Don't look now, but the 2018 Super Bowl is nearly upon us, bringing with it all the drama, elite-level competition, and bizarre TV commercials. But it'll also bring an annual tradition of a decidedly different kind ― if you've ever wondered what people mean by the phrase "Super Bowl baby," this is the time to find out.
If you've never heard the phrase before, it might be a little bit confusing. Is a Super Bowl baby a baby born during the Super Bowl? Does it matter where the baby is born, or whether their parents root for the winning or losing team? Or is it that there's some sort of special version of the Super Bowl where only babies play, broadcast on some obscure TV channel out there?
All fair questions, but the actual answer is far narrower and more specific. A Super Bowl baby, simply put, is a baby that was conceived on the day of the Super Bowl (typically, the thinking goes, at night after the game has already concluded). The idea is that fans of the winning team are so exhilarated and happy that things often lead to some, let's say, amorous places. Or, if you want to hear it put a little more bluntly, the thrill of a Super Bowl win leads to more people having sex.
Actual data addressing whether or not there's a spike in births approximately nine months after the Super Bowl is scant, despite the fact that a high-profile Super Bowl commercial a couple of years ago asserted that birth rates do indeed spike around that time. There's no statistical doubt about the genuine existence of Super Bowl babies, to be clear. Thousands upon thousands of babies are conceived and born in the United States every single day, and some number of them are assuredly the result of post-big game coitus.
The only question is whether babies are more likely to be conceived in the immediate aftermath of the Super Bowl, and that's hard to say. In the aftermath of the Boston Red Sox's historic 2004 World Series win, however ― the team's first championship in 86 years ― local media reported a baby boom occurring approximately nine months later.
Of course, there's also the matter of one city's fans celebrating and the other's mourning. After all, only one team wins the Super Bowl. The other team suffers bitter defeat, and its fans are left to weep into their beers, hopefully quietly, calmly, and respectfully. If the city of Philadelphia celebrates this Sunday, maybe some of the celebrating will get hot and heavy. But who's to say it wouldn't also leave some Patriots fans feeling a little less sexy than usual?
In any case, there's no doubt that there are some number of babies born each year who directly owe their existence to the performance of an NFL football team, whether good or bad. In addition to the babies being born into a freshly victorious fandom, there's surely also some number of babies conceived after Super Bowl losses, too. This creates the odd situation of a bunch of current 20-year-olds literally owing their lives to Drew Bledsoe throwing a bunch of interceptions against the Green Bay Packers.
In short, if either the Eagles or Patriots are your team, and you feel like celebrating after an exciting Super Bowl win on Sunday with your intimate partner, by all means do it. But if you're able to have children, and you're not looking to start a family based on the quality of Tom Brady's passer rating, you might want to keep some protection on hand.