GLENDALE, Ariz. — Let the hype begin!
After four months of exciting gridiron action, America (and the world) has its Super Bowl combatants.
The Seattle Seahawks will face off against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX on February 1 in Glendale, Arizona.
Whether you’re a hardcore NFL fan or just a wannabe watching the game for the halftime show and commercials, here are 5 things you need to know for the Super Bowl:
No. 1 vs. No. 1
This will only be the 11th time that the No. 1 team from the NFC will play the No. 1 team from AFC. And this matchup of No. 1 seeds is happening for the second year in a row. Usually one of the top teams stubs its toe in the playoffs on the way to Super Bowl glory.
Let’s do it again
Winning the big prize twice is just plain hard to do. Just ask Barack Obama. But if the Seahawks succeed in winning another championship in two weeks, they will be the first repeat NFL champs in a decade. No team has done that since … the New England Patriots in 2005.
Making history, together
Speaking of the Pats, the Bill Belichick-Tom Brady era in New England has been nothing short of phenomenal. The coach-QB combo has produced three Super Bowl wins, 12 division championships and a record of 180-55 together. But there’s more history to be made. Belichick — now the winningest coach in NFL postseason history with 21 wins — will become only the second coach to appear in six Super Bowls, while Brady will become the only quarterback to play in six Super Bowls.
After this year’s title tilt, the NFL will break with tradition (for one year) and ditch using Roman numerals in the Super Bowl name. The 2016 version of the championship game — the 50th, to be played in the San Francisco 49ers’ Levi’s Stadium — will simply be known as Super Bowl 50. The Roman numerals are set to return in 2017 for Super Bowl LI.
Music, music, music
Some folks (OK, lots of folks), don’t care about the game at all. They’ll be watching to see who’s performing at halftime. After many years of halftime shows featuring a musical mashup of singers and groups (up until the Justin Timberlake-Janet Jackson fiasco), the NFL seems to have found a winner with shows focused on a single artist. Think of the great Super Bowl halftime shows put on by Prince, Bruce Springsteen and Beyonce. And Bruno Mars simply set the stage on fire last year. This year get ready to “roar” with Katy Perry, and she’s bringing in Lenny Kravitz for backup. Idina Menzel (best known to little girls everywhere as Queen Elsa) will sing the national anthem.
Oh, and for those keeping up with such things (for entertainment purposes only, of course), the early Las Vegas line on the Super Bowl has Seattle as a slight favorite over New England. But that’s subject to change during the next two weeks of unyielding buildup to the game.