Super Bowl Sunday is one of those special occasions that feels like a true holiday. For a sports fan, it's one of the biggest, most spectacular events of the year. It's got the history, the pageantry, and the intensity of no other sporting event. It's the pinnacle of the football season, the true essence of the country's love affair with the sport. If football is a modern day Colisseum, this is the final battle between the gladiators. It's the one time per year you really can't miss.
This year's game is going to be stock full of storylines. Seattle is trying to become the first repeat champion since the New England Patriots 10 years ago, and the road to doing so goes right through the Patriots. The Pats, meanwhile, are pissed off, looking for that elusive fourth ring during the Belichick/Brady era. The term dynasty gets thrown around way too much, but a win for either team ensconces them either as the continuation of the greatest team of the last 15 years or the team that supplanted them.
There are so many in this game; I really just hope I don't forget any. On one hand is Seattle, a team that started the year as a team unlikely to get back to this point. The Seahawks struggled through the early parts of the season, turned it around, and rallied to win the NFC West after injuries ravaged the Arizona Cardinals. On the field, Russell Wilson is appearing more and more like the next generation's quarterback, and Marshawn Lynch is one of the best rushers in the game (albeit also one of the most enigmatic). The Legion of Boom is back, meaning one of the most physical and feared defenses in the game will look to lay claim to its second consecutive Lombardi Trophy.
On the sidelines is Pete Carroll, the "pumped and jacked" coach who flunked out of horrible situations with the Jets and Patriots then ran from USC when the NCAA came sniffing around. He's the toast of the NFL, and Cheerleader Pete is a new brand of coach unlike the disciplinarians of Bill Cowher, Bill Belichick, Bill Parcells, and Tom Coughlin.
One last point and kind of a serious question: how is it that nobody makes a mention of the Seahawks' issues with Adderall?
New England Storylines
Unlike past years, this year's been one of discontent in New England. Ravaged by injuries to its linebacking corps, the Patriot defense reinvented itself thanks to a stingy defensive line, the emergence of Donta Hightower and Jamie Collins, and a secondary rebuilt for this moment. By bringing in Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner, the Patriots essentially built their secondary to stop Denver like Seattle did last year. Now they'll get their chance to become immortal.
On offense, it's been a season of turmoil, then resurgence. That loss to Kansas City was the essential turning point, the moment when the Patriots got fired up and destroyed teams. After dealing with talk that Bill Belichick lost his way, that Tom Brady was washed up and should be traded, that Jimmy Garoppolo should be playing, that Rob Gronkowski wasn't coming back the right way from injury, that Brandon "Jojo" Lafell was a stiff, that Danny Amendola was a walking M*A*S*H unit, that the offensive line was terrible—all that talk is gone.
There's still concern about the Patriots' ability against Seattle, but at the same time, they have the mad genius walking the sidelines. Bill reclaimed his genius mantle by befuddling the Baltimore Ravens to the point where everyone said they had to be cheating, then survived a week-plus long media storm after they were accused of deflating footballs. That story's increasingly turning into a hoax (except to Patriot haters, which number in the plenty), but it's still there. There's no bigger giant "F you" middle finger than to win the Super Bowl. This is a huge game for the "legacy," if you buy into that stuff.
Steve Addazio's Pregame Analysis*
Alright men, here we are. The biggest game of the year. The Super Bowl. It stands alone. It's the moment you've worked your whole life for, the moment you've sacrificed for, the moment your family's sacrificed for.
In order to grab that moment, men, you need to look at your teammate next to you. You need to fight for one another, and you need to do exactly what you've practiced. When you step out on that field, after you've run through the smoke, after you've run out of that tunnel, it's still a football game, okay? It's still a football game. It's still 60 minutes of pressure, of hitting, of tough, rugged physical football.
Here in this locker room, we've stressed all year long what it takes to get here. The long hours in the weight room. The long hours watching film. You know what you have to do. You know what your teammates are doing. You know that they're going to be out there, doing everything they can for you, and all we ask, men, is that you give us everything that you can. Do that together, do it as a family, as one. If you do that, you'll leave it all on the field and be a champion in your heart.
These are the moments you live for, gentlemen. Embrace the moment, enjoy it, and go out there today and become champions.
*Steve Addazio didn't actually say any of this.
What To Drink As You Watch The Big Game
AJ always fashions himself a beer aficionado, but for a big game, you'll want to kick it up a notch. Even though he would come in here with a beer selection, I'm going to need something a little bit stronger.
So make mine a Tito's. Tito's Vodka is probably one of the best vodkas I've ever head. It's made out of yellow corn instead of the usual wheat, meaning it leaves a sweeter aftertaste. It's not as expensive as the other vodkas out there, and it mixes extraordinarily well with pretty much anything.
If you aren't a hard alcohol drinker, though, then just stick with your staple beers for this one. I find the Budweiser commercials always make it incredibly dusty for me when watching the Super Bowl (or anything else for that matter). That last commercial always rips my guts out because a dog pretty much can make me do whatever the hell he wants.
GOOD GAWD ALMIGHTY THAT'S BALDWIN JR'S MUSIC!
CAW CAW! I IZ HEAR WAITING ON DA BIG GAYM! I KNOWS YOUSE ARE ALL VEWWY EXCITEABLE TO WATCH THE SEATTLE SMEAHAWKERS AND THE NEW ENGLANDERS AMERICANS! WOWWY THE SUPERS BOWL IZ GONNA BE SO MUCH FUNS THAT I AM INVITING MY OLD FRIENDY FRIEND MR. FRANK SPAZAMIANI TO WATCH IT!
ANYWAYZ IT'S BAWDWIN JUNYOR HERE TO TELLS MY OTHER FRIENDYS JUST WHO WILL WINS DA BIG GAYM. I REALLY MISS THE BEECEE FOOTSBALL TEAM, BUT I KNOWS THAT COACH ADDAZIO AND BROWN ARE STILL IN THEIR WORLD STUDYING REALLY REALLY HARDSIES. ITS REALLY TOO BAD THAT THEY FIRED THAT RYAN NIGHTTIME MAN BECUZ HE WANTED TO THROW THE FOOTSBALL.
I KNOWS DAT BEECEE HAS A TACKLERMAJINGY ON SEATTLE, BUT HE IS OUCH WITH A BOOBOO HURTY. AND DA NEW ENGLANDERS ARE BAD MEN FOR PUTTING PINS IN THEIR BALLSIES. I'M JUST GLADS NOBODY EVER TRIED PUTTING A PIN IN BAWDWIN JUNYOR!
ANYWAYS, I CAN'T WAIT TO WATCH TOMMY BRADY AND BILLY BELL A CHECK TRY TO WINS DA SUPER BAWLS. THEY HAVE BEENS AROUND SINCE BEFORE BAWDWIN DADDY AND BAWDWIN MOMMY MADE BAWDWIN JUNYOR!
I ALSO CAN'T WAIT TO WATCH PETEY CAROLE SINCE HE IS ALWAYS YELLING AND CHEERZING! I AMS SO PUMPED AND JACKED!
ENJOYS THE GAYM, BEECEE FANS! CAW CAW
Gametime Song of the Week: DJ Khaled Feat. Nas & John Legend "Victory"
If this isn't your thing, I've picked out a nice selection from Antonin Dvorak.
Two teams, putting it all on the line, regardless of the cost, they want to claim victory. All for that Lombardi Trophy.
BCI Staff Predictions and GPS
Brian - Out in California, the New York Giants fan in him is still laughing about the fact that the Patriots are playing a Super Bowl in Arizona. Seattle 35, New England 31.
Jeff - By picking against New England, Jeff wants you to know he also hates puppies, babies, ice cream, apple pie, and pizza. Seattle 24, New England 17.
AJ - Using his tailgate setup from BC season, he's actually going to throw a helluva Super Bowl Party for the rest of his family. Odds are he might be already drunk and reading A Gronking To Remember. "Deflaters 27, Drug Addled Secondary 17" I think that means Pats over Seahawks.
Grant - Our resident football pick 'em champion, Grant's going to win a square or two and take another trip to Disney. This time, though, no wife. PS - I have no idea how he won the football pick 'em either. New England 31, Seattle 10.
Joe - Working hard to make sure his balls are never deflated. Seattle 13.0 PSI, New England 11.5 PSI.
Dan AKA New Guy - Can someone promise to have wellness checks done every hour on Dan? He's been locked in his room watching coverage for the past two weeks and is more pumped up than Lattimer in The Program. New England 31, Seattle 25.
CoachJF - Coach will be hunkered down in the Coach Bunker, which from what we understand is located directly under Belichick's offense. And you wondered where Bill got his genius from. New England 27, Seattle 14.
Kwani Lunis - Turns out Kwani is a Giants fan. We knew she was too good to be true. The rest of BCI is also petitioning to call the women's basketball team the "Legion of 'Lun'" after Kwani if Seattle manages to win this one. Seattle 35, New England 34. "Missed extra point for the Pats" (WHY DID YOU HAVE TO GO THERE KWANI?!?!)
Watching the Super Bowl on Sunday? Got any thoughts on the football game or on any tailgate plans? Got any super secret recipes for drink and food? Share them with your thoughts and predictions below!