"The Big Game" An Unnecessary Super Bowl Synonym, Thanks To The NFL

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

The Super Bowl doesn't need a nickname. It's the fucking Super Bowl. Alas, as an ever-litigious NFL cracks down on businesses that use those trademarked words in advertising without paying King Goodell an appropriate amount of gold, "The Big Game" has become a go-to for industries that aren't official league sponsors—alongside a wink and a nod. (It originated as 'The big game on Sunday.') Advertising's encroachment into media coverage probably made the above video an inevitability, but that's just a sample of times on-air talent referred to the Super Bowl as "The Big Game" over a 20-minute period Thursday afternoon. In all, TV people said "The Big Game" on TV more than 3,000 times yesterday alone.

This isn't exactly a crisis, but it's an example of how our reality (which only exists through the words we have to describe it) is shaped and altered by the advertising that surrounds us. Try listening to a sports-talk station where the host can refer to the Super Bowl by its actual name one minute but then by "The Big Game" when reading an ad the next. But who owns "The Big Game," anyway? Shouldn't the NFL try to trademark that?

Oh, wait. They did try to trademark it! Alas, it turns out somebody else already once owned the trademark to "The Big Game," according to the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office:


Yes, when you call the Super Bowl something like "The Big Game," you're making an XFL reference. Commence He Hate Me comments.