Mark Spalding

The time has come. Parties have been planned, exorbitantly expensive TVs have been purchased and Doritos has become the national food for a day. It must be Super Bowl Sunday!


While this day has come to rival that of a national holiday, it can be for some a confusing time. Especially if you’re not a sports fan. Hence, the commercials!! My personal favorite so far is the dober-huahua. I cried laughing. A lot.


For the younger generation, sports can be just as confusing with its myriad rules and regulations. So let me shed some light on the subject, providing some simple math and problem solving situations that might help you come up with some party games of your own! I’ll start with the easy stuff, move to some more advanced aspects of the game and finish up with some Super Trivia Tidbits!


The simplest aspect of the game is where and how it’s played.


football field


The field is 100 yards long, split into 10 yard increments. The team who gets the ball on Offense has 4 “downs” (individual plays) to get 10 yards. If they do, they get another 4 downs to do the same and so on until they either score a Touchdown, kick a Field Goal, or turn the ball over in one of many ways. A fun game to play with your early learners might go like this; the first play goes for 3 yards. Ask them how many more yards the team will need to get a new set of downs. How many downs do they have left before they run out?


For a slightly more advanced take, let’s think about some simple division. If a team is called for a penalty they are typically assessed that penalty in negative yardage (which is why you will hear things like 3rd down and 15.) But if the team is less than 10 yards from their own endzone (either the blue or red areas in the picture above) and the penalty would technically put them in it, then the penalty will be half the distance to the goal rather than the full amount. So if the team is on the 7 yard line and is assessed a 10 yard penalty that would cause this situation, ask your child what half of 7 is. See if that’s where the ball is placed (Sometimes even the referees can’t do the simple math!).


Probably the most advanced way to follow this game is by following the stats. Stats are king in sports. Who threw more touchdowns, had more yards, more sacks, etc. But a good problem for your youngster to solve is averages. This is a little tougher and often the TV crew will provide the information for you, so you may need to be sneaky and or really pay attention to the game. The easiest way to do this is with the Runningbacks (the guy who stands behind everyone and usually gets the ball handed to him and then…..well…..runs with it!). If the runningback has 9 carries (plays where he ran the ball) and 65 yards rushing, what is his average yards per carry? Like I said, a little tougher, but the math is always there.


So there are just some quick, fun ways to get your child (and possibly yourself) engaged in the game and keep you interested until the next commercial! And now for my favorite part. RANDOM TRIVIA!!!


This year’s Super Bowl is being played at MetLife stadium in East Rutherford, NJ (which is funny, since both New York teams call this home!). This is the first Super Bowl to be played above the Mason-Dixon Line on the east coast.


Super Bowl Sunday is the second-largest day for food consumption in the United States after Thanksgiving.


Tickets to Super Bowl I cost $12. Tickets to Super Bowl XLVIII cost on average $1,500.


In the previous 47 Super Bowl coin flips, heads came up 24 times, while tails has come up 23 times. So what’s the chance of hitting heads Sunday? (We hope you said 50 percent.)


The record for longest Field Goal in the history of the NFL was broken this year. Tom Dempsey, kicked a 63 yard field goal on November 8th, 1970. What made the feat remarkable is that he has a club foot and no fingers on his right hand due to birth defects, but held a record which stood for 43 years until Matt Prater kicked a 64 yard field goal on December 8th, 2013. By the way. Matt kicks for the Denver Broncos.

For more Super Bowl fun, check out the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s special program today:

Arms and Armor Family Celebration, February 2, 10:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Did you know that football players wear armor? This Super Bowl Sunday, learn about modern-day armor from football players and firefighters and medieval armor at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. They’ll even have an armadillo to show armor from the natural world and fencing demonstrations by Fencing Academy of Philadelphia. You can also make your own armor in their very cool, just for families, Balcony Studio. Did we mention it’s Pay What You Wish? Now that’s a deal.

“Pay What You Wish” Museum Admission

  • Balcony Studio Sunday, February 2, 2014, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  • Medieval and Modern Day Armor Demonstrations 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
  • Fencing Demonstrations Starts at 11:30 a.m.
  • Armored Animals from the Philadelphia Zoo  12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
  • Fencing Demonstrations  Starts at 1:30 p.m.

Philadelphia Art Museum Capture









Free printable game day wordsearch provided by my blogging friend, Julie at Julieverse.  Have fun.