Super Bowl XLIX is coming right up. Wanna sound really smart this year?  OK, quick - what does XLIX equal in real numbers?

After I consulted the handy key below I get 49.  What did you get?

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

In this 'Roman Numeral' system, a letter placed after another of greater value adds (thus XVI or xvi is 16), whereas a letter placed before another of greater value subtracts (thus XC or xc is 90).

Have you always been confused by Roman Numerals.  Me too!  I kinda recall discussing them in grade school.  But I've forgotten a lot since grade school.  I sort of remember that 'I' before 'E' thing.

This brings up the question as to why are they used to count up every years Super Bowl?  This is America.  We don't count like that.

According to the Christian Science Monitor:

The championship game has been keeping count in Roman numerals since Super Bowl V in 1971, and Roman numerals for the first four Super Bowls were retroactively used. Lamar Hunt, former owner of the Kansas City Chiefs, is credited with the idea of using Roman numerals, according to Chiefs historian Bob Moore.

In an interview with Yahoo Bob Moore said:

"It was [Hunt’s] brainchild. I think people felt from the start that it had something to it, even if they couldn’t quite put their finger on exactly what it was. Before long it was just part of it. Now it wouldn’t be the same without it."

So, there you have it.  Pass the dip.