Unless you've been hiding out in a place where there is no access to television, you probably know that the Super Bowl is about to happen. I used to be an avid football fan and always looked forward to watching the game, regardless of who was playing. It is, after all, the most watched event on TV, and for good reason. The commercials alone generate a great deal of buzz, and there is something to be said about two teams battling it out for the title of being champion.

Now that I'm a little older and occupied with being a parent, I've found that I have less time to watch TV, much less the game of football. That doesn't mean, however, that I'm not interested in the game, and regardless of whether your a fan or not, there are always some interesting facts and bits of information surrounding the game.

Why not take advantage of this moment and learn something interesting about the regions involved in the game? It will make the contest more engaging, and might even impress the other people in the room.

This year the Super Bowl will be played in Arizona and will pit the New England Patriots against the Seattle Seahawks. Here are some fun facts about all three of these places.

Arizona

  • Nickname: the Grand Canyon State
  • Capital: Phoenix
  • State flower: blossom of the saguaro cactus
  • Became the 48th state in 1912
  • A person from Arizona is called an Arizonan
  • Home to the world's largest solar telescope in Kitts Peak National Observatory
  • Mt. Humphreys is the state's highest mountain (12,643 feet)
  • Home to Grand Canyon National Park
  • Has the largest percentage of land designated as Indian land
  • Founded by the Hopis, Oraibi is the oldest Indian settlement in the U.S.
  • The original London Bridge was relocated to Lake Havasu, AZ
  • Large enough to fit all of New England and Pennsylvania inside it
  • The world's best preserved meteor crater is in Winslow, AZ
  • Home to 13 species of rattlesnake, the most in the country

Seattle (Washington State)

  • Washington State nickname: the Evergreen State
  • Washington State Capital: Olympia
  • State flower: W. rhododendron
  • Became the 42nd state in 1889
  • Only state to be named after a US President
  • Produces more apples than any other state
  • Home to more glaciers than any other of the contiguous states combined
  • Seattle's first boom was in timber
  • Seattle is where Starbucks was founded
  • Seattle is home to the world's first gas station in 1907
  • Seattle has the highest number of people with college degrees or higher
  • Seattle public library system has the highest number of card holders
  • Seattle is the first US city to play a Beatles song
  • Seattle's annual rainfall is less than that of Chicago, New York City, or Houston
  • More people bike to work in Seattle than any other similar sized city

New England

  • Comprised of Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts
  • New England is the oldest region of the US
  • First Dunkin Donuts opened in Quincy, MA
  • Sideburns are named after Ambrose Burnside, former governor or RI
  • The first underground railway in the Western Hemisphere is in Boston
  • The first hamburger was made in Connecticut (Library of Congress)
  • Fig Newtons are named after the town of Newton, MA
  • Lollypops were created in Connecticut around 1908
  • Vermont has the most breweries per capita in the US
  • The Hartford Courant (CT) is the oldest running newspaper in the country (1764)
  • Basketball was invented in Springfield, MA (1891)
  • The Von Trapp family from the Sound of Music moved to Stowe, VT
  • The world's highest wind speed was measured in New Hampshire (Mt. Washington)
  • Crane Paper in Dalton, MA is the main paper supplier to the US Mint
  • Maine's first inhabitants were descendants of Ice Age hunters
  • Vermont has the highest ratio of cows to people
  • The game of polo was first played in RI
  • Vermont has the most maple trees of all the New England states
  • There are more than 2000 islands off the coast of Maine
  • The Maine coastline is longer than that of California
  • Maine grows more blueberries than any other state
  • New Hampshire was the first of the original 13 colonies to declare it's independence