Super Bowl…. Strange, But True
Bird’s Eye View
Warm up those buffalo wings, call your local pub to ensure it opens early, and prepare to wow your friends with some humdinger Super Bowl facts.
Following on from our Super Bowl preview article, we have complied some fun facts to enlighten and entertain everyone from the very basic, ‘why do they wear pads and helmets’ observer, right through to the ‘I was a D1 recruit till I blew me knee out and now spend all my time on Matthew Berry’s start/sit articles’ office expert.
- This Monday’s edition played between the Los Angeles Rams and the New England Patriots will be Super bowl LIII (53 for the frat boys out there).
- The game of American football is played on a field called a “Gridiron.” It is slightly narrower than, and about the same length as a rugby field.
- The first ever Super bowl (Super Bowl I, hah), was played in 1966 and was won by the Green Bay Packers.
- In brief summary, every set of downs (set of tackles) the team with the ball will try to make it 10 yards down the field. If they are successful they get a whole new set of downs (tackles). This can continue for as long as they can keep going, until they reach the other end of the field. Hopefully, entering the end zone for a touchdown.
- The Super Bowl pits the champions of the AFC and NFC conferences against each other to decide who will be the world champion (and yes, this sport is pretty much only played in America).
EASY CONVERSATION DROPPERS
- Both teams in this year’s Super Bowl were seeded #2 in their conferences post regular season, but ousted the #1 seeds in their respective championships games last weekend.
- Rams Coach Sean McVay, takes a team that has not made the playoffs in 12 years all the way to the Super Bowl – after only 2 years in charge.
- Jared Goff was taken with the 1st overall pick in the 2016 draft, Tom Brady the 199th in the 2000 draft.
- Tom Brady has won 5 Super Bowls, is a 3 time NFL MVP, and is widely considered the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time).
- Tom Brady is married to supermodel Gisele Bündchen.
- For the first time ever, the same two cities made the World Series (Baseball) and the Super Bowl in the same season.
- The Patriots are 0-2 in Super Bowl rematches (Eagles and Giants).
- While most people watch the Super Bowl for the game itself, some watch the game for it’s commercials. On average, NBC will charge over $5 million for a single 30-second ad spot during the coverage of this years game.
TERMS YOU MIGHT HEAR
- The Red Zone – the distance from the end zone to the 20 yard line. When an offense reaches the red zone they are in prime scoring position.
- Shotgun – when someone says “they are in shotgun formation” (don’t duck for cover), it means that the Quarterback is a few steps behind the line of scrimmage rather than “under center”, right behind the offensive line (big scary guys).
- Bull Rush – a fun childish playground game… no. This describes a defensive player attempting to run right through an offensive player rather than going around them to get to the QB (look for Aaron Donald or Ndamukong Suh here).
- Pigskin – the football is affectionately called a pigskin because of its origins.
- Hail Mary – the last second, long odds pass to try and escape the clutches of defeat at the end of the game or before half time.
Other phrases worth a mention are: Horse Collar, Bootleg, Dime, Nickel, Moves the Chains, Safety, Gunslinger, Hard Count, Icing, Pick-Six, Pooch Kick, Wildcat, Flea Flicker.
SEAN MCVAY (RAM’S HEAD COACH) IS SO YOUNG THAT…
- He is easily (by 4 years) the youngest Head Coach to make a Super Bowl.
- He actually played college football against the Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman. Interestingly, at that stage, Edelman was a Quarterback and McVay a Wide Receiver.
- He was only a sophomore (year 11 equivalent) when Tom Brady won his first Super Bowl. Jared Goff was only 7 years old.
- He is less than half the age of the opposing coach Bill Belichick (31 and 65).
- Bill Belichick has been coaching in the NFL for the entirety of McVay’s life… plus a decade (since 1975).
- There will be a combined 50 year age difference between Brady + Belichick and Goff + McVay.
STRANGE, BUT TRUE
- Every starter from the last Rams/Patriots Super Bowl (2002) has been retired for at least 5 years… except Tom Brady.
- 55% (26/47) of Super Bowl Champion Quarterbacks were 1st round selections, 14 were first overall. But, if Jared Goff wins, it’ll be the first time in six seasons a team has won a Super Bowl with their own first round pick Quarterback. This is the longest of such a stretch.
- Part of what makes the Rams offense so good and hard to play against, is that Coach McVay runs almost every play out of the same personnel (this is extremely rare).
- The LA Rams have won only 13 games in Jared Goff’s entire lifetime… he has been the starting QB for 7 of them. Now this one is a little bit of a cheat; Jared Goff was born in 1994, in the season of 1995 the Rams relocated to St Louis, the team would remain there until January 2016. At which time they returned to LA and drafted Goff with the number 1 overall pick.
- Practice squad Wide Receiver, Austin Proehl, is headed to the Super Bowl with the Rams where his team will face the same Brady/Belichick duo that defeated his dad’s Ram’s team in Super Bowl XXXVI (in 2002). In a wonderfully ironic moment just before kickoff in 2002 Austin’s dad, Ricky, turned to the camera and declared, “tonight, a dynasty is born!” He was correct, just not the one he was imagining. The Patriots have since gone on one of the greatest runs of sustained success in sports history.
- In Tom Brady’s 16 year career, he has played in the Super Bowl 8 times. The Patriots are as likely to go to the Super Bowl in any given year, as you are to correctly call one toss of a coin.
- If this game goes into overtime, Rams fans should be worried. Brady has played in 3 overtime playoff games – on every single occasion he has won the toss and scored on the first drive (winning the game), not even giving the other team a chance with the ball.
So what’s the obsession with Sean McVay?
Sick of study? How much do you think Sean does?
And what about this Brady guy? Before last year’s Super Bowl this was made…