Nothing impresses your friends more than bizarre and useless trivia. It's a proven fact. We are here to serve, so in anticipation of Super Bowl 50 I have gathered enough Super Bowl facts to amaze and astound your friends for the entire game - or at least until they kick you out of the house. Remember, though, that trivia is a powerful weapon, and by absorbing these facts you are taking on a great responsibility. Use it wisely:
- Cam Newton knows how to win, and he can prove that like no one else ever has in this game. With a win he will become the first player to win both a college National Championship and a Super Bowl while also winning both the Heisman and the NFL MVP. If the Panthers win there is a good chance he'll be Super Bowl MVP, too, which would be more hardware for the pile.
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- The referee for the game will be Clete Blakeman. He will be on the field for his first Super Bowl, though he was selected as the alternate referee two years ago when the Broncos lost to the Seahawks. When not calling games Blakeman is a partner at a law firm in Omaha.
- The oldest player in the game, by a wide margin, will be Peyton Manning, who turns 40 in March. The next oldest Bronco is defensive end Antonio Smith, who turned 34 during this season. The oldest Panther is cornerback Charles Tillman, who will be turning 35 later in February.
- According to the official rosters, the heaviest player in the game is Carolina guard Chris Scott, who tips the scales at 340 pounds. Offensive tackle Louis Vasquez is tops for the Broncos at 335. Denver receivers Emmanuel Sanders and Jordan Norwood are listed as the lightest at 180 pounds. That means that the two pass catchers combined only outweigh Scoot by 20 pounds - about half of what Scott must eat in an average day.
- This is the third straight year that the No. 1 seeds in both conferences have advanced to the Super Bowl. Before this streak began, though, it hadn't happened for 20 years. The NFC and the AFC have each won one of the last two games, so there's no edge there.
- Super Bowl 50 is the first one that hasn't been officially referred to with Roman numerals. You have to wonder why they chose now Super Bowl L would have been the easiest to write or read since Super Bowl X 40 years back.
- The halftime show this year will be headlined by Coldplay. That will give me plenty of time to go refill my beer and get a snack or three. It's not that I don't like Coldplay. Actually, it really, really is that I don't like Coldplay at all. Chris Martin and company will be joined by a couple of recent performers. Bruno Mars is back after stealing the show two years ago, and Beyonce returns after her appearance with Destiny's Child the year before. The three together don't necessarily make a whole lot of sense, but then cohesiveness has never been a criteria when choosing halftime show performers.
- Last year's Super Bowl MVP was Tom Brady. As a quarterback he was the smart pick in prop betting heading into the game - he was the fifth QB to win the award in the last six years and the 11th in the last 17 years. If you want to gamble a bit then look for a wide receiver - three of the four non-quarterbacks to win since 2005 have played that position. Winning the Super Bowl MVP can have huge long term implications - remarkably, 19 past winners are already in the Hall of Fame, and several active or recently retired winners will join them. Manning is a stone-cold lock to make the Hall of Fame - likely unanimously - and Newton is well on his way there given his play of late, so both guys would fit both the QB and the Canton criteria well.
- Nearly $116 million was bet on the Super Bowl in Las Vegas last year. That was down slightly than the $119.4 million the previous year but was still the second-highest total in history - with a gap of more than $17 million to third place. The books' profit of $3.3 million was well down from the record $19.7 million of the previous year. The fact that there was a profit was no surprise, though - books have only lost money twice on the Super Bowl since 1991. The most recent time was in 2008 when the Giants beat the Patriots the first of two times in five years. Before that the only losing effort came in 1995 when the 49ers rolled over the Chargers. The books have combined to make at least $5 million in profits 14 times since 1993, and the two losses added up to less than $3 million combined, so you don't have to feel sorry about them - they come out of this weekend just fine.
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Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
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