Why Super Bowl Winners Are Called World Champions

Twitter // @brgridiron

Regardless of how big a deal the Super Bowl is in the US, it’s not really watched all over the world. In fact, football as we know it (referred to as American Football in other countries) isn’t played all over the world. Which begs the question, why are the Super Bowl winners called World Champions?

The Question

People began asking this question online prior to the 2024 Super Bowl. One social media user posted, “​​Why do American athletes, and fans alike, claim to be world champions when their side wins the Super Bowl? There is something like 200 countries in the world and winning the highest level of sport in one of those countries can’t possibly be considered world champions. The Super Bowl winners are national champions at best. There is a big, wide world outside America, and as an outsider looking in it seems a lot of Americans don’t realize this.” This questionable term was coined back at the first Super Bowl, in 1967.

The Answer

Many NFL fans took to social media to defend the Super Bowl winners being called World Champions. After all, it’s worth pointing out that for the first three years of the Super Bowl, it wasn’t called the Super Bowl at all! It was originally titled the AFL-NFL World Championship Game, making it perfectly reasonable to call the winners World Champions. One person took to social media to write, “The winners are world champs because there are no other American football teams out there in the world! There are no other teams that play American football so the claim is justified. Also getting worked up over ‘world champ’ is really ridiculous. It’s not really important and it’s nitpicking someone’s achievements.”

Twitter // @ForTheWin

That sounds reasonable to us!