Did you know that there is an "official sausage" of the Southeastern Conference? That's right, the Johnsonville company — "Family Owned Since 1945" is an official SEC sponsor. I had no idea we had our very own "official" sausage.

In case you weren't aware of the SEC deal, here's a quick look at the sponsors and their products for last year:

The official sporting goods vendor for the SEC is Academy Sports and Outdoors — everything from jocks to socks and all other sporting goods in between. Allstate is the sponsor for insurance and the goalpost nets that are raised for extra points and field goals. AT&T — the communications giant — is also one of the 11 corporate sponsors.

Then there's Belk — the official sponsor for department stores, along with Dr. Pepper for soft drinks. If you're looking for a hotel that is affiliated with the SEC, that would be Holiday Inn Express. 

Next is the aforementioned Johnsonville company followed by the stylish Mercedes Benz. If you're looking to fuel your Mercedes, you might consider Pilot Flying J locations around the Southeast. Their TV ads feature folks buying gas, snacks and making potty stops all in one convenient location. 

The official bank of the SEC is Regions, which has roots deep in the state of Alabama.  

And finally comes the official cheese —yes, cheese — of the SEC. It's not the old fashioned hoop cheese or some fancy European brand ... it's good ole Velveeta soft cheese from Kraft.

Now that you're up to speed on the sponsors of the SEC, let's take a look at where the big bucks are spent — the companies that are  partners with the NFL. Those companies spent an incredible $1.39 billion with the league last year. If you really want to make your point visually, that's $1,390,000,000. There are too many sponsors and what they pay the NFL to list here.

Despite this huge financial contribution, this year's Super Bowl — the crown jewel of the NFL — was pretty much a dud — going into the record books for the lowest number of points scored (New England Patriots 13 – Los Angeles Rams 3). 

Some New Orleans Saints fans believe a bad call cost them their chance to return to the Super Bowl to face the Patriots. Those same Saints fans apparently stayed away from even watching the Super Bowl. Instead, they took to the streets in colorful protests of their feelings for the NFL and their team not being able to make the trip to Atlanta for Super Bowl LIII.  

The television broadcast of the Super Bowl earned an overnight rating of 26.2 in New Orleans, the lowest of any major TV market. Its 26.2 rating in the Crescent City also paled in comparison to the 44.9 percent overnight rating reported nationwide. When the final numbers are in, this year's Super Bowl will probably be the lowest-rated in 10 years ... down about 5 percent from last year.

I remember distinctly watching the first Super Bowl game on January 15, 1967 — my freshman year in college. It featured the Green Bay Packers (NFL) against the Kansas City Chiefs (AFL). When the dust settled, it was the perennial powerhouse Packers winning 35 to 10 and Montgomery, Alabama's Bart Starr being named as the game's MVP.

The cost of a 30-second television commercial in Super Bowl I was a paltry $40,000. When adjusted for inflation, it was approximately $300,000 in today's dollars. This year that same 30-second commercial cost approximately $5.2 million.

You don't have to convince the people at Budweiser that buying commercials in the Super Bowl telecast is a good thing. The King of Beers has aired 135 Super Bowl ads dating back to the very first Super Bowl. And in those 53 games the company has spent approximately $450 million (inflation-adjusted) buying those spots. Who could forget the commercials that featured the Budweiser Clydesdales, the dogs and even funny frogs.

Second on the list is Pepsi at $289.5 million to appear in ads in 34 Super Bowls, including that spot with thirsty super model Cindy Crawford quenching that thirst while a group of teenaged boys looked on. Coca-Cola was third at $202 million in 29 games. Remember the Coke spot that featured NFL star "Mean Joe" Green and that big-eyed kid who shared his Coke? Unforgettable.

In 4th place is McDonald's, which had commercials in 26 Super Bowls costing an estimated $108.9 million.

And finally, considering the outcome of the game and the projected low ratings for the Patriots and the Rams, the commercials that ran in this year's Super Bowl may have been the highlight of the four-hour broadcast by CBS.

Just sayin'.

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