Super Bowl XLIX prep

Lindsay Lillig

Die-hard football fans begin anticipating the Super Bowl within hours after the previous Super Bowl has ended. However, if you are indifferent or oblivious toward football yet find yourself being dragged to a game-day party, perhaps a bit of agony and inappropriate reactions can be spared by reading this article.

First, start with the basics:

The 49th annual NFL Super Bowl will take place at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 1 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., and will be broadcast on NBC. AFC champion the New England Patriots will play against its NFC counterpart the Seattle Seahawks.

Second, know which team to pay attention to:

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New England Patriots (AFC East, Foxborough, Mass.)

Most popular names to know:

Coach: Bill Belichick

Offense

Quarterback: Tom Brady (12)

Running back: LaGarrette Blount (29)

Wide Receiver: Julian Edelman (11)

Tight End: Rob Gronkowski (87)

Defense

Left Defensive End: Rob Ninkovich (50)

Defensive Tackle: Vince Wilfork (75)

Linebacker: Jamie Collins (91)

Linebacker: Dont’a Hightower (54)

Special Teams

Kicker: Stephen Gostowski (3)

Punter: Ryan Allen (6)

Kick returner: Danny Amendola (80)

Important season stats:

The Patriots were 2-2 (two wins, two losses) at the start of the regular season, and things were looking rough. However, the team went 10-2 to finish with a score of 12-4 overall and an average of 29.2 points a game, which is fourth best in the league. The only teams to beat the Patriots were the Miami Dolphins (20-33), the Kansas City Chiefs (14-41), the Green Bay Packers (21-26) and the Buffalo Bills (9-17).

Super Bowl Background:

The Patriots played in Super Bowl XX, XXXI, XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX, XLII and XLVI. The team won Super Bowls XXXVI, XXXVIII and XXXIX. New England will join the Dallas Cowboys and the Pittsburg Steelers as the only teams in NFL history to play in eight Super Bowls. Lastly, Tom Brady is the first Quarterback in NFL history to start in six Super Bowls.

Fun fact: As of 2013, the Belichick and Brady duo is the winningest Coach-QB tandem in NFL history.

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Seattle Seahawks (NFC West, Seattle, Wash.)

Most popular names to know:

Coach: Pete Carroll

Offense

Quarterback: Russell Wilson (3)

Running back: Marshawn Lynch (24)

Wide Receiver: Doug Baldwin (89)

Tight End: Luke Wilson (82)

Defense

Strong Safety: Kam Chancellor (31)

Free Safety: Earl Thomas (29)

Middle Linebacker: Bobby Wagner (54)

Right Outside Linebacker: K.J. Wright (50)

Important Season stats:

Nearing the end of regular season, the Seahawks were sitting at 6-4 and looked like a Wild Card playoff team at best. However, the team excelled throughout the rest of the season going 6-0, finishing with a score of 12-4 overall and an average of 24.6 points a game, which is tenth best in the league. The only teams to beat the Seahawks were the San Diego Chargers (21-30), the Dallas Cowboys (23-30), the St. Louis Rams (26-28) and the Kansas City Chiefs (20-24).

Super Bowl background:

The Seahawks played in Super Bowl XL and XLVIII. The team won Super Bowl XLVIII last year 43-8 against the Denver Broncos. XLIX will be Quarterback Russell Wilson’s second Super Bowl in a row — this is only his third year in the NFL.

Fun Fact: Pete Carroll coached the Patriots for three years from 1997-99.

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Lastly, if you feel as though you’ve mastered the basic lingo, try your hand at some team-related banter.

Optional points of gossip:

  1. The Seahawks went into postseason with a six-game winning streak. The last team to win the Super Bowl with a streak of five games or more was the Patriots in 2003 — the Pats held a 12-game streak.
  2. Bill Belichick is the third in NFL history to coach opposite his predecessor in a Super Bowl (Pete Carroll).
  3. This is the first game between Seattle and New England since Week 6 of the 2012 season. After the Seahawks won this game, Seattle’s cornerback Richard Sherman tweeted a picture of himself and a somewhat distraught Tom Brady with the caption, “U Mad Bro?”
  4. The Patriots are currently facing allegations that Brady played with under-inflated footballs in the team’s last game against the Indianapolis Colts. The investigation is being referred to as “Deflate-gate.”
  5. In 2003, Belichick was fined $500K for allegedly authorizing his staff to film the New York Jets’ defensive signals, the largest fine ever imposed on a coach in league history. This fact is used as a crutch for all fans who dislike the Patriots.