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NFL to forgo Roman numerals for fiftieth edition of Super Bowl (photo)

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One day, in the annals of NFL history, 2016 may be referred to as “The Rise and Fall of the Roman Numeral … And The Rise Again.”

Ever since Super Bowl V, the National Football League has used Roman numeral to articulate the chronological installment of the Super Bowl. The NFL reportedly will forgo the Roman numerals we have come to love — and some have come to never understand — and instead go with regular, standard numbering to commemorate a significant milestone in the big game’s history.

It is expected to be announced on Wednesday that the league will refer to the fiftieth Super Bowl not as Super Bowl L. Instead it will referred to as Super Bowl 50.

“When we developed the Super Bowl XL logo, that was the first time we looked at the letter ‘L,'” said Jaime Weston, the league’s vice president of brand and creative, according to an ESPN.com report. “Up until that point, we had only worked with X’s, V’s and I’s. And, at that moment, that’s when we started to wonder what will happen when we get to 50?”

Weston, who said her team has been working on the Super Bowl 50 logo for well over a year, coming up with 73 different versions since April 2013, insisted that going away from the usage of the traditional Roman numerals will be one-time thing only. The following Super Bowl, to be played in Houston in 2017, will be referred to as Super Bowl LI. It was determined at some point by Weston and her crew that simply using “L” just didn’t work, nor did it look appealing to the eye.

There reportedly are two versions of the logo for Super Bowl 50, which will be played on Feb. 7, 2016 at Levi’s Stadium, the soon-to-be brand-spanking-new home of the San Francisco 49ers.

Both the national and regional logo feature the “50” in gold, serving to call attention to the game’s golden anniversary as well as the game’s location in the “Golden State.”

The logos also feature the Lombardi Trophy, which has been part of the Super Bowl logo since 2010, when the league went to a more generic, standardized look. The regional logo includes Levi’s Stadium as well as notable San Francisco landmarks including the Golden Gate Bridge, Coit Tower and the Transamerica Pyramid.

But for one year and one year only, less learned fans will be able to easily discern exactly which Super Bowl is being played without hitting the Internet: The 50th one. Then it’s back to confusion and deference to the ancient, but revered, form of numbering.

(image courtesy of NFL)