Whether you’re a casual football fan who’s partying for the beer, or a hardcore football fan who’s there to cheer on your favorite team or cry buckets of tears into your Giants jersey get over the fact that your team didn’t make it, here are some things to know before Sunday’s big game.
1 ) The Epic Matchup Breakdown: Seattle Seahawks vs Denver Broncos
In Super Bowl XLVIII the NFC champion Seattle Seahawks (13-3) take on the AFC champion Denver Broncos (13-3)
Seattle Seahawks(NFC West) coached by Pete Carrol
Legacy: Founded 1976. Won eight division titles. Their last Super Bowl appearance (a loss) was in 2006.
Denver Broncos (AFC West) coached by John Fox
Legacy: Founded 1960. Won seven AFC Championships, six Super Bowl appearances, two consecutive wins (1998-1999). Their last Super Bowl appearance was 14 years ago.
A tale of two quarterbacks
Photo Credit: carrie-nelson
2013 is the year of Peyton Manning. A football institution as the Indianapolis Colts QB since 1998, Manning was released by the team after the 2011 season in which he did not play due to a neck injury. Manning made his comeback with the Broncos in 2012 and this season alone he’s shattered several records: He’s one of seven players in NFL history to throw seven touchdowns in a single game, and he’s thrown a league record 5,477 yards and 55 touchdown passes.
Peyton already owns one Super Bowl ring from a Colts win against the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI, but another one would be the cherry on top of a perfect record setting year.
Keep an ear out for Manning’s infamous “Omaha!” yell before the snap, depending on the play. He loooves Omaha.
Last year, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, as a rookie, led his team to the playoffs. Just one year later, he’s making his Super Bowl debut on the largest football stage. Not bad for a 25-year-old in his second year as starting QB.
Keep an eye out for Wilson’s read option plays. Read option offensive plays, popular in college football, started making their way into the NFL in 2012 with young QBs such as Wilson leading the charge. Traditionally, normal plays have the QB handing off the ball to another player, effectively making it a 10-man offense—in read option plays, the QB quickly “reads” the defense and decides to run the ball—essentially becoming an 11th offensive player.
Fun fact: The 12-year age difference between Manning and Wilson is the largest quarterback age gap in Super Bowl history. But with two very talented leaders, age ain’t nothing but a number.
Seahawks #25 Richard Sherman is one of the most talented (and also one of the most outspoken) cornerbacks in the NFL. After coming off a great game-ending defensive play in the NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers, Sherman is expected to take on the huge task of covering Broncos #88 Demaryius Thomas, an exceptional wide receiver who’s a favorite Manning target and leads the Broncos in receiving touchdowns. Also keep an eye out for Broncos #83, wide receiver Wes Welker. He’s small, but easy to spot–his speed is unmatched.
Watch out for the 12th Man
“We will rock you” takes on a whole new meaning with Seahawks fans. As the “12th man,” Seahawks fans have cheered so loudly at their 67,000 capacity home stadium that they’ve actually caused two small earthquakes–the last one at the January 11 playoff game against the New Orleans Saints registered a 1-2 magnitude on the Richter scale.
One Seahawks couple is so excited about the 12th Man that they named their baby daughter Cydnee 12th Mann, just days before the Superbowl. Now that’s love (with a little superstition for good measure).
Broncos fans have a different weapon in their arsenal: Silence. You can hear a pindrop during Denver home games when Manning’s on the field–it gives the team an advantage when he’s calling plays at the line of scrimmage (or maybe it’s just because fans want to hear Manning say “Omaha” one more time). This move, the Orange Hush, is named after the Orange Crush, the nickname of the Broncos 1978 defense that went on to play in the Super Bowl.
Away from home, Broncos fans are up for the 12th Man challenge… let’s see if Denver and Seattle fans combined can shake up New York!