Saturday, January 24, 2015

49 Stops To Super Bowl XLIX (#10-19)

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.

#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

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