Timeout! Jan.29 Edition
The Super Bowl is upon us once again. Time for the annual tradition of food, friends, and football. The final game of the biggest professional sport in the country will be played on Sunday and just about everyone who watches television will be watching this game.
Owner of the NFL’s top-rated offense, the Denver Broncos, will go against the top-rated defense of the Seattle Seahawks in a matchup of the two top seeds in the playoffs.
From the expensive commercials (around $4 million a pop this year), to the extravagant halftime shows (Bruno Mars), or just the holiday-like reverence that the day has become, there are many reasons that people will be watching.
The fact that the game is being played in cold weather this year, a drastic change from the normally warm-weather event, only adds more intrigue.
Something that has added another layer of drama to the game is the casting of the roles of hero and villain in the form of Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning and Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman.
Manning is the hero in this scenario. The longtime Indianapolis quarterback was cut by the Colts after four neck surgeries in favor of drafting young Andrew Luck. Though that has worked out pretty well for the Colts so far, there is still a lot of love for Manning in Indianapolis, as evidenced by the huge ratings in Denver for the AFC Championship game. The fans gave Manning a standing ovation before a regular season game in Indianapolis. His emotional response to it showed the mutual love that they still share. The business of football is the only reason that Manning is no longer a Colt and the fact that he was released makes his a story of redemption. A man with a chance to overcome his physical ailments and more importantly doubters who said that he was done -the perfect setup for a hero.
On the other side will be Richard “Don’t ever talk about me” Sherman. The boisterous defensive player put himself in the spotlight with his reaction to his team’s win in the AFC Championship game. After making a game-sealing defensive play, Sherman took a short postgame interview to levels of infamy when he ranted about himself and the abilities of the opposing player. For the casual football fan, this was the first look at the player and it was an effective audition for the role of villain for the Super Bowl. Diehard NFL and Seahawks fans already knew about Sherman: he was only being himself, but now the die has been cast and he is “bad guy” to Manning’s “good guy” persona.
While I found Sherman’s postgame comments to be hilarious and inappropriate, a lot of people were downright offended by them. If you put a microphone in an adrenaline-filled athlete face only seconds after making a big play, you never know what you may get. For all the complaints about it, the media couldn’t help but love the attention that he brought to his team. Giving the Seahawks a face to cheer for or more likely cheer against. All of that is just more fuel to the fire for the Super Bowl, already the biggest game of the year.
The matchup between the two quarterbacks has been placed on the backburner, but the game will feature the largest age difference between starting quarterbacks in a Super Bowl. Seattle’s Russell Wilson will be 25 and Denver’s Manning will be 37, a difference of more than 12 years. A win in this Super Bowl would help secure Manning’s legacy as one of the greatest players of all time, while Wilson is just beginning a promising career.
So, it will be defense versus offense, youth versus experience, hero versus villain, and maybe a little Seahawks versus Broncos. It should be a great game as long as Mother Nature doesn’t step in, because she is undefeated.