We interrupt DeflateGate to bring you... Super Bowl XLIX.
On Sunday, Feb. 1, an actual football game will be played. With teams that have identical 14-4 records. A game that Las Vegas has declared about as even a match up as we've had in years, with a one-point spread.
Recently, much has been spoken, written about, instagrammed, tweeted and posted chronicling the latest NFL scandal involving the size of the footballs New England used in the AFC Championship game.
However, this is the last football game of the 2014-2015 season.
Seattle returns to the ring for the second year in a row. Last February, they handily knocked off the Denver Broncos 43-8. Now they face the New England Patriots, winners of three Super Bowls, and one of a handful of teams to win back to back titles in 2003 and 2004.
If you are one of the estimated 184 million people expected to watch the contest, below is a cheat sheet of five fun facts you can use to score a touchdown in conversations with fellow viewers during the big game.
1. The "Catches"
Russell Wilson, the good looking Seattle Seahawks quarterback is newly single. He's 26, has major bling with his Super Bowl ring, and big endorsement deals with Bose and Mercedes. What's not to love?
Danny Amendola, a wide receiver of the Pats, is 27 and unmarried. Taking over for Wes Welker as Tom Brady's favorite target, he has also caught the attention of single women everywhere. (Ladies, don't let his father's $1 million lawsuit against the Dallas Cowboys stadium after a runaway golf cart injured him on the field deter you.)
2. Speaking Of Quarterbacks, Can You Name The Backups?
For the Pats, it's Jimmy Garoppolo, a 23-year-old signal caller from Eastern Illinois College, who's only playing time consisted of replacing Brady during the 4th quarter in the last game of the season and two other brief appearances earlier in the season.
For the Seahawks, it's Tarvaris Jackson, a 31-year-old QB from Alabama State, who was re-signed in the offseason despite having thrown only 13 passes since 2011.
3. Marshawn "I'm Just Here So I Won't Get Fined' Lynch
Marshawn Lynch, the talented, skittles-loving running back of the Seahawks, has been fined to the tune of $100,000 this year for not talking to the media. During the annual Super Bowl Media Day in Arizona, Progressive Insurance ran a commercial showing Lynch getting interviewed by Kenny Mayne, a reporter with ESPN. The spot was a spoof on his reluctance to engage with reporters. In it, he claims he is "all about the Flo", a reference to the Progressive spokeswoman. Lynch's terms for the endorsement were not disclosed, but perhaps he used the proceeds were to fund his hefty fines.
4. Revis Island vs. Sherman Nation
Darrelle Revis, the showy cornerback of the New England Patriots, is best known around the league for his self-proclaimed nickname: Revis Island. He has even gone as far to trademark the term.
Sunday he will be playing against one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL, Richard Sherman on the Seahawks -- who is just as outspoken about his prowess on defense. Sherman, three years younger than Revis at 26, has the benefit of less wear and tear from the grueling 16 game seasons.
5. The Coach Connection
Bill Belichick, head coach of the New England Patriots since 2000, was previously the head coach for the New York Jets (albeit for one day).
Pete Carroll, head of the Seattle Seahawks since 2010, was also the head coach of the New York Jets in 1994 and the Pats from 1997-1999. Carroll revealed this week he was asked for his opinion by Pats owner Robert Kraft when he was deciding whether to hire Belichick. The rest is, as they say, is history.
Additional bonus facts:
- Arizona is hosting its 3rd Super Bowl, the last one was in 2008
- Seattle has played in two Super Bowls, while New England has played in seven
- Last year 111.5 million people watched the contest
- The game will be broadcast in 34 languages
- There will be 120 footballs ready to go on Sunday. Let's hope they are all regulation size
Football fans are advised to soak in all the festivities on Sunday. As of Feb. 2, it will be another seven months until the next game, 221 days to be precise, but who is counting?