2015 Super Bowl Facts and FAQs
by Trevor Whenham - 1/22/2015
There is no better way to impress your friends and get dates than to be full of obscure details and odd facts when you sit down to watch a big game. Because we love nothing more than helping you out, then, here is a collection of 2015 Super Bowl facts to help you amaze and astound. They will be especially helpful if the game turns out to be a dud - by the third quarter last year some of the trivia I had gathered was the only thing that was keeping me awake:
--Russell Wilson, who measures 5-foot-11, is officially the shortest Super Bowl winning quarterback, so he has a chance to be the shortest two-time champ if he wins again this year. Len Dawson, Joe Theismann and Drew Brees, who all won while officially measuring in at six feet, had previously shared the record.
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--This is the second year in a row that the top seed in both conferences have advanced to the Super Bowl, but before last season it had only happened once in 20 years. For what it's worth, the last two times it has happened the NFC champs - the Saints and the Seahawks - have come out on top.
--Tom Brady is the oldest player at this game. At 37 he is not only four years older than his nearest teammate - Vince Wilfork - but also three years older that Seattle's oldest player - DT Kevin Williams.
--According to official weights, the heaviest player in the game, at 335 pounds, is Patriots' guard Marcus Cannon. He has a 10-pound advantage over four of his teammates and two Seahawks. On the other side, Seattle receiver David Gilreath, who weighs a ridiculous 169 pounds, is by far the lightest player on either roster.
--If I was being a patriotic Canadian, I would cheer for the Seahawks - and not just because they are geographically much closer to my Western Canadian home than New England. They have two Canadians on the roster, and both played huge roles in Seattle getting here. Tight end Luke Wilson, who is from Ontario, caught the two-point conversion that gave his team the late three-point lead that was crucial to get them into overtime. Punter Jon Ryan, who is not only from Saskatchewan but is one of the very rare NFL players who played his college ball in Canada, picked up the fake field goal and threw a touchdown - his first pass in a game since he was at the University of Regina. It was the first playoff TD by a punter at least since 1966. The Pats do not have any Canadians on the roster.
--Katy Perry and Lenny Kravitz, who are doing the halftime show, aren't necessarily the most logical combination of artists. I would argue, though, that they are far from the least logical. Last year's pairing of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Bruno Mars eclipses this pairing, and Shania Twain, Sting and No Doubt were an odd grouping in 2003, too. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and Stevie Wonder in 1999 was awkward, too. Nothing beats the train wreck of 1995, though, when Tony Bennett and Miami Sound Machine, which would have been awkward enough, were joined by Indiana Jones in a horrible product placement skit. The halftime show could never again be that bad.
--For the second year in a row we are likely to see a point spread in the Super Bowl of two points or less - at least barring a major development. That is far from the long-term trend - before last year the average Super Bowl point spread was 7.5 points. The spread has been at least a touchdown in four of Tom Brady's previous five Super bowls and 12 or more in two of the games. He and his team have failed to cover the last four spreads - all as favorites.
--Last year's Super Bowl MVP was linebacker Malcolm Smith. He was the first defensive player to secure the award since safety Dexter Jackson took the hardware in 2003. The smart bet for MVP props would be a quarterback - they have won 10 of the last 16. Wide receivers are next with three - Deion Branch, Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes. Tom Brady, with two, joins Smith as the only former winners in this game.
--More than $119 million was bet on last year's game in Nevada - shattering the previous record by more than $20 million. It was a wildly-profitable year last year as the Broncos were the popular choice from public bettors. The books can generally be expected to shine - they have made money in Nevada on 19 of the last 21 Super Bowl weekends. One of the two times they lost involved the Patriots. The Pats were favored by 12 over the Giants in 2008, but bettors took the Giants heavily, and they bet aggressively on the Giants moneyline as well. The other time was in 1995 when the 49ers, as laughable 18.5-point favorites over the Chargers, won by 23.
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