Broncos vs Seahawks 6:30 PM (FOX) – For this one, they should bring back the Kingdome and Mile High Stadium.
Bring back Dave Krieg, Jim Zorn and Steve Largent. Bring John Elway out of the executive box and Tom Jackson out of the ESPN booth.
Bring back Chuck Knox and former Penn State great Curt Warner. And while you’re at it, bring back Karl Mecklenburg, the “Three Amigos”, and the “Barrel Man” (RIP Barrel Man). And for a goof, bring back Brian Bosworth…
While the Seattle Seahawks played in the NFC west in their inaugural season of 1976 (and reside there now), they were actually in the AFC West from 1977 till the start of the 2002 season, where they faced the Broncos twice on an annual basis as division foes.
Ironically, their first ever playoff appearance came at home against the Broncos in the 1983 AFC wildcard game when, leading by 10-7 at halftime, the Seahawks exploded for 21 unanswered points, leading to the franchise’s first playoff victory. Did I know that info. by researching the internet? No…I actually remember watching that game in my parents’ family room as a little tyke growing up in Northeast Philadelphia (while I frequently struggled just to get a C grade in elementary school due to lack of interest, I can recite where I was watching random NFL games from childhood with relative ease….go figure).
With all of the history then, this is, in essence, a “Back to the Future” sort of Superbowl. And while Peyton Manning would do an admirable job of playing “Biff” the bully, it would be his brother Eli, instead of Seattle QB Russell Wilson, that would be a better fit to play the role of “Marty McFly”.
While the main focus in the NFL usually centers on the quarterbacks, the conference championship games showed us that football is still a team sport, and losing one piece of the puzzle on your team can lead to devastating consequences.
In the AFC Championship game, New England seemed to keep Peyton Manning in check until Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib went out with a knee injury. After that, it was as if the border patrol went out to lunch and never returned, as Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas suddenly began to get open against a mismatched secondary, ending with seven receptions for 134 yards.
In the NFC title game, even with all the talk of Russell Wilson & Colin Kaepernick, it was Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman that made the defining play, followed by a defining rant that has gotten more played out than those annoying Progressive Insurance commercials with “Flo” (personally, I prefer “Jan” from the Toyota commercials).
So who wins this Sunday? Peyton Manning was lucky to play in 63-degree weather at home in the AFC Championship, but it will most likely be much colder than that come kickoff Sunday night. The Seahawks are used to playing in dreary weather in the Pacific Northwest so the conditions should suit them just fine.
The matchup pitting Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas against Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman will be the most intriguing one to watch. Unless the Broncos get lucky again by way of the opposing cornerback going out with an injury, think the Seahawks will take this one and win their first ever Superbowl.
Superbowl XLVIII will also be one of “firsts” – the first one where the price of admission gets you the sight of your own breath for three plus hours, plus a set of handwarmers and lip balm (as opposed to sunscreen given to attendees in Tampa a few years back). Considering the price of the ticket, hope that it’s at least Chapstick brand…
The Last Word: Superbowl XLVIII will be the first in 19 years featuring two teams that reside west of the Mississippi River, and the first in 14 years that will not have a participant from the Eastern Time Zone.