Every year people who don’t give two shits about the the NFL get together with friends and family to watch the Super Bowl. They don’t care about the game. Maybe they find wit in some of the commercials. Perhaps they enjoy eating unhealthy food and drinking beer for a few hours on a Sunday. Maybe it’s just a nice excuse to spend some time with their people. Either way, they go into the actual game blind.
That’s unfortunate though, because what makes sports great is the narrative. It would be a shame if these non-fans walked in with no idea of the various sub-plots surrounding Super Bowl XLVIII.
They probably know the big game is between the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos. They also have heard that it’s being played in New York this year…in cold weather for the first time, like ever. But here are a couple stories that they can lean on at this year’s Super Bowl party. These high level stories may give them some conversation starters or even a team to root for if they’re absolutely neutral.
Theses are just a few of the sub-plots. Very high level stories that all NFL fans will know. And NFL fans will have others. But this post isn’t for you, the NFL fan. It’s a quick cheat sheet for your friends who have been oblivious to football for the past 19 weeks. It’s so you don’t have to waste your time getting them up to speed during the entire first quarter.
Share this post with your friends who know nothing about football but will be watching the Super Bowl with you on Sunday.
The Legacy of Peyton Manning
The “best-quarterback-ever-to-play” conversation has lately been going back and forth between Tom Brady (the Patriots quarterback) and Peyton Manning (the starting QB for the Denver Broncos). Peyton also has a brother Eli who is the quarterback for the New York Giants. Everyone who knows anything about football knows that Peyton is SO much better than Eli, yet Eli has won two Super Bowls and Peyton has only won one – when he was with the Indianapolis Colts. Therefore, Peyton really needs to win another Super Bowl to kind of shake off all the haters and perhaps solidify that best-to-ever-do-it tag.
Win One for the Champ
Champ Bailey has been playing in the NFL for 15 years and for many of those years he’s been the best cornerback in the game. He’s been selected to the NFL All-Pro team 12 times (more than anyone else at his position) and ultimately he’s considered one of the best pass defenders in the history of the sport. And with all that, dude has never ever played in Super Bowl. With a guy like that – one who has generally done everything right on the field and played the game the right way, it’s nice to see him get a chance late in his career to enjoy all that comes with playing in the big game. And of course, a win would be a nice way to go out.
Team Richard Sherman
Speaking of cornerbacks…this guy took the world by storm and damn near broke the Internet after the NFC Championship game. He’s the kid that was raised in Compton, graduated from Stanford with a 3.9 GPA and polarized folks across the country for the way he responded to helping his team win the game. So right there is a narrative that will drive a lot of fandom either way. Lots of neutral folks are either Team Sherman or Team Hater.
The Path of Demaryius Thomas
26 year old Demaryius Thomas is one of Peyton Manning’s favorite receivers. He’s had a great young career, being named to the All-Pro team and recording 92 catches for 1,430 yards and 14 touchdowns for the NFL’s best offense. Demaryius attended Georgia Tech, but it’s his path to success that makes his story so compelling. When Demaryius was 11 years old, growing up in Montrose, Georgia, the house that he lived in with his mother and grandmother was raided by police. His mother got 20 years and his grandmother got life in prison for pushing cocaine. This guy’s mother and grandma watch all his games in prison wearing their orange Denver Broncos shirts. He goes to visit them regularly and gets inspired on the field knowing they’re watching him from the clink.
The Curse of the Supersonics
To be honest, no one’s really feeling sorry for Seattle. They’re home to some of the world’s best companies. The city is beautiful and everyone seems to walk around that place like it’s not cold and overcast all the time. But it was kinda messed up how they lost their hoops team and the 12th Man (the nickname for city’s home football crowd) shows how hard Seattleites ride for their teams. So winning a Super Bowl would be a nice look for them. Some solace as they work to bring an NBA team back.
Not to much to say here. Dude just seems like a pretty good guy. Might be someone to root for.
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