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Volume 24 No. 156
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Nifty 50: NFL Drops Roman Numeral For '16 Super Bowl At Levi's Stadium

NFL VP/Advertising & Creative Jaime Weston yesterday said that the league will take a “one-year break” from using Roman numerals for Super Bowl 50 in '16 because “the ‘L’ isn’t as pleasing to the eye,” according to Darren Rovell of Weston said that her team has been working on the Super Bowl 50 logo since April ‘13, having “gone through 73 versions.” The NFL has “made two logos” for Super Bowl 50, which will be played at Levi's Stadium. Both the national and regional logos “feature the ‘50’ in gold, serving to call attention to the game's golden anniversary as well as the game's location in the ‘Golden State.’" The regional logo “includes Levi's Stadium as well as notable San Francisco landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge, Coit Tower and the Transamerica Pyramid” (, 6/4).

POWER IN NUMBERS: The move away from Roman numerals for the game drew plenty of sarcastic responses on both Twitter and sports-talk TV shows, as well as from various columnists. ESPN's Tony Kornheiser said, "There's probably great import and symbolism in this, and it is completely lost on me" ("PTI," ESPN, 6/5). The Buffalo News' Tim Graham wrote, "From now on, I'm going to call it Super Bowl Fiddy." ESPN and's Andrew Brandt: "NFL drops Roman numerals for Super Bowl 50. No comment as of yet from Roman Gabriel or Mark Roman." Yahoo Sports' Dan Wetzel: "Don't care what NFL says, sticking with Super Bowl L in honor of Caecilius of Pompeii. This anti-Latinism has to stop" (, 6/4). In L.A., Paul Whitefield writes, “Not pleasing to the eye? It’s an L, not a garbage dump.” Whitefield: “Since when does the NFL, land of the 350-pound linemen, care about looks?” (, 6/4).

WHEN IN ROME....: ESPN’s Mike Greenberg said, “This is not a good day for the Roman numeral" ("Mike & Mike," ESPN Radio, 6/5). The N.Y. Post's Bart Hubbuch: "The NFL is calling it Super Bowl 50 but insists that we write the final score in Roman numerals." Grantland's Bill Barnwell: "If we made it through Super Bowl XXX we can make it through Super Bowl LIX people come on." Bloomberg View's Kavitha Davidson: "Apparently we can't count past XLIX." Bleacher Report's Ty Schalter: "But 'Super Bowl XLVIII' is perfectly normal?"'s Andy Staples: "It’ll always be Super Bowl L to me" (, 6/4). CBS Sports’ Allie LaForce said, “I’m excited because I can’t read Roman numerals. I just wish they would stick to numbers after this point” ("Lead Off," CBS Sports Network, 6/4). Fox Business' Cheryl Casone hoped the switch would be permanent "because I can never read those numbers anyway" ("After the Bell," Fox Business, 6/4). SPORTING NEWS' Vinnie Iyer wrote, "It's time they just go with the numbers that everyone uses and by which no one is confused. ... We're not waiting for World Series CX this fall" (, 6/4).

I'M A LOSER, BABY: ESPN's Tony Reali wondered if the move to drop Roman numerals is because the NFL does not "want the letter 'L' for 'loser?'" Reali: "We waited all these years to get to L and now we're just going to get rid of it?" ("PTI," ESPN, 6/4). ESPN's Keith Olbermann said just the "visual reference to Super Bowl L would make people giggle or make people think you spell 'bowl' with two l's" ("Olbermann," ESPN2, 6/4). In L.A., Sam Farmer writes it might be “tough to sell caps branded with a big L on the front” (L.A. TIMES, 6/5). ESPN's Jackie MacMullan said, "I was looking forward to Super Bowl L. You know, like Romo numeral, like never wins" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 6/5). The St. Paul Pioneer Press' Mike Berardino wrote, "Sorry to hear #NFL is going with 50 instead of Super Bowl L. Was looking forward to Bud Grant, Marv Levy, Dan Reeves as honorary coaches" (, 6/4).