We here at Grantland know that you all are very reasonable people and are likely preparing your body for tomorrow’s onslaught of brewskis, chips, and wings. But between those scoops of seven-layer dip and swigs of craft beer, you’ll need some talking points to impress your buddies, and who are we but a vessel to carry you to Best NFL Fan glory?
Without further ado, we present you the 2014 Super Bowl Primer: Everything You Need to Know to Sound Like You Know Everything:
The Obvious Information
- The Denver Broncos are playing the Seattle Seahawks at the outdoor MetLife Stadium at the Meadowlands in New Jersey.
- This is Super Bowl XLVIII, a.k.a. Super Bowl 48.
- The halftime performers are Bruno Mars (“Locked Out of Heaven,” “Just the Way You Are,” “Treasure,” “The Lazy Song”) and the Red Hot Chili Peppers (“Under the Bridge,” “Breaking the Girl,” “Dani California”).
- There’s an incredibly low (read: nonexistent) chance it will snow or even rain, though temperatures might reach freezing in the second half.
- The kickoff is at 6:30 p.m. ET on Fox and will be streaming online here.
The 411 on the Quarterbacks
- The Broncos QB is Peyton Manning; the Seahawks QB is Russell Wilson.
- Peyton Manning is 37 years old and coming off multiple neck surgeries.
- Russell Wilson is 25 years old and was a third-round draft pick in 2012.
- Manning has been to two Super Bowls already; he’s 1-1 (winning with the 2006 Colts).
- Wilson has been to zero Super Bowls, though he took the Seahawks to the divisional round last year.
- Manning was selected as the most respected player in a confidential ESPN survey of over 320 NFL players.
- Wilson is growing out his hair in memory of his father (who died in 2010), with whom Wilson grew out his hair in high school to reach the state championship.
The Team-vs.-Team Details
- The Seahawks boast one of the best defensive units in the league while the Broncos have one of the best offenses.
- The Seahawks top the NFL in opponent passing yards while the Broncos are first in passing yardage.
- Both teams went 13-3 and have not played each other yet this season.
Fun News and Trivia
- Noted Skittles lover and Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch has reached a deal with the candy company, which will donate $10,000 to Lynch’s Fam 1st Family Foundation for every touchdown he scores. They’ve also come out with a “Seattle Mix” with only blue and green Skittles.
- Seven new companies joined Omaha’s “philanthropic ‘shout-out'” and will combine to donate $1,700 to Manning’s PeyBack Foundation each time he yells “Omaha.”
- Eli, a 13-year-old ape from Salt Lake City’s Hogle Zoo, chose Seattle to win tomorrow’s game. He has correctly picked the Super Bowl winner for the past six years.
- Buffett, a manatee at the Mote Marine Lab, has also picked correctly for the past six years, and he chose Denver. His half-brother Hugh (who has been right four out of the last six years) picked Seattle.
Some Real Prop Bets at Bovada Sportsbook
- Will Renee Fleming wear gloves when she starts singing the national anthem? (Yes/No)
- Will Knowshon Moreno cry during the singing of the national anthem? (Yes/No)
- How many times will “12th man” be said during the game? (2 – Over/Under)
- Will any member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers be shirtless during their performance? (Yes/No)
- What color will the Gatorade (or liquid) be that is dumped on the head coach of the winning team? (Orange, clear/water, yellow, red, blue, green)
Denver Injury Report
- Doubtful (did not practice Friday) — DT Sione Fua (calf)
- Probable — CB Tony Carter (shoulder), TE Joel Dreessen (knee), DT Terrance Knighton (knee), G Chris Kuper (ankle), QB Peyton Manning (ankle), RB Knowshon Moreno (ribs), K Matt Prater (illness), DT Mitch Unrein (knee), CB Kayvon Webster (thumb)
- Full Participation (Friday) — TE Joel Dreessen (knee), DT Terrance Knighton (knee), DT Chris Kuper (ankle), QB Peyton Manning (ankle), RB Knowshon Moreno (ribs), K Matt Prater (illness), DT Mitch Unrein (knee), CB Kayvon Webster (thumb)
Seattle Injury Report
- Probable — WR Doug Baldwin (hip), WR Percy Harvin (concussion), RB Marshawn Lynch (not injury related), DT Brandon Mebane (ankle)
- Full Participation (Friday) — WR Doug Baldwin (hip), WR Percy Harvin (concussion), RB Marshawn Lynch (not injury related), DT Brandon Mebane (ankle)
Grantland’s Super Bowl Preview Coverage
- Bill Simmon’s Super Mailbag
- Bill Barnwell’s Official Super Bowl Preview
- Chris B. Brown on Peyton Manning and the Denver offense
- Bill Barnwell on the rise, fall, and rise of Marshawn Lynch
- Grantland NFL Podcast (Bill Barnwell & Robert Mays): Part 1 | Part 2
- B.S. Report with Cousin Sal: Super Bowl Line | Super Bowl Prop Bets
- B.S. Report: Joe House | Colin Kaepernick
- Kirk Goldsberry on Peyton Manning vs. the Seahawks Pass Defense
- Robert Mays on what individual players have to gain and lose
- Robert Mays with a history of offense vs. defense Super Bowls
- Cousin Sal with Super Bowl Prop Bets
- For more Grantland coverage, click here