As one of the pinnacle events in the sports world, we have compiled a list of six things we think you should know about Super Bowl XLVIII. The game airs Sunday on Fox at 6:30P.M.
1. Best defense vs. Best offense
The Denver Broncos go into Sunday’s game with a top-ranked offense led by quarterback Peyton Manning. Manning has had a record-setting year for the Broncos. His 55 touchdown passes this season are the most in NFL history, and he set a league record with 5,477 passing yards. As a team, the Broncos offense scored 606 points this season. Meanwhile, the Seahawks defense has been a force to be reckoned with all season long. Led by the outspoken Richard Sherman, one of the top corners in the league, the Seahawks’ defense have forced 28 interceptions (eight of those credited to Sherman), committed 44 sacks, and allowed opponents to score just 231 points. Despite this historic matchup, experts predict the outcome of the game will be determined on the other side of the game: the Broncos defense against the Seahawks offense. Either way, this game is bound to be a classic.
For the first time in Super Bowl history, the game will be played in Met Life Stadium, just outside of New York City. Since the site announcement, speculation of bad weather has been a featured storyline. For days leading up to the event, hundreds of workers have been removing snow and ice from the stadium. The coldest Super Bowl on record was back in 1972 in New Orleans when the temperature was a mild 39 degrees. Meteorologists are predicting this year’s game day temperature to be 37 degrees with a 20 percent chance of precipitation. New York has been blasted with frigid temperatures this winter due to the Polar Vortex, so a high of 37 may feel toasty to locals.
Every year there’s a big fuss about the companies that will pay millions of dollars to run a 30-second commercial during the Super Bowl. And every year, lists of the best and the worst are compiled and scattered across the Internet Monday morning. This year, there are commercials teasing out commercials that will air during the big game. The adorable Budweiser ad with the puppy and the clydesdale has already gone viral a week before it officially airs on TV. Scarlett Johansson has been under criticism for a racy, un-rated ad for SodaStream which prompted her to resign from her position as global ambassador of Oxford International, a company that fights poverty.
4. Peyton Manning’s Legacy
It may be hard to believe, but Peyton Manning has been in the league since 1998. During his illustrious career, he has carefully danced around the conversation of being named the “Greatest Quarterback of all Time.” As he approaches the outcome of his third Super Bowl appearance and looks for his second Super Bowl ring, the conversation has intensified. Can Peyton Manning really be the greatest of all time if he only has one ring? Manning will turn 38 in March, and although he has just completed his best regular season of his career, the clock is ticking as retirement looms. Will this be Manning’s last chance for another ring?
5. Super Bowl Alternatives
We aren’t all sports fans, so perhaps Sunday evening will be spent watching something other than the Super Bowl. If so, you have some options. Every year, Animal Planet airs the ultimate spectacle of cuteness in the Puppy Bowl. Puppy Bowl X airs during the Super Bowl Sunday evening. This year, the NFL got in on the action and put together a Puppy Bowl Fantasy League! Downton Abbey is brand new on PBS at 9pm on Sunday evening, and AMC will be playing a marathon of The Walking Dead all day Sunday in anticipation for the mid-season premiere the following week. NBCSports will be airing the Olympic Speed Skating trials, and there is an array of movies on other cable networks for non-sports fans.
6. The Halftime Show
Since Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction ten years ago, the halftime show at the Super Bowl demands almost as much attention as the game itself. This year, pop star Bruno Mars will perform on the big stage joined by rock band The Red Hot Chili Peppers. Expect an electric, creative, and upbeat performance from the vocalist.