sb50

Super Bowls. Wrestlemanias. The years motion pictures were copyrighted. These cultural traditions have been our lone links to Roman numerals that have endured since, well, the age of the Romans. But now the NFL has announced that the Super Bowl – the most famous of the modern usages – for this time since its fifth installment, will take a year off to use boring ol’ regular numbers.

That’s right – the Super Bowl played in San Francisco in 2016 will be Super Bowl 50, instead of Super Bowl L.

“When we developed the Super Bowl XL logo, that was the first time we looked at the letter ‘L,'” said Jaime Weston, the league’s vice president of brand and creative. “Up until that point, we had only worked with X’s, V’s and I’s. And, at that moment, that’s when we started to wonder what will happen when we get to 50?”

Well I don’t know, Jaime. It’s not as though the Roman numeric system doesn’t have a symbol for 50. It’s right there in XL. But I suppose the NFL thinks Roman numerals aren’t a cool enough brand feature for a big anniversary Super Bowl, so away they go on a one-year hiatus. Or perhaps the league is just worried that Photoshop-happy fans will draw big L’s on the forehead of the losing quarterback.

romans

All I know is the Romans are really upset right now. Look how sad they are. They probably won’t even have it in them to kill Jesus or admire the physical form of a little boy. Poor Romans.

Nice work, NFL. You better not mess with the Roman numerals in Manning-Brady games or you’ll have a real fight on your hands.

bradyman