Thursday, January 28, 2016

50 Stops To Super Bowl 50

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 50 Stops to Super Bowl 50 and I'm back with some more (and some of the same) little items for you about the upcoming big game.

#50-NO ROMAN NUMERAL:  As you probably know by now, this isn't Super Bowl L.  It is Super Bowl 50.  The NFL branded it this way because of marketing purposes.  The "50" looks better than the "L".  Also, the color has changed to gold this year.  The NFL logo has been in gold and the league has celebrated their past Super Bowls all year long.  

The NFL used the Roman numerals due to the fact that the game was in the calendar year following the regular season.  

If they stuck with the L, that would be the first one character Super Bowl roman numeral since Super Bowl X.  The only others were Super Bowls I and V.  Next year, the Super Bowl will go back to normal and be Super Bowl LI.

#49-CALIFORNIA GOLD RUSH:  This will be the 12th Super Bowl hosted by the state of California.  Only Florida has hosted more (15).

This will be the fifth different stadium in Cali to host the game.  The Los Angeles Coliseum, Rose Bowl, Stanford Stadium, Qualcomm Stadium and, now, Levi's Stadium.  Florida also has had five different stadiums (Orange Bowl, Sun Life Stadium, Tampa Stadium, Raymond James Stadium and Alltel Stadium).  It is the fifth different city as well (Los Angeles, Pasadena, San Diego, Stanford, Santa Clara).  

This is the 2nd time the Super Bowl has been held in the Bay Area.  Super Bowl XIX was in Stanford, CA.  The two Bay Area teams (49ers, Raiders) have 8 Super Bowl wins in 11 appearances.

#48-JOHN FOX USED TO WORK HERE:  The spirit of John Fox must be over this game.  Broncos' head coach Gary Kubiak and Panthers' head coach Ron Rivera both took over for John Fox for their jobs.  Fox was the Carolina head coach from 2002 to 2010 before being fired and Rivera took over.  Fox would then take the Broncos job in 2011 and was fired after last season.

Fox also was the last head coach to lead both these franchises to the Super Bowl.  Both times were losses.  

#47-KUBIAK IS BACK, SO IS RIVERA:  Gary Kubiak is the first head coach to take a team he played for to a Super Bowl.  Kubiak lost all three Super Bowls he went to as a player, but won three as an assistant coach (one with the 49ers, two with Broncos).

Ron Rivera takes his 15-1 Panthers to the Super Bowl.  Rivera was on the 1985 Chicago Bears that finished the regular season 15-1 and went on to win the Super Bowl.  

The last time the two Super Bowl head coaches were also players?  Super Bowl XX when Mike Ditka met Raymond Berry.

#46-AFC LOVES FEBRUARY: The Super Bowl will be held on February 7th. Since the first February Super Bowl in 2002, the AFC is 8-5 in those games held in the calendar's shortest month ... though the NFC has won four of the last six:
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

Super Bowl XLIX: Patriots beat Seahawks on February 1, 2015

#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 36-13.

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

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

A lot is on the line, historically, for the Broncos in this one.  A win and they'll be the 9th franchise with at least three Super Bowl titles, joining the Steelers, Cowboys, 49ers, Patriots, Packers, Giants, Redskins and Raiders.  A loss would give them a record six defeats which is two more than anyone else. Carolina is making its second Super Bowl appearance.  The Panthers lost Super Bowl XXXVIII to the Patriots.  They are trying to become the 20th franchise to win a Super Bowl.

#43-TRIO DOMINATES THE AFC: Since Super Bowl XXXVIII (a span of 13 years), the AFC has been represented by Peyton Manning, Tom Brady or Ben Roethlisberger 12 times.  Manning is making his 4th appearance in that time (Brady has 5 of his 6 appearances have been in that time, Big Ben 3).  The lone off year was Super Bowl XLVII when the Ravens' Joe Flacco won it.  In that same 13 year span, the NFC has had 11 different QBs.  The only repeats on that side are Eli Manning and Russell Wilson, who each went twice.  

Those four AFC quarterbacks have won 8 of the 12 previous Super Bowls.

Peyton Manning is also going to his 4th Super Bowl with 4 different head coaches.  He went with Tony Dungy, Jim Caldwell, Jim Fox and Gary Kubiak.

#42-CAT SCRATCH FEVER: The Panthers are one of four NFL franchises that uses a member of the cat family as a mascot.  The "Cat Family" of the Panthers, the Jacksonville Jaguars, Cincinnati Bengals and Detroit Lions are a combined 0-3 in Super Bowls.  In fact, the Lions and Jags have never even made a Super Bowl.  The Bengals lost Super Bowls XVI and XXIII while the Panthers lost Super Bowl XXXVIII.

#41-SUPER BOWL ON CBS:  This will be the 19th time CBS will televise the Super Bowl, breaking a tie with NBC for most all-time by a network.  NBC and CBS shared the call on Super Bowl I.  Jim Nantz and Phil Simms will call the game.  Nantz will be calling his 4th Super Bowl and is one of two men to call a Super Bowl, Final Four and the Masters (Brent Musberger is the other).  Simms will be making his 8th appearance as a color analyst for a Super Bowl.  Simms won Super Bowl XXI MVP.  John Madden is the only person to have called Super Bowls on all four networks (ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC). 

#40-NEXT GREAT MOMENT?: Every Super Bowl has that moment.  That one moment.  Sure, some have several memorable moments, but each has that one.  Whether it is Wide Right.  Or Lynn Swann's catch.  Or Jackie Smith's drop.  Doug Williams' 2nd quarter or One Yard Short.

Check out my list of each Super Bowl's top moment.  

#39-TOP SEEDS MEETING AGAIN: Believe it or not, but Super Bowl 50 is the fourth time that the No. 1 seed in the NFC and AFC met in the Super Bowl since 1993 ... and the third year in a row.  The top seeded Colts and Saints met in Super Bowl XLIV, the Seahawks and Broncos did the same in Super Bowl XLVIII and the Seahawks and Patriots met last year in Super Bowl XLIX.  

The Panthers and Broncos were the top seeds in their respective conferences.

The NFC's top seed is 2-1 in those meetings.

#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 (Texas, 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 Carolina Panthers become the first NFC South team to make a Super Bowl twice.  The Saints, Buccaneers and Falcons have been there once each.

#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)
7-AFC EAST (Patriots-4, 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)
16-AFC WEST (Broncos-8, 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)
5-NFC SOUTH (Panthers-2, 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-HEISMAN WINNER/SUPER BOWL WINNER: Cam Newton is trying to become just the 3rd Heisman Trophy winning quarterback to also win a Super Bowl as a starter.  Roger Staubach and Jim Plunkett are the only others to do so.

Ten Heisman Trophy winners have won Super Bowls.  That includes Paul Hornung, Mike Garrett, John Huarte, Staubach, Tony Dorsett, Plunkett, Marcus Allen, George Rogers, Desmond Howard and Charles Woodson.  Staubach, Plunkett, Allen and Howard were also Super Bowl MVPs.  

Dorsett, Allen and Woodson are the only players to win a Heisman, a college National Championship and a Super Bowl.  Cam Newton, who won a National Championship in his Heisman season at Auburn, could join them.  Newton would also be the first QB to do it.

Reggie Bush won a Super Bowl with the New Orleans Saints, but his Heisman Trophy was vacated.

#34-FINISHING A NEAR PERFECT SEASON: The Carolina Panthers finished the regular season 15-1, becoming just the 6th team to accomplish that feat.  Only two of those teams would go on to win the Super Bowl.  That would be the 1984 San Francisco 49ers and 1985 Chicago Bears, so it has been 30 years since anyone has done it.  However, those were the only two (other than the Panthers this season) to even reach the Super Bowl.  The others (1998 Vikings, 2004 Steelers, 2011 Green Bay Packers) lost before they go the big game.  Add in the undefeated 2007 Patriots and 1972 Dolphins and teams with 1 or less loss have only won 3 of 7 Super Bowls.

#33-OLD MAN-NING: Peyton Manning will be the oldest quarterback to start a Super Bowl.  He will be 39 years and 320 days old on Super Sunday, beating John Elway (SB XXXIII) by over a year.  Manning's appearance in Super Bowl XLVIII is the third oldest QB start.  That means the top three oldest Super Bowl QBs were all Broncos.

The 13 year age difference between Manning and Cam Newton is the largest for opposing Super Bowl QBs in history.  It bests the 12 year difference between Manning and Russell Wilson in Super Bowl XLVIII.

#32-CHAMPIONSHIP CITIES:  Denver and Charlotte aren't that well known for championships.

The Denver Broncos won back-to-back Super Bowls in the 1997 and 1998 seasons.  The Colorado Avalanche also have two titles, the 1996 and 2001 Stanley Cups. The Mile High city was the place to be for sports from 1996 to 2001.  However, the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Rockies have yet to win a championship (the Rockies have been to one World Series; the Nuggets have never been to the NBA or ABA Finals).  

Charlotte is looking for their first pro sports title.  The Panthers have been to one Super Bowl (a loss to the Patriots).  The Hornets have yet to make an NBA Finals.  

#31-THE WEST IS ONE OF THE BEST:  The West division of the the NFL has been pretty good in Super Bowl appearances of late.  Of the last four seasons, five West division teams have made it to the Super Bowl.  The NFC West has sent a representative in each of the past three seasons (49ers, Seahawks twice) and nearly made it four if the Arizona Cardinals could have upset the Panthers in the NFC title game.  The Broncos are making their second Super Bowl trip in the last three years.  

#30-QUARTERBACKS COMING BACK: 19 quarterbacks have started multiple Super Bowls, including Peyton Manning. Manning will be making his fourth start as a QB for a Super Bowl (only Tom Brady, John Elway. Terry Bradshaw, Joe Montana, Jim Kelly and Roger Staubach have all started as many).  He's third only to Brady and Elway in Super Bowl starts. Only Peyton Manning, Craig Morton and Kurt Warner have started Super Bowls for two different teams.

 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 with the new Los Angeles stadium looking like the place to beat for Super Bowl LIV.

#28-"STEPHEN COLBERT" AS YOUR SUPER BOWL DESSERT: Going against the grain, CBS will air "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" 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.

#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 ten of the last 17 Super Bowls. In fact the favorite is 32-17 in the Super Bowl. Teams favored by at least 7 points are 19-6.

24-STILL, NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE UNDERDOG:  Over the past 11 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 16 of the last 18 coin tosses, including a 14 year winning streak.

The team that wins the opening coin toss is just 24-25 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 12 of the last 18 games.
SB 49: Seahawks won the toss, lost the game

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 Bowls XLVIII and XLIX.

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

-There has been at least one successful field goal in 47 of 49 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 SOUTH VS AFC WEST:  Super Bowl 50 matches up teams from the NFC South and AFC West.  This will be the third time these two divisions have met for the Super Bowl.  Here is how the other meetings turned out.  

XXXIII:  Broncos beat Falcons
XXXVII:  Buccaneers beat Raiders

The NFC South is making just their 5th Super Bowl appearance as a division.  The Broncos will be making their 8th appearance by themselves.  

#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.

"What do you think about all that talk about Cam Newton's celebrations?"

"Do you think think this is it for Peyton Manning?"

"You just gotta convert those third downs!"

"Don't sleep on Ted Ginn!"

"Jonathan Stewart needs a lot of touches."

"Third and long? I'd blitz."

"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 Panthers back in the Super Bowl!"

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

"How many kids will get handed footballs by players?"

"Did you know that this is in Santa Clara, not San Francisco?!"

"Remember back in October when people thought Manning was done?"

"Will we get to see Peyton go out on top?"

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

#19-WEARING WHITE IS THE KEY:  Since the Broncos are designated the home team, they get to pick their jerseys for the Super Bowl.  Bucking the trend, they are going with their white jerseys. That means the Panthers will go with their black jerseys. In fact, the team that has worn white uniforms has won the last ten of eleven Super Bowls (Patriots, Seahawks, Ravens, Giants, Saints, Steelers, Giants, Colts, Steelers, Patriots).  The Packers won Super Bowl XLV wearing green. The Patriots won last year's Super Bowl victory while wearing white.

White jerseys are 31-18 in Super Bowl games.

#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: Bring It On: All Or Nothing marathon

A&E: Hoarders marathon
Star Trek: Next Generation marathon
BET: House Of Payne marathon

BRAVO: Real Housewives Of Atlanta marathon
CMT: Steve Austin's Broken Skull marathon

COMEDY CENTRAL:  Pineapple Express marathon
E!: Keeping Up With The Kardashians marathon
ESPN: 30 for 30 marathon

FOX SPORTS 1: UFC marathon
FX: Turbo, Despicable Me 2
FXX:  Kick Ass 2
GSN: Family Feud marathon

HISTORY:  American Pickers marathon
HBO:  A Walk Among Tombstones
ID:  Dateline ID marathon
IFC: Saw marathon
MSNBC:  Locked Up Abroad marathon
MTV:  Ridiculousness marathon
NBC: Dateline NBC
OXYGEN:  Snapped! marathon
SPIKE:  Cops marathon

TBS:  New Girl marathon
TLC:  Skin Tight marathon
TNT: Supernatural marathon
TVLAND: Reba marathon

USA:  Law & Order SVU marathon

#17-WE ARE No. 1 ... DRAFT PICKS: This will be the very first Super Bowl where both quarterbacks were No. 1 overall draft picks.  Peyton Manning was drafted first overall in 1998; Cam Newton in 2011.  Only Terry Bradshaw, Jim Plunkett, John Elway, Troy Aikman, Manning and Eli Manning have been top overall picks that also won a Super Bowl as a starting QB.

Paul Hornung, Bubba Smith, Terry Bradshaw, Jim Plunkett, John Matuszak, Ed Jones, George Rogers, John Elway, Troy Aikman, Russell Maryland, Drew Bledsoe, Keyshawn Johnson, Orlando Pace, Peyton Manning, David Carr and Eli Manning have all been No. 1 picks who also won a Super Bowl.  However, Hornung, Bledsoe and Carr were just roster guys for their titles.  Bledsoe did start and lose a Super Bowl.

#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.

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 MVPS 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 27). 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-HOSTING THE SUPER BOWL MEANS NOT BEING THERE YOURSELF:  No team has ever played on their home field in the Super Bowl.  It has never happened.  Never.  Most fans know that.  But if you really look into it, it hasn't even been close.  First, some stats on this.

*Of the 50 Super Bowls, 43 of them were played in a stadium that was a home field for an NFL team.

*Since the Jets and Giants share MetLife Stadium, they were both hosts of Super Bowl XLVIII.

*Super Bowl VIII was played in Rice Stadium in Houston.  The Oilers used to play there but were currently playing at the Astrodome.

*Five Super Bowls were played at the Pasadena Rose Bowl and one was at Stanford Stadium.  Neither was home to an NFL franchise at the time. 

*The Los Angeles Rams did play in Super Bowl XIV which was in Pasadena.  The San Francisco 49ers played in Super Bowl XIX in Stanford.  Those are the closest examples of a team playing a "home Super Bowl".  Neither were their home fields but both were certainly in their geographic footprint.

*Not only has no team hosted a Super Bowl, of the 44 teams who could of ... only SIX EVEN MADE THE PLAYOFFS THAT YEAR!  Amazing.  Of those six, only two won a single playoff game and none of them even made the conference championship game.  Again, no team has even got close to playing a Super Bowl at home. 

#12-PASSING FANCY:  Of the twelve 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 and 50 passes against the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX.

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 3-42. 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, the New Orleans Saints in Super Bowl XLIV and the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX. 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 two Super Bowls the only ones where both teams faced a double digit deficit. Also, it is quite amazing that 43 of 49 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 second Super Bowl held on February 7th.

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, 50

#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 Clete Blakeman, who has never officiated a Super Bowl (though he was an alternate for Super Bowl XLVIII which the Broncos lost). Blakeman may be know to Carolina fans as the ref whose crew ruled for them in that controversial non-pass inference call in their Monday Night football game against the Patriots.

It is not yet known who will perform the National Anthem, while Coldplay will be the halftime performer.  

#7-EVERYONE GETS A TROPHY: The winner of this Super Bowl not only gets the Lombardi Trophy, but they will also get a huge gold 50 trophy.  The 50 trophy will be designed by Tiffany.  

#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 Panthers and Bronocs have met 4 previous times.  The Broncos hold a 3-1 advantage.  Denver won the last time these two met, in 2012, 36-14.

These two will meet next season in Denver.

#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, as the Clippers take on the Heat at 2pm ET (there is also the Nuggets-Knicks, Hawks-Magic and Kings-Celtics games on League Pass).

The NHL will have three games on, with the Flyers and Capitals being the NBC game at noon.  Carolina, oddly enough, faces Montreal while the Oilers and Islanders clash in Brooklyn.  

There are 12 NCAA basketball games scheduled.  The big games on tap are Iowa at Illinois (BTN), Miami at Georgia Tech (ESPNU) and Utah at Oregon (ESPN2)?  

#3-QUARTERBACKS: As I touched on before, Manning will start his fourth Super Bowl ... and a record starting twice for two different franchises.  A Denver loss would put Manning with Frank Tarkenton and John Elway as three-time losers of the Super Bowl.  Jim Kelly's four losses is the record.

Twenty quarterbacks 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, Manning 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:  Right now, the weather looks great for Super Bowl 50.  Should be in the high 60s with no precipitation.  .  

#1-SUPER BOWL PREDICTION:  I'm pretty bad at this.  I had Denver two years ago and Seattle last year.  Both losses.  So I hope Panther fans aren't mad at me.  I have Carolina in this one.  I think the Broncos defense will have more of an effect against Cam Newton than we may think ... but they haven't seen a guy like this.  Cam will get his.  What worries me is the Broncos aren't built to come from behind.  If you watch their recent performances, the Broncos settle into close games and pull them out (a record 11 wins by a TD or less).  But the Panthers have been jumping out to huge leads.  If Carolina does that, it could be one of those Super Bowls.  

Panthers win Super Bowl L, 34-20

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