The vortex is coming! The vortex is coming! Ice, wind, snow and possibly rain are forecast for Sunday. Also blowing into the Big Apple? The Big Game -- Super Bowl 48.
The Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos will mix it up at MetLife Stadium with a little halftime entertainment thrown in with Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. It is the first time the contest will be played in a cold weather city -- spurring an entire website devoted to watching the weather every second until the first snap.
If you are one of the millions that will in tune in for the commercials, but not the football itself, below is a cheat sheet of fun facts you can use to score a touchdown in conversations with fellow viewers during the big game.
Five Things to Watch on Sunday
1. The Cheerleaders
The Seahawks have the Sea Girls; the Broncos have their own pep squad. Fun fact: The only NFL teams without cheerleaders are the Bears, Browns, Lions, Packers, Steelers and the host team -- the N.Y. Giants. It's interesting to note that Joe Buck, the announcer for the game on FOX, is engaged to a former Broncos cheerleader.
The most important question is what will the women be wearing on the sidelines on Sunday? Cute parkas? Designer snow boots? Co-branded Juicy Couture/NFL tracksuits?
2. The Coaches: Pete Carroll vs. John Fox
A long, long time ago, before Russell Wilson was even born, Seahawks Coach Carroll ('78) and Broncos coach Fox ('84) both were defensive coaches for the powerhouse Iowa State Cyclones football team. Proving that it doesn't matter where you start, it's where you end up.
3. The QBs: Peyton Manning vs. Russell Wilson
Which signal caller has more endorsements?
Pitchman Peyton. He's been in the league longer (16 years vs. two) and has won the Most Valuable Player award a record four times. Peyton can be seen in commercials for everything from Papa John's Pizza (he owns nearly two dozen shops in Denver) to Buick, DirecTV, Oreos, MasterCard and Gatorade. Last year, he made $12 million alone from endorsements. Plus, we all know who the funnier Manning on SNL was...
Russell Wilson, picked 75th in the 2012 NFL Draft (considerably late for a top QB), has signed deals with American Family Insurance, Alaska Airlines, Levi's and Nike. He's quickly moving up the ranks, but has far to go to reach Peyton money.
4. The Top Defense Vs. the Top Offense
If you don't follow football, watching the top-ranked offense in the league (Denver) playing against the toughest defense in the NFL (Seahawks), most likely won't capture your interest.
Worth watching is what outspoken Seattle defensive player Richard Sherman has to say before, during and after the game to any of the Denver wide receivers. All TV networks and social media channels will be tracking his every move closely. Perhaps there will even be an app created by game day -- "Shermania." You can take bets on when he will say something inappropriate and win prizes!
5. Eligible Bachelors
Good-looking Denver wide receiver Eric Decker appears to be taken, per his reality show on E! But there are plenty of other single men playing in uniforms this weekend that are worth keeping an eye on. Sensitive Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno is returning to home to New Jersey for his first Super Bowl appearance. Seahawks tight end Luke Willson, a 6'5" rookie from Canada, will heat up the field on Sunday.
Other Fast Fun Facts:
1. Denver has played in six Super Bowls; Seattle, one
2. Russell Wilson is name-checked in Eminem's latest hit song Monster: "It's payback, Russell Wilson falling way back in the draft. Turn nothing into something, still can make that, straw into gold chump." Which begs the question: Is Marshall Mathers a Seahawks fan?
3. At age 14, Wilson had a dream where Jesus came to him; today he is a devout Christian
4. Every year, EA Sports runs their Madden football video game to simulate the Super Bowl teams playing -- this year, the outcome had Denver winning in overtime. This simulation has predicted the last eight out of 10 winners
5. Each team has its own mascot. Blitz for the Seahawks and Miles for the Broncos (after their stadium Mile High).
The prize awarded to the winner of the Super Bowl, the Vince Lombardi Trophy, is made by Tiffany's. It has its own Brinks truck and armed guard to take it to Met Life Stadium in New Jersey.
Whether you watch the game for the actual football, the halftime performances or just the commercials, there promises to be something for everyone to discuss at the water cooler on Monday. And for those who will have pigskin withdrawal after the game ends, remember training camp starts in July -- only five short months away.
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