Red Zone

NFL to take a Roman holiday for Super Bowl 50

The logo for Super Bowl 50, to be played in February 2016 in California.
The logo for Super Bowl 50, to be played in February 2016 in California. NFL via Twitter

Lamar Hunt always put the league first, so it’s doubtful the late founder of the Chiefs would have a problem with the NFL’s decision to break with tradition for one year of using Roman numerals to identity Super Bowl 50.

The 2016 game, to be played in Santa Clara, Calif., will be referred to as Super Bowl 50, not Super Bowl L.

It was Hunt, who after the merger of the two leagues, conceived the name Super Bowl for what was originally called the AFL-NFL World Championship Game.

Hunt also developed the idea for giving each game a Roman numeral, a takeoff on the Olympics, which he attended often.

“He was always very observant, no matter what business or endeavor he was involved in, and he liked to pick up ideas along the way and incorporate them with the Chiefs or pro football,” said Hunt’s middle son, Clark, now the Chiefs’ chairman, in 2010.

Roman numerals were first used for Super Bowl V, the first title game following the merger, when the Baltimore Colts beat Dallas in January 1971. The NFL will return to Roman numerals for Super Bowl LI, slated for February 2017 at Reliant Stadium in Houston.

This season’s Super Bowl, XLIX, will be played in February at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.

Hunt also suggested that the trophy for the Super Bowl be named for Green Bay coach Vince Lombardi, despite the fact that Lombardi’s Packers beat the Chiefs in Super Bowl I, “which shows you my father was not a poor sport,” Clark Hunt said in 2010.

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