10th December 2023

One other 12 months, one other Tremendous Bowl. And one other Tremendous Bowl Roman numeral.

We’re quick approaching Tremendous Bowl 57 between the Eagles and the Chiefs, the official title of which is Tremendous Bowl LVII. 

NFL followers have been seeing these jumbles of letters in Tremendous Bowl titles for many years now, however many could not know precisely what they imply or how one can use them. Understanding Roman numerals additionally has real-world functions, with dates on buildings, monuments and different public works usually written utilizing the traditional methodology. 

MORE: Sporting Information’ NFL consultants give Eagles slight Tremendous Bowl edge over Chiefs

The Sporting Information is right here to assist. This is a complete information on how one can perceive Roman numerals, in Tremendous Bowl titles and past: 

What quantity is the Tremendous Bowl this 12 months?

This 12 months marks Tremendous Bowl LVII, or Tremendous Bowl 57. However how do 4 letters equal 57? 

Relating to Roman numerals, every image corresponds to a quantity. This is a chart to reference for every image’s worth:

Image Quantity
I 1
V 5
X 10
L 50
C 100
D 500
M 1,000

It is useful to consider Roman numerals as a math equation. 

Once you use numerals to put in writing out a quantity, you are mainly utilizing the symbols at your disposal so as to add as much as the specified quantity. So for Tremendous Bowl 57 this 12 months, it’s L for 50, V for five, and two Is for 1s.

50 + 5 + 1 + 1 = 57

Typically, the symbols will go in descending order from largest to smallest, which is why it is LVII and never VLII or another variant. However there are exceptions to that rule.

In case you see an emblem that’s smaller in worth than the image instantly to the correct, it’s important to subtract the smaller from the bigger. For instance, the quantity four is written IV, the quantity 9 is written IX, the quantity 40 is written XL and the quantity 90 is written XC. That is executed for effectivity’s sake, as a result of it was simpler for historic Romans to carve one thing like XLI out of stone somewhat than XXXXI, which might each equal 41. Much less carving is an effective factor. 

You may additionally be questioning why you possibly can’t simply write out LIIIIIII or XXXXVVVII for 57. Once more, that is simply because every numeral is designed to be as streamlined as attainable. Technically, each of these would additionally add as much as 57, however the one “right” numeral for a given quantity is the one which makes use of the fewest characters. 

Roman numerals chart

You need to use this useful chart to see the corresponding Roman numeral for each quantity (and Tremendous Bowl) between 1 and 99:


The longest Tremendous Bowl Roman numeral up to now was quantity 38: Tremendous Bowl XXXVIII. That will not be surpassed once more till quantity 88: Tremendous Bowl LXXXVIII.

MORE: The place is the Tremendous Bowl being performed this 12 months? Location, venue and extra

Why does the Tremendous Bowl use Roman numerals?

The primary Tremendous Bowl to make use of Roman numerals was Tremendous Bowl V again in 1971. 

From the NFL’s media information:

The Roman numerals had been adopted to make clear any confusion that will happen as a result of the NFL championship recreation — the Tremendous Bowl — is performed within the 12 months following a chronologically recorded season. Numerals I by means of IV had been added later for the primary 4 Tremendous Bowls.

Technically, the upcoming Tremendous Bowl will decide the champion of the 2022 NFL season. Nonetheless, the sport is clearly happening within the 12 months 2023. The league selected to label Tremendous Bowls with Roman numerals in an effort to keep away from any confusion over which 12 months a championship recreation occurred. 

Different sports activities have taken an easier method, hyphenating seasons that span throughout two calendar years. For instance, the continuing NBA and NHL seasons are known as the 2022-23 seasons. 

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It is unclear why the NFL determined to make use of Roman numerals somewhat than normal Arabic numerals. Possibly they only thought it appeared cooler and sounded extra grandiose.

The one Tremendous Bowl up to now which used an Arabic quantity as an alternative of a Roman numeral was Tremendous Bowl 50, performed between the Broncos and Panthers in 2016. That is presumably as a result of the NFL wished to keep away from any potential memes about “Tremendous Bowl L.”

For what it is price, The Sporting Information has used Arabic numerals to confer with Tremendous Bowls yearly since Tremendous Bowl 50. We simply assume it is simpler that method. 

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