spokeswoman said the presence of Roman numeral “L” would detract from the design of the 50th Super Bowl’s official emblem.
As always, you will learn the rest of the story here. The NFL is very image-conscious. Its real reason for not using Roman numeral “L” is the league’s concussion and medical care crises. The use of Roman numerals conjures up images of “gladiators” tearing each other up in front of 100,000 fans and 120 million TV viewers. Because of ongoing litigation concerning injuries and medical care, the league wants to quietly distance itself from its “gladiator image.”
For this reason, I predict that beginning with Super Bowl 50, the NFL will eliminate the use of Roman numerals permanently. Remember, you read it here first.