Sunday, January 25, 2015

49 Stops To Super Bowl XLIX

Every year since Super Bowl XL, I have used this blog for my "Stops To Super Bowl" list.  Every year, I create a list of smart, dumb, inane and chat worthy items for you to use in any banter leading up to and during the Super Bowl.

This year, it is 49 Stops to Super Bowl XLVIX and I'm back with some more (and some of the same) little items for you about the upcoming big game.

#49-BY THE TIME I GET TO ARIZONA:  The Phoenix area will be hosting their third Super Bowl.  Their first one was SB XXX, at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, when the Cowboys beat the Steelers, 27-17.  They hosted it again for SB XLII, this time at the University Of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, for the immortal Giants 17-14 win over the Patriots that ended New England's perfect season.
Super Bowl XXVII was supposed to be held at Sun Devil Stadium as well, but when the state chose not to observe the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, the NFL backed out of the site and held the game in Pasadena.  In that game, the Cowboys pummeled the Bills, 52-17.

#48-WE'RE NOT NEIGHBORS:  Seattle and Foxborough, MA are 2,488 miles apart, making it the third longest distance between Super Bowl opponents in history.  Only the 49ers-Dolphins (Super Bowl XIX) and Raiders-Eagles (Super Bowl XV) were further apart.  As you can see, the west coast team won both previous games.  

#47-BELICHICK KNOWS SUPER BOWLS:  Bill Belichick ties Don Shula with his sixth Super Bowl appearance as a head coach.  Belichick has taken the Patriots to the big game each time.  Shula took the Dolphins to five Super Bowls and the Colts to one.
Belichick was also the defensive coordinator for the Giants in Super Bowls XXI and XXV and an assistant head coach for the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXI.  That's nine Super Bowls he's coached in.

Amazingly, in his 15 seasons as the Patriots head coach, Belichick has taken his team to 9 AFC Championship games.  

#46-AFC LOVES FEBRUARY: The Super Bowl will be held on February 1st. Since the first February Super Bowl in 2002, the AFC is 7-5 in those games held in the calendar's shortest month ... though the NFC has won four of the last five:
Super Bowl XXXVI: Patriots beat Rams on February 3, 2002
Super Bowl XXXVIII: Patriots beat Panthers on February 1, 2004
Super Bowl XXXIX: Patriots beat Eagles on February 6, 2005
Super Bowl XL: Steelers beat Seahawks on February 5, 2006
Super Bowl XLI: Colts beat Bears on February 4, 2007
Super Bowl XLII: Giants beat Patriots on February 3, 2008
Super Bowl XLIII: Steelers beat Cardinals on February 1, 2009
Super Bowl XLIV: Saints beat Colts on February 7, 2010
Super Bowl XLV: Packers beat Steelers on February 6, 2011
Super Bowl XLVI:  Giants beat Patriots on February 5, 2012
Super Bowl XLVII: Ravens beat 49ers on February 3, 2013
Super Bowl XLVIII: Seahawks beat Broncos on February 2, 2014

#45-SCORE EARLY AND OFTEN: The team who scores first in a Super Bowl is 33-16. .

*Teams who score at least 30 points are 25-2.  Only the Cowboys (SB XIII) and the 49ers (SB XLVII) scored at least 30 points and lost.  

*Teams that score the first TD are 35-13.

*Teams leading at the half are 36-10 (there have been two ties)

#44-SEAHAWKS AND PATRIOTS ARE BACK:   The New England Patriots are making their record tying 8th Super Bowl appearance.  That ties them with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys for most all-time.  Pittsburgh is 6-2 in their appearances, Dallas is 5-3 and New England is 3-4.

Seattle is making their 3rd appearance -- their second consecutive.  It is the first time one team made back-to-back Super Bowls since ... well, the Patriots in Super Bowls XXXVIII and XXXIX.  Those Patriots were also the last franchise to repeat as champions.

Only the Packers, Dolphins, Steelers (twice), 49ers, Cowboys, Broncos and Patriots have repeated as champions.

The Packers, Cowboys, Dolphins (three consecutive), Vikings, Steelers, Redskins, Broncos, 49ers, Bills (four consecutive), Patriots and Seahawks have gone to consecutive Super Bowls.  The Packers, Cowboys, Steelers, and Broncos did so on two separate 

#43-KANSAS CITY SUPER BOWL?: This Super Bowl was originally assigned to Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium.  Back in 2005, the NFL tentatively awarded Super Bowl XLIX to KC, provided they could improve on the stadium.  A tax that would have funded a retractable roof was narrowly shot down, and Kansas City removed their bid.  It's a shame since I don't think they'd need a roof (especially considering that the game was in New York last year) and Kansas City is one of the best football cities in the NFL.  

#42-PETE CARROLL GOING AGAINST HIS OLD TEAM: We all know that Bill Belichick is the head coach of the New England Patriots.  Do you remember the guy he replaced?  Yep, it is current Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll.

Carroll coached the Patriots from 1997 to 1999 with a 27-21 record and two playoff appearances.  The Patriots were coming off a Super Bowl appearance with Bill Parcells when Carroll took over.  He was fired after the 1999 season and Belichick, who spurned the New York Jets, became head coach.

Oddly enough, this isn't the first time a coach faced off against the coach he replaced in the Super Bowl.  It happened in Super Bowl III when Weeb Ewbank faced off against Don Shula.  Shula replaced Ewbank as the Colts head coach in 1962.  Ewbank would take the Jets job the next season.

The other time it happened was in Super Bowl XXXVII.  Jon Gruden left the Raiders for the Buccaneers and Bill Callahan was named the new Oakland head coach.  That season, the Buccaneers beat the Raiders in the Super Bowl.

This is good news for Seahawks fans as the two departed coaches beat their replacements in both previous instances.  The Jets and Bucs won their Super Bowls against their replacements.

#41-SUPER BOWL ON NBC:  This will be the 18th time NBC will televise the Super Bowl, tying CBS for most all-time by a network.  NBC and CBS shared the call on Super Bowl I.  Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth will call the game.  Michaels will be calling his 9th Super Bowl.  Collinsworth lost two Super Bowls as a member of the Cincinnati Bengals.  John Madden is the only person to have called Super Bowls on all four networks (ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC). 

#40-CLOSEST GAME EVER?: Seattle opened up as a 2.5 favorite for Super Bowl XLIX but that quickly moved to an even bet.  If it holds up, that would be the first time the Super Bowl was a "pick 'em" when the game started.

In their previous seven Super Bowls, the Patriots have been favored in each of the last four times.  Their first three appearances, the Pats were huge underdogs (Bears -10, Packers -14, Rams -14).  Also, in their previous 7 Super Bowls, the Patriots are horrible against the spread.  They are just 1-5-1 against the spread (see below).

XX:  Lost by 36 (+10)
XXXI:  Lost by 14 (+14)
XXXVI:  Won by 3 (+14)
XXXVIII:  Won by 3 (-7)
XXXIX:  Won by 3 (-7)
XLII:  Lost by 3 (-12)
XLVI:  Lost by 4 (-2.5)
The Seahawks have never closed as favorites.  They were 2.5 underdogs to the Broncos last year and 4-point underdogs to the Steelers in Super Bowl XL.

There have been some close lines:

VII:  Dolphins -1
XVI:  49ers -1
V:  Colts -2.5
XLVI:  Patriots -2.5
XLVIII:  Broncos -2.5

#39-TOP SEEDS MEETING AGAIN: Believe it or not, but Super Bowl XLIX is the third time that the No. 1 seed in the NFC and AFC met in the Super Bowl since 1993.  The top seeded Colts and Saints met in Super Bowl XLIV and the Seahawks and Broncos met a year ago.  Both times, the NFC team won the big game.  

#38-DIVISION ALL IN: The only divisions that don't have all of their members with appearances in a Super Bowl are the AFC North (Browns), AFC South (Titans, Jaguars) and NFC North (Lions).

No division has all their members with Super Bowl championships. The NFC East (Eagles didn't win), AFC West (Chargers) and AFC East (Bills) have seen three of their four members win a title. The NFC East is the only division to have each of their members in multiple Super Bowls. The Cowboys have been to eight, the Redskins and Giants have been to five and the Eagles have been to two.

The odd thing is that each team in the NFC South has been exactly once to the Super Bowl. The Panthers and Falcons lost their only time there, while the Bucs and Saints won in their only appearances.

#37-NFC EAST TOPS THEM ALL: The NFC East easily has the most Super Bowl champions than any other division. The 12 titles won bests the AFC North for the top honors.

The NFC East dominated from 1986-1995. In that span, the Giants ('86, '90), Redskins ('87, '91) and Cowboys ('92, '93, '95) went to and won 7 of 10 Super Bowls during that decade. The only other Super Bowl champ was San Francisco ('88, '89, '94).

Here's a rundown of the divisions:

12-NFC EAST (Cowboys-5, Giants-4, Redskins-3)
8-AFC NORTH (Steelers-6, Ravens-2)
7-NFC WEST (Niners-5, Rams-1, Seahawks-1)
6-AFC EAST (Patriots-3, Dolphins-2, Jets-1)
6-AFC WEST (Raiders-3, Broncos-2, Chiefs-1)
5-NFC NORTH (Packers-4, Bears-1)
2-AFC SOUTH (Colts-2)
2-NFC SOUTH (Buccaneers-1, Saints-1)

As for Super Bowl appearances, the NFC East wins this title again:

20-NFC EAST (Cowboys-8, Redskins-5, Giants-5, Eagles-2)
18-AFC EAST (Patriots-8, Dolphins-5, Bills-4, Jets-1)
15-AFC WEST (Broncos-7, Raiders-5, Chiefs-2, Chargers-1)
13-NFC WEST (Niners-6, Rams-3, Seahawks-3, Cardinals-1)

12-AFC NORTH (Steelers-8, Ravens-2, Bengals-2)11-NFC NORTH (Packers-5, Vikings-4, Bears-2)
5-AFC SOUTH (Colts-4, Titans-1)
4-NFC SOUTH (Panthers-1, Bucs-1, Falcons-1, Saints-1)

#36-THERE IS AN EXTRA VINCE LOMBARDI TROPHY OUT THERE: Excuse this one taken from my FanHouse post but it is rather interesting:

There have been 48 Super Bowls to date ... yet there are 49 Vince Lombardi Trophies (given to the Super Bowl winning team) out and about. How is that?

Well, that little ditty comes to light after the recent passing of Rams owner Georgia Frontiere. Frontiere's husband, former-Colts and Rams owner Carroll Rosenbloom, is the reason behind the story:

However, when Colts owner Carroll Rosenbloom, Frontiere's late husband, traded the Colts for the Rams in a franchise swap in 1972, he decided he wanted to keep the Lombardi Trophy the Colts won in Super Bowl V. When Super Bowl VII took place in Los Angeles, Rosenbloom told the Colts he was going to put on a display of Super Bowl trophies and asked them to bring it to the West Coast. They did. There was no display, and Rosenbloom never returned the trophy. After the Colts complained to the league office, former NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle had a duplicate made for the Colts, which remains in Baltimore (it was originally shipped to Indianapolis when the team moved but a deal was struck and it was returned to Maryland). The original Super Bowl V trophy? It presumably was in Frontiere's possession and now belongs to her heirs.

So, there are two Vince Lombardi trophies awarded for Super Bowl V ... yet neither are with the franchise that won it. The original was in St. Louis with Frontiere with the other in Baltimore, the Colts old digs. Meanwhile, Indianapolis can only show off the trophy they won over the Bears.

#35-RUSSELL WILSON LOVES TO FACE SUPER BOWL QBS: Russell Wilson is an amazing 10-0 against quarterbacks who have also won a Super Bowl.  He has beaten Aaron Rodgers' Packers three times, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Eli Manning twice apiece and his opponent in Super Bowl XLIX Tom Brady once.

Of those 10 games, 8 have been in Seattle.  Another one, Super Bowl XLVIII against Denver last year, was on a neutral site.  The lone true road game was at the New York Giants.

#34-PETE CARROLL CAN DO IT ALL: Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll is one of three head coaches to win a Super Bowl and a college National Championship.  Carroll won a Super Bowl last year with the Seahawks and a National Championship with USC.  Jimmy Johnson (Miami Hurricanes, Dallas Cowboys) and Barry Switzer (Oklahoma Sooners, Dallas Cowboys) have also done it.

#33-UNIVERSITY OF PHOENIX STADIUM: The Arizona Cardinals home field is no stranger to big events.  It has already hosted Super Bowl XLII (the one where the Giants shockingly upset the previously undefeated Patriots) and two BCS Championship games.  It is also the site of the Fiesta Bowl and will host the 2017 NCAA Final Four.

The stadium will be the 10th to host multiple Super Bowls (the Mercedez-Benz Superdome tops the list with 7 Super Bowls).  The Phoenix metro area will now have hosted three Super Bowls -- only the Miami area, New Orleans, Los Angeles metro area and Tampa have hosted more.

The design of the stadium looks sort of like a barrel cactus.

#32-CHAMPIONSHIP CITIES:  Boston and Seattle have had some recent successes in sports championships.

Boston (well, Foxborough) has seen the Patriots win three Super Bowls since 2001, the last title being in 2004.  The Boston Red Sox have won three World Series since 2004, the most recent being in 2013.  The NBA's Celtics won their 17th championship in 2008.  The Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup in 2011.  

Obviously, the Seahawks brought Seattle their first pro title since the NBA's SuperSonics won in 1979.  

#31-ASK THE CHIEFS HOW TO BEAT 'EM:  The Kansas City Chiefs beat both the Patriots and Seahawks this season, becoming the 17th team to beat both eventual Super Bowl participants but also the 5th to ever fail to make the playoffs themselves.  Remember that the Chiefs spanked the Patriots 41-14 on that Monday Night game in Week 4.  In Week 11, the Chiefs would down the Seahawks, 24-20.

This could be good news for the Chiefs.  Of the previous four that failed to make the playoffs, only the 2000 Redskins didn't go on to reach the postseason the following season.  

#30-QUARTERBACKS COMING BACK: 19 quarterbacks have started multiple Super Bowls, including both quarterbacks of this one. Tom Brady will be making his record sixth start as a QB for a Super Bowl, breaking a tie with John Elway. Terry Bradshaw, Joe Montana, Jim Kelly and Roger Staubach have all started four Super Bowls. Only Peyton Manning, Craig Morton and Kurt Warner have started Super Bowls for two different teams.

#29-FUTURE SUPER BOWLS: Next year's Super Bowl will be a huge one.  The 50th Super Bowl.  Unlike every other Super Bowl, there will be no Roman numeral used.  It won't be Super Bowl L.  Instead, for one year only, it will be Super Bowl 50.  The logo will have the 50 in gold with the numbers on either side of a graphic of the Lombardi trophy.

That game will be played in Levi Stadium in Santa Clara, CA ... home of the San Francisco 49ers.

Super Bowl LI will be held in NRG Field in Houston, TX.  Houston will be hosting its third Super Bowl.  Super Bowl LII will be in the new Vikings Stadium in Minneapolis, the second time that city has hosted the game.

Atlanta is looked at as the front runner for Super Bowl LIII.

#28-"BLACKLIST" AS YOUR SUPER BOWL DESSERT: In a typical bit of programming, NBC will air an episode of "The Blacklist" after the Super Bowl.  

The trend recently is for the network broadcasting the Super Bowl loves breaking in new shows or extended shows following the game.  Undercover Boss (CBS-2010), Extreme (ABC-1995), Homicide (NBC-'93), Davis Rules (ABC-'91), Grand Slam (CBS-'90), The Wonders Years (ABC-'88), Hard Copy (CBS-'87), The Last Precinct (NBC-'86), MacGruder and Loud (ABC-'85), Airwolf (CBS-'84), The A-Team (NBC-'83) and Brothers and Sisters (NBC-'79) as shows who debuted after the Super Bowl.

Some other big-time heavyweights have also appeared right after the game. Lassie, All in the Family, 60 Minutes, CHiPs, Archie Bunker's Place, Friends, The X-Files, The Simpsons, Survivor, Grey's Anatomy, House and The Office all have been post-Super Bowl shows.

#27-BEEN THERE, DONE THAT: There have been 20 Super Bowls where one starting QB comes in with Super Bowl experience while the other one doesn't. Does experience matter?  Well, the QB with the experience is just 10-10 in those games.

However, in the last four occasions of this happening the new guy won.  Russell Wilson (new) beat Peyton Manning (old), Aaron Rodgers (new) beat Big Ben (old), Drew Brees (new) beat Peyton Manning (old) and Eli Manning (new) beat Tom Brady (old) in their first Super Bowl matchup.

Now, that doesn't apply here since both quarterbacks have won Super Bowls before.  The last time that has happened was in Super Bowl XLVI when Eli Manning faced Tom Brady.  Including Super Bowl XLIX, previous Super Bowl winning starting QBs will have faced off in six Super Bowls.

XLVI:  E. Manning vs Brady
XLIII:  Roethlisberger vs Warner
XVIII:  Plunkett vs Theismann
XIII:  Bradshaw vs Staubach
X:  Bradshaw vs Staubach

#26-SUPER BOWL CONSUMPION: Some nice stats for you:

8 million: Total pounds of popcorn consumed on Super Bowl Sunday.
28 million: Pounds of potato chips consumed.
53.5 million: Pounds of avocados consumed.
222,792: Number of football fields worth of farmland to grow all that corn, potatoes, and avocados.
11.8: Depth, in feet, of guacamole consumed if it were spread across the football field.
293,000: Number of miles of potato chips, laid end to end, consumed during the game.
1 billion: Number of chicken wings consumed on Super Bowl Sunday.
325.5 million: Gallons of beer drank by Americans that day.
493: Number of Olympic-sized swimming pools that could be filled with all that beer.
20%: Increase in anti-acid sales the Monday after the game.
7 million: Number of employees who will not show up to work Monday.

#25-DON'T DISMISS THE FAVORITES: Yeah, there are upsets, but don't count on them. The favorite has won nine of the last 16 Super Bowls. In fact the favorite is 31-17 in the Super Bowl. Teams favored by at least 7 points are 19-6.

24-STILL, NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE UNDERDOG: Last year, the Seahawks won the Super Bowl as a slight underdog. But we have seen some big dog upsets.

Over the past 10 Super Bowls, 6 of them had a team whose playoff seed was either 4, 5 or 6.  Those teams are 5-1 when they get there (only the 2008 Cardinals didn't win ... and they nearly did) with those teams beating either a No. 1 or No. 2 seed.  

Here is a short list of some notable Super Bowl upsets:

Super Bowl III: The Baltimore Colts came in as 18-point favorites. They left watching the Jets' Joe Namath fulfilling his prediction of an upset.

Super Bowl IV: The Kansas City Chiefs spanked the Minnesota Vikings, despite being a 12-point underdog.

Super Bowl VII: Oddly, the undefeated Miami Dolphins entered the game as 1.5-point underdogs to the Washington Redskins.Super Bowl XXV: The Buffalo Bills would begin their four game Super Bowl losing streak by succumbing to the Giants, who were 7-point dogs.

Super Bowl XXXII: The Denver Broncos, an 11.5-point underdog, ended the AFC's thirteen game losing streak by beating Green Bay.

Super Bowl XXXVI: These New England Patriots began their dynasty by beating the St. Louis Rams, who were 14-point favorites.

Super Bowl XLII: The 12-point dog Giants ended the Patriots perfect season with a magical game.See, it can happen. Just because we all think one way doesn't mean we cannot be shocked. After all, those 2001 Rams were juggernauts who were former champions and were heavy favorites. They left without the trophy.

#23-THE NFC OWNS THE COIN TOSS ... YET ... :  The NFC has won 15 of the last 17 coin tosses, including a 14 year winning streak.

The team that wins the opening coin toss is just 24-24 in the game. That averages out to ... well ... the flip of a coin. However, the coin toss winner has been the Super Bowl loser in 11 of the last 17 games.

SB 48: Seahawks won the toss ... and the game
SB 47: Ravens won the toss ... and the game
SB 46: Patriots won the toss, lost the game

SB 45: Packers won the toss ... and the game
SB 44: Saints won the toss ... and the game
SB 43: Cardinals won the toss, lost the game*
SB 42: Giants won the toss ... and the game
SB 41: Bears won the toss, lost the game
SB 40: Seahawks won the toss, lost the game
SB 39: Eagles won the toss, lost the game
SB 38: Panthers won the toss, lost the game
SB 37: Buccaneers won the toss ... and the game
SB 36: Rams won the toss, lost the game
SB 35: Giants won the toss, lost the game
SB 34: Rams won the toss ... and the game
SB 33: Falcons won the toss, lost the game
SB 32: Packers won the toss, lost the game
SB 31: Patriots won the toss, lost the game

*A little aside to this is that the Arizona Cardinals won the toss and deferred to the second half. The Steelers chose to receive which means the Cards were the first team in Super Bowl history to win the coin toss and kickoff.  The Seahawks would do the same in Super Bowl XLVIII.

#22-SOME MORE STATITUDES: Here is another piece of trivia for you. 

-There has been at least one successful field goal in 46 of 48 Super Bowls.

-Teams that have been shut out for one half (either the first or second) are a combined 1-19. The lone winner was those 1972 Dolphins who went scoreless in the second half of Super Bowl VII.

-Only one Super Bowl featured teams from the same state. Super Bowl XXIX between the Chargers and 49ers. The Giants and Bills both are "New York" teams, but the Giants play their home games in New Jersey.

-Also, teams that intercept a pass for a TD are 12-0 in the Super Bowl. No losing team has returned a pick-six.

#21-NFC WEST VS AFC EAST:  Super Bowl XLIX matches up teams from the NFC West and AFC East.  This will be the third time these two divisions have met for the Super Bowl.  Here is how the other meetings turned out.  

XXXVI:  Patriots beat Rams
XIX:  49ers beat Dolphins

Also, the NFC West wa on a 4-game Super Bowl losing streak until the Seahawks won it a year ago.  It started with the Rams losing Super Bowl XXXVI to the Patriots.  The Seahawks lost Super Bowl XL to the Steelers.  Then the Cardinals lost to the Steelers in Super Bowl XLIII. The 49ers lost to the Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII.  

#20-THINGS NON FOOTBALL FANS CAN SAY TO BLEND IN: Look, I know that there are people in America that will be attending Super Bowl parties because ... well, they love to party. Some won't know who's playing in the game until they get there. I've also come to find that there are actually guys out there that get dragged to Super Bowl parties because of their women (that's sad). Don't worry. So the diehards around the party who actually care about the game won't think you're a wuss, I'm here to help.

Here are a few vague quotes that you can use so you fit in among the football fans. You don't have to engage in a conversation with these, just drop these in from time to time the rest of us don't make fun of you once you leave. Just print this out, study it and you will at look somewhat less wimpish around the real men at the Super Bowl party.

"The Seahawks really pulled that Packers game out of their butt."

"Do you think Tom Brady will challenge Richard Sherman?"

"What a magical career Russell Wilson has had."

"You just gotta convert those third downs!"

"Don't sleep on Julian Edelman!"

"Marshawn Lynch needs a lot of touches."

"Third and long? I'd blitz."

"Hard to believe that Russell Wilson could be a two-time champ."

"Remember the Bud Bowl?"

"I got a few bucks on this game."

"Damnit! I left my squares sheet at home!"

"It's nice to see the Patriots back in the Super Bowl!"

When there is a penalty called for holding, just say, "yeah, he was tackling him!"

"How long will it be before they show Gisele in the stands?"

"Did you know that they roll the field in from outside the stadium?!"

"Remember back in October when people thought the Seahawks and Patriots were done?"

"Seahawks got screwed in their first Super Bowl appearance."

Use only in a close game: "This could come down to who has the ball last."

#19-WEARING WHITE IS THE KEY:  Since the Seahawks are designated the home team, they will be wearing their home blue jerseys for the Super Bowl. That means the Patriots will go with their white jerseys. In fact, the team that has worn white uniforms had won the last nine of ten Super Bowls (Seahawks, Ravens, Giants, Saints, Steelers, Giants, Colts, Steelers, Patriots).  The Packers won three years ago wearing green. The Seahawks won last year's Super Bowl victory while wearing white.

#18-ALTERNATE VIEWING: Wife doesn't watch the Super Bowl?  Are you forced to go somewhere where football isn't recognized?  Well, here are some alternatives for her or what you may be forced to watch.  Remember, there's not only the Puppy Bowl, but a Kitten Bowl and Fish Bowl as well.

ABC: America's Funniest Home Videos marathon
ABC FAMILY: Back To The Future marathon

AMC:  Walking Dead marathon
BET: Star Trek: Next Generation marathon
BRAVO: Real Housewives Of Atlanta marathon
CMT: Cops Reloaded marathon

COMEDY CENTRAL:  Key & Peele and Tosh.0 marathon
DIY: Rehab Addict marathon

ESPN: 30 for 30 marathon
FOX SPORTS 1: UFC marathon
FX: How To Train Your Dragon marathon
FXX:  Marley & Me marathon
GSN: Family Feud marathon
HALLMARK: Kitten Bowl II

HISTORY:  Swamp People marathon
HBO:  Divergent
ID:  Wives With Knives marathon
MSNBC:  Sex Slaves marathon
MTV:  Ridiculous marathon
OXYGEN:  Snapped! marathon
SPIKE:  Cops marathon

TBS:  Shrek marathon
TLC:  Sex Sent Me To The ER marathon
TNT: The Help

USA:  Law & Order SVU marathon

#17-RELOCATING TO TITLES: The Colts (Baltimore/Indianapolis) are one of two teams to win a Super Bowl in two different cities. The other team is the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders. The St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams have been to Super Bowls from two different cities and join the Colts as the only franchises to lose Super Bowls in two different cities.

#16-LIST OF SUPER BOWL NO-NAMES: Below are guys that made their names in the Super Bowl. Some of these guys were pretty good NFLers before their breakout games ... some we haven't heard of before or since ... but performing well on the biggest of stages makes them legends.

Doug Williams (Redskins): It wasn't that Williams was a no-name as much as things really didn't pan out for him. Dude really came off the scrap heap. Williams did nothing much of note in his first years at Tampa Bay or in his USFL stint. Redskins coach Joe Gibbs (who coached Doug in Tampa) gave him a shot in 1986 to back up Jay Schroeder. In '87, Schroeder had some shoulder issues late in the season and Williams did a good job taking over. So much so that there was a QB controversy. Williams got the nod and the rest is history.What Williams did in the 2nd quarter of Super Bowl XXII is nothing short of remarkable. He was 9-of-11 for 228 yards and 4 TDs. Again, that was just in the 2nd quarter! Williams would win the game's MVP and become the first (and only, so far) black quarterback to win a Super Bowl.

Timmy Smith (Redskins): If Doug Williams didn't win the MVP, Smith would have. Smith rushed for 204 yards (still a Super Bowl record) and two TDs. Coming into the game, Smith had rushed for just 129 yards that season. His career lasted just 15 games after the Super Bowl.

Max McGee (Packers): McGee is famous for his pre-Super Bowl I partying. With Boyd Dowler injured early in the game, a hung-over McGee would step in and catch the first TD pass in Super Bowl history. He would go on to catch seven passes for 138 yards and two TDs ... three more receptions than he had all season long.

Jeff Hostetler (Giants): People forget that Phil Simms didn't start the G-men's second Super Bowl title. Simms hurt his ankle late in the season and Hoss took it the rest of the way. He had the least amount of playing time of any QB to start a Super Bowl. He held up well, throwing for 222 yds and a TD.

Dan Bunz (49ers): The linebacker was instrumental in the greatest goal line stand in Super Bowl history, stuffing the Bengals four times with goal to go. The defining play was Bunz' tackle on a swing pass to Charles Alexander on third down (he was also in on the stop on fourth down).

Larry Brown (Cowboys): The running joke after Super Bowl XXX was that Brown was the Steelers' Neil O'Donnell's favorite target. Too bad he played for the other team. Brown picked off two O'Donnell throws ... his final game with Dallas. He used the MVP award to get a nice fat contract with the Raiders and did nothing much of note after the fact.

Dwight Smith (Buccaneers): If Brown won an MVP award for picking off two passes ... why didn't Smith win won for taking two picks back for TDs? He was a nickelback used a lot in a game where (a) Oakland's offensive attack warranted it and (b) the Raiders were so far behind that they had to take chances. Why ....

Dexter Jackson (Buccaneers): ... because Smith's second TD came in the closing seconds after the ballots had already been counted. Jackson had picked off two passes himself (none that went for TDs) that were momentum changers. And Jackson wouldn't have won the award either if not for fan voting taking place in the game (Simeon Rice was the press' pick).

Percy Howard (Cowboys): Never heard of him? Well, Howard came into Super Bowl X and caught a 34-yd touchdown pass from Roger Staubach. That was the only reception he had in his entire career.

Don Beebe (Bills): Beebe has been on six Super Bowl teams ... but will be remembered most for running down Leon Lett and stripping the ball right before crossing the endzone in Super Bowl XXVII.

David Tyree (Giants): Tyree will always be a legend for his amazing catch in Super Bowl XLII. A guy pretty much no one had heard of before and hasn't done anything since will be immortalized with possibly the greatest play in Super Bowl history.

Jordy Nelson (Packers): Nelson caught 9 passes for 140 yards (both career highs) and a TD in Super Bowl XLV.

Mario Manningham (Giants):  He only caught 5 passes for 73 yards in Super Bowl XLVI, it was a huge 38-yard reception on the Giants' final, game-winning drive that will stick among the Super Bowl's greatest moments.

#15-SUPER BOWL MVP'S IN CANTON: Winners of 22 Super Bowl MVP awards have gone on to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. You have Bart Starr (twice), Joe Namath, Len Dawson, Roger Staubach, Larry Csonka, Franco Harris, Lynn Swann, Fred Biletnikoff, Randy White, Terry Bradshaw (twice), Joe Montana (three times), John Riggins, Marcus Allen, Troy Aikman, Steve Young, Jerry Rice, Emmitt Smith and John Elway. Other winners, like Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Ray Lewis can look forward to seeing their busts in Canton one day (that hikes the number up to 26). Kurt Warner, Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees also have a shot at the Hall.  So could Eli Manning.

Granted, not all winners of the Super Bowl MVP award go on to anything much. Guys like Larry Brown, Harvey Martin, Dexter Jackson, Desmond Howard, Mark Rypien, Deion Branch and Jake Scott have also won the award and the Hall is no where in their future.

#14-THE FIVE WORST SUPER BOWLS: 1-Super Bowl V: This one was nicknamed the "Blunder Bowl" for good reason. There were 11 turnovers in the game with the Colts ... who won ... committing seven of them. The Dallas Cowboys were called for 10 penalties. This game sucked so bad that the MVP award was given to Chuck Howley ... of the losing Cowboys (the only time the Super Bowl MVP played for the losing team). Sure, Jim O'Brien kicked the game winning field goal at the end of the game ... but even that was set up by a turnover.

2-Super Bowl XII: Dallas was in yet another sloppy game. Good thing that the Broncos were sloppier (Denver turned the ball over eight times ... and completed just eight passes). Denver QB Craig Morton was horrible -- he completed just four of 15 passes for 39 yards and four interceptions. Yikes! There was also lingering questions about the IRS checking into his tax returns. Both teams combined for 20 penalties.

3-Super Bowl XL: It was a ho-hum game that's only excitement came on an Antwaan Randle-El touchdown pass to Hines Ward. That's pretty much all the Steelers had: three big plays that ended up with TDs (the above play, a Willie Parker 75-yd TD run and an awkward pass from Ben Roethlisberger to Ward). Seattle shot themselves in the foot with bad penalties, bad red zone efficiency and turnovers. The game is one of the most controversial as many people felt that the Seahawks had a lot of bad calls go against them. Big Ben's QB rating is the lowest by any Super Bowl winning quarterback.

4-Super Bowl XX: The Bears dominated and we all loved seeing the Fridge plop into the endzone. Still, this looked like an exhibition game against a local high school team than a Super Bowl. Chicago dominated this game with their defense and made Pats QB Tony Eason look foolish (he is the only starting QB to not complete a pass). There have been several blowouts in Super Bowl history, but this is the only one where the losing team looked like it had no business being there. The saddest thing is that Walter Payton didn't get a shot at running in a TD. Jim McMahon snuck in a TD twice and the Fridge got a shot ... but not Walter. A shame.

5-Super Bowl VII: The one where the Dolphins completed the perfect season? A dud. Miami is the only team to be shut out for an entire half and still win the game. The Phins got out to a 14-0 lead before halftime and hung on for the win. If not for that botched field goal attempt (where Miami kicker Garo Yepremian's "pass" was picked off by Mike Bass and returned for a TD), the Redskins would've been the only team shut out in Super Bowl history. That score, with 2:07 left in the game, is the longest it has taken for a Super Bowl team to score.

#13-STUTTERING STARTS:  The Patriots and Seahawks weren't always looking very Super this season.  New England started with a 2-2 record and many thought that Tom Brady was done and this Patriots dynasty was over.  All the Patriots did was win 10 of their last 12 games and earn the top seed in the AFC.
Seattle had the same issue.  They were 3-3 at one point, Percy Harvin was sent packing and there were rumblings about Russell Wilson from the locker room.  Seattle would go on to win 9 of 10 and get the top seed in the NFC.

#12-PASSING FANCY:  Of the eleven most pass attempts in a Super Bowl game in history, ten were for the losing team.  Jim Kelly threw 58 passes for the Bills against the Redskins in Super Bowl XXVI,  Eagles' QB Donovan McNabb is 2nd with 51 passes in their Super Bowl XXXIX loss.  The lone winning QB in that mix is New England's Tom Brady who threw 48 passes in their Super Bowl XXXVIII victory over the Carolina Panthers.

On the flip side, of the 12 most passing yardage games in Super Bowl history, 8 played for the winning team.  Kurt Warner owns the top three passing yardage Super Bowls in history.

Also, of the top 10 player rushing games in Super Bowl history, only Thurman Thomas in Super Bowl XXV played for the losing team.  

#11-DON'T TRAIL BY DOUBLE DIGITS: Teams that are facing a double-digit deficit are 2-42. A couple things are interesting about that stat. First, the only teams to come back from a 10-point deficit and win is the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XXII and the New Orleans Saints in Super Bowl XLIV. The Skins trailed 10-0 before scoring the next 42 points. The Saints scored 31 of the next 38 points after trailing 10-0. That also makes those Super Bowls the only ones where both teams faced a double digit deficit. Also, it is quite amazing that 42 of 48 Super Bowls have seen one team go up by at least 10 at some point in the game.

#10-SUPER BOWL DATES: Here are just a few dumb notes about Super Bowl dates. Super Bowl XXIX was and will always be the only Super Bowl that was played on the same day (29) as the Roman numeral of the game. January 26th is the most popular date for a Super Bowl as a record four games have been played on that date. And, if you go in order from the earliest date (January 9th) to the latest (February 7th), the only days to not have held the Super Bowl are January 10, 19, and 23.

This will be the third Super Bowl held on February 1st.

Jan 9-XI
Jan 11-IV
Jan 12-III, IX
Jan 13-VIII
Jan 14-II, VII
Jan 15-I, XII
Jan 16-VI
Jan 17-V
Jan 18-X
Jan 20-XIV, XIX
Jan 21-XIII
Jan 24-XVI
Jan 27-XXV
Jan 29-XXIX

Feb 4-XLI
Feb 5-XL, XLVI
Feb 7-XLIV

#9-STILL HAVEN'T WON ONE: There are now four franchises that have never appeared in a Super Bowl (Lions, Browns, Jaguars and Texans). But there are nine others that have never won the Super Bowl in any of their appearances. They are the Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, Tennessee Titans, San Diego Chargers, Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers and Arizona Cardinals. The Bills and Vikings have lost four games apiece; the Bengals and Eagles have each lost two. The rest lost on their only trip.

And while the Jaguars (1995) and Texans (2002) haven't been to the big game, they don't have quite the drought as some other franchises. The Jets haven't been to the Super Bowl since the 1968 season. The Chiefs went to two of the first four Super Bowls but their last appearance was after the 1969 season.

It's been a while since the Vikings (1976), Dolphins (1984), Bengals (1988) and Redskins (1991) have been there as well.

#8-HERE ARE THE VARIABLES: Your referee for the Super Bowl is Bill Vinovich, who has never officiated a Super Bowl (though he was an alternate for Super Bowl XLVII). Vinovich was a side judge from 2001 to 2006.  However, a heart condition caused him to retire in 2007 and he served as a replay judge.  After being given the medial okay, he returned to the field in 2012 as a referee.  Vinovich also used to be an NCAA basketball official, even officiating NCAA tournament games.

Singer Idina Menzel will perform the National Anthem, while Katy Perry will be the halftime performer.  

#7-NBC UNIVERSAL: NBC, which is televising the game, will have their cable sports network (NBC Universal) digitally stream 11 hours of Super Bowl coverage.  Per Variety

NBCUniversal will launch an 11-hour free digital video stream — centered around live coverage of this year’s Feb. 1 Super Bowl — in a bid to get users to log in to its “TV Everywhere” services across its broadcast and cable portfolio the rest of the year.
The Peacock’s “Super Stream Sunday” event will include NBC’s presentation of Super Bowl XLIX live from Arizona, pitting the Seattle Seahawks against the New England Patriots, as well as the halftime show toplined by Katy Perry. The live-stream will kick off at 12 p.m. ET on Feb. 1 with NBC’s pregame coverage and concludes with an airing of a new episode of primetime drama “The Blacklist” at approximately 10 p.m. ET.
#6-SIX BEST SUPER BOWLS: Here are what I believe are the six best Super Bowls, ever. You can debate this all you want (which is fine), but these six were all great games with exciting finishes and are memorable in one way or another.

1-Super Bowl XXV: This was a great matchup in every way. With a backdrop of war, this game had all kinds of emotion as the game began (thanks, Whitney). That vaunted Bills offense against the stuffy Giants defense. The lead changed times on four occassions. In the end, an old guy like Ottis Anderson ate up the clock and Scott Norwood missed the only time the winner of the Super Bowl came down to the final play (even if Vinatieri missed those Pats FGs, the games would've went into overtime). Giants defensive coordinator Bill Belichick's defensive gameplan for this game in enshrined at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

2-Super Bowl XLII: Yes, the Giants take the top two spots. Their amazing run just to get to the Super Bowl and matching the undefeated Patriots blow-for-blow. Eli Manning's escape and David Tyree's catch has become one of the top plays in Super Bowl history. Second biggest upset ever.

3-Super Bowl XXXIV: Not only was this a surreal matchup (remember that St. Louis and Tennessee weren't NFL cities six years earlier), but some cat named Kurt Warner was shredding up this game. The Titans staged one heck of a comeback (they were down 16-0) to have it ripped away from them on a bomb to Issac Bruce. Also, it had one of the greatest endings any football game could ever have.

4-Super Bowl XXIII: There were so many game changing moments in this one. Remember that the only times the 49ers led this game was at 3-0 ... and after Joe Montana's pass to John Taylor at the end of the game. Cincinnati had this one, but Super Joe took it away.

5-Super Bowl XXXVIII: The problem with this Super Bowl is that the 1st and 3rd quarters sucked. However, the 2nd and 4th were just outstanding! In the fourth quarter alone, there were 37 points scored ... which is a Super Bowl record for points scored in a quarter. It was just the second to have five TDs scored (the Redskins did that by themselves 16 years earlier). And it ended with an Adam Vinatieri field goal with :04 left. Oh, and we got a little nipple action at halftime.

6-Super Bowl XLIII: What a game this was. You had the ultimate game changer with the interception and 99-yard return for a TD at the end of the first half. You had Arizona's miraculous comeback to take a lead late in the game. Then you had Pittsburgh's Big Ben Roethlisberger finding Santonio Holmes for a wonderful game winning score.

#5-ALL TIME SERIES: The Seahawks and Patriots have met 16 previous times.  Each team has won eight of those games.

Remember that these teams used to both be in the AFC.  Seattle has won six of the last eight games in this series.  Their last meeting was in 2012, when the Patriots blew a 23-10 lead halfway thru the 4th quarter and lost 24-23.  This will just be the fourth meeting in the last 21 years.

#4-OTHER SPORTS HAPPENINGS: If you are looking for some other sports to whet your appetite, you have a few options.  The NBA has a national televised game on ESPN, but it is the lowly Lakers visiting the horrid Knicks (there is also the Heat-Celtics game on League Pass).

The NHL will have four games on, with one of them involving the Arizona Coyotes at the Montreal Canadiens.  The Blues-Capitals, Preds-Pens and Wild-Canucks will be on the schedule.  

There are 12 NCAA basketball games scheduled.  CBS will have Michigan at Michigan State at 1:00pm (the Wolverines also played the CBS game last year on Super Bowl Sunday).  ESPNU will show Miami at Florida State at 12:30pm ET then Utah at USC at 2:30pm ET.  Interestingly, Cal faces Washington in Seattle on the Pac-12 Network at 3pm ET.  Will that arena be packed with their Seahawks playing just an hour or so after the game?  

#3-QUARTERBACKS:  Tom Brady will become the sixth quarterback to start a Super Bowl at age 37 or older.   John Elway is the oldest to start and win the big game (XXXIII) at the age of 38.  Of those six QBs, Brady will be the youngest, but will join Peyton Manning, Johnny Unitas, Kurt Warner, Rich Gannon and Elway as 37 year olds to start the game.  A Patriots win means Brady will the fourth oldest quarterback to win a Super Bowl as a starter.

As I touched on before, Brady will start his record sixth Super Bowl.  A win will put him with Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw as the only 4-time Super Bowl winning starting quarterbacks.  A New England loss would put Brady with Frank Tarkenton and John Elway as three-time losers of the Super Bowl.  Jim Kelly's four losses is the record.

Russell Wilson is the 20th quarterback to start multiple Super Bowls.  Of those 20, only Kelly, Tarkenton and Craig Morton never won at least one game.  While not a starter in Super Bowl V, Earl Morrall did play most of the game for the Colts after Unitas was knocked out of the game in the 2nd quarter.  Morrall started for the Colts in the legendary Super Bowl III loss to the Jets.  Steve Young didn't start but threw three passes in Super Bowl XXIV (he started Super Bowl XXIX).

With a win, Wilson would be the 12th quarterback to start and win multiple Super Bowls.  He'd be the fourth active quarterback to achieve this, joining Brady, Ben Roethlisberger and Eli Manning.  Of the eight former players to do this, 7 are in the Hall Of Fame (only Jim Plunkett isn't).      

#2-THE WEATHER:  Last year when the Super Bowl was held in New Jersey, the weather was the biggest discussion.  This year, weather won't matter.  Not only is the game being played in Arizona, it will be indoors at University Of Phoenix Stadium.  Weather has rarely been a problem at the Super Bowl.  The most rain we've had was nearly an inch at Super Bowl XLI in Miami.  Four of the last five Super Bowls have been held indoors.  

#1-SUPER BOWL PREDICTION:  This should be a good game.  I said this last year as well ... and it wasn't.  Though I did pick the winner.  Why would I pick Seattle?  They are the defending champions and that defense has been on another level over the last three months.  Defense wins championships -- especially Super Bowls.  However, they needed a miracle to get past Green Bay and suffered some bangs and bruises along the way.
Why would I pick New England?  Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are tough to bet against, though they have lost their last two Super Bowls and both were to stout defensive teams.  Still, this Deflate-gate distraction may just be the rallying point to launch the team into ultimate focus.  

Still, I'm going with defense.  My same prediction as last year.  

Seahawks win Super Bowl XLIX, 24-20

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