The Super Bowl is just days away and while it’s a day most NFL fans can’t wait for, many viewers know very little about the big game. For those who need to know the basics for Sunday’s mega-matchup, here’s the answers to 12 key questions that will help you get up to speed.
Which teams are in the Super Bowl?
The New England Patriots meet the Seattle Seahawks this year. The Patriots are seeking their fourth Super Bowl title, while Seattle’s hoping to be the first team to repeat as champion since New England did it back in 2004.
When does the game start?
The game takes place Sunday night, and kicks off at 6:30 p.m. EST. The pregame coverage begins at 12 p.m. EST.
What channel is the game on?
The major broadcast networks take turns airing the game, this year NBC will provide all pre-game and game coverage.
Where are they playing?
Unlike last year, the NFL returns the Super Bowl to a warm weather city: Glendale, Arizona. The game will take place at University of Phoenix Stadium. The stadium has a capacity of 63,400, but it is expandable to over 78,000.
Is this going to be a boring blowout like last year?
Not according to Las Vegas bookmakers. Seattle destroyed the Denver Broncos 43-8 in last year’s game, making for one of the more anticlimactic championships in years. This year the Patriots are favored by only two points, and many believed the game will be close throughout.
If the game is tied, what happens?
If the game is tied after four quarters we will head to overtime. Both sides have 15 more minutes to score. The NFL changed the overtime rules a couple of years ago, and now simply kicking a field goal won’t win the game. If one team scores a field goal, the other team will get the ball one more time to try and score. However, if a touchdown is scored on the first possession, the game is over.
Who’s performing at halftime?
Pop star and multi-platinum artist Katy Perry will perform at halftime. The 30-year-old takes one of the biggest stages in the world with eight No. 1 hits under her belt, and was ranked No. 9 on Forbes’ 100 Most Powerful Celebrities list last year.
Who is Marshawn Lynch and what is a “Beast Mode?”
Lynch is the Seahawks top running back and his nickname is “Beast Mode” because of how strong and powerful he plays. He rushed for 1,306 yards and 13 touchdowns during the regular season, and also led Seattle with four receiving touchdowns. Lynch is play could change the game, as he’s rushed for more than 100 yards five times in nine playoff games.
Why do so many people dislike the Patriots?
New England’s been one of the best and winningest teams in the league for the last 15 years under head coach Bill Belichick. Often, many fans around the country can’t stand when a team stays so good for so long, but there’s another reason. Some have called the Patriots cheaters because of “Spygate,” which was a major scandal around the NFL in 2007. New England illegally video recorded the New York Jets’ defensive signals, and Belichick was fined $500,000 by the league and team had to give up draft picks as well.
Another controversy has consumed the Patriots this season, and it’s another reason why many around the country simply don’t like the team. Deflategate erupted after New England beat the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship game two weeks ago. Essentially, the Patriots are accused of intentionally deflating game balls to gain an advantage over the Colts. The NFL is still investigating the matter, and recent reports indicate the league is looking into a Patriots locker room attendant who took footballs into a bathroom for 90 seconds before the start of the second half against Indy.
Who’s Russell Wilson and why did he cry a couple weeks ago?
Wilson is the Seahawks quarterback, and could join a very rare club if he wins Sunday. Wilson could be just the 12th quarterback in NFL history win two Super Bowls, and he’s in just the third year of his career. Wilson received a little flak and mockery on Twitter for crying after the Seahawks erased a 16-point deficit to beat the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship to reach the Super Bowl. To be fair, Wilson was overcome by emotion and almost lost the game for Seattle by throwing four interceptions before leading the team back. Wilson is a devout Christian.
Who’s Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski?
Maybe the most fun-loving player in the league, Gronkowski is known as one of the best tight ends in the league, and among the best ever. He’s also known for partying hard and having a great sense of humor. But Belichick and other coaches talk of the man nicknamed “Gronk” as “brilliant” for how much he’s asked to do on the field and his exceptional work ethic.