Fans of the Denver Broncos applied 14 million face-painting sticks, consumed 21 million chicken wings, and purposefully looked away from the screen a combined 32 million times to ensure that the Broncos won their first Super Bowl championship in 17 years.

But Broncos fans had to withstand the repeated attempts of fans of the Carolina Panthers–and the most controversial officiating in decades.

Early on it looked liked Carolina fans had been more careful about whom to invite – and whom not to invite – to their Super Bowl parties. The average size of the Super Bowl party in the Carolinas was just 8.9 attendees, compared to 12.1 attendees in the Mountain Time Zone.

Fortunately for the Denver fans, it appeared that these Denver Super Bowl parties had, collectively, 28 million more feet of bunting than Panthers parties did.

Denver looked to suffer an insurmountable setback when it first appeared that too many of the Denver parties had just recycled orange-and-black Halloween bunting instead of using proper orange-and-navy streamers. After 32,767 Panthers fans used Twitter to bring this to the attention of hawk-eyed officials, chain crews across the country conducted the largest off-field measurement ever. The verdict: the Panthers’ bunting, on average, was 5.5 inches shorter than the Broncos’ bunting.

The Broncos fans become the 9th fanbase to experience 3 or more Super Bowl championships, leaving 13 fanbases still in the cold, including the Panthers fanbase. Fans of the Browns, Lions, Jaguars and Texans, whose franchises have never even appeared in a Super Bowl, were last seen patiently listening to proud Denver fans explain their recipes for chicken wings over the protestations of Buffalo fans.

Author Notes:

Jeffrey Henning

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Jeffrey Henning, IPC is a professionally certified researcher and has personally conducted over 1,400 survey research projects. Jeffrey is a member of the Insights Association and the American Association of Public Opinion Researchers. In 2012, he was the inaugural winner of the MRA’s Impact award, which “recognizes an industry professional, team or organization that has demonstrated tremendous vision, leadership, and innovation, within the past year, that has led to advances in the marketing research profession.” In 2022, the Insights Association named him an IPC Laureate. Before founding Researchscape in 2012, Jeffrey co-founded Perseus Development Corporation in 1993, which introduced the first web-survey software, and Vovici in 2006, which pioneered the enterprise-feedback management category. A 35-year veteran of the research industry, he began his career as an industry analyst for an Inc. 500 research firm.