For the past 10 days, I've been putting on my "PIGSKIN ASSASSIN" by The SPORTZ ASSASSIN blog 40 different things about the Super Bowl and it's participants. Please check out those things....
!#20-GREATEST SUPER BOWL MOMENTS: What is yours? Montana to Taylor? Kevin Dyson stopped on the 1-yard line? Joe Namath's predicition? Elway flipping in the air? The Fridge falling into the endzone? Adam Vinatieri's kicks? Scott Norwood's kick? Marcus Allen's "brilliant" run [it was more the Skins non-tackling]? Or maybe a play by Leon Lett, Lynn Swann, John Riggins or Jackie Smith. Go to ESPN.com - Page2 - 100 Greatest Super Bowl Moments to read up on some of the top moments...and how they rank them.#19-DETROIT IS THE CITY OF CHAMPIONS
. The Super Bowl is in Detroit. The last two NBA Finals have had 6 games played in Detroit. The 2005 MLB All Star Game was in Detroit. Back in 2002, they hosted the Stanley Cup Finals. In 2009, the Final Four will be played at Ford Field.
#18-THE LIONS SUCK. Holding the game in Detroit is the only way you can get the words "Detroit" and "Super Bowl" in the same sentence. The Lions have been around since 1930 and do have 4 NFL titles....but the last one was in 1957. The closest they've gotten since then was a 41-10 loss to the Washington Redskins in the 1992 NFC Championship game.
#17-HALL OF FAME: The day before the game, the 2006 Pro Football Hall Of Fame class will be announced. I think Troy Aikman and Reggie White are sure-fire entries. The others....I'm not so sure. I would like to think that Warren Moon and his gawdy stats in the CFL as well as the NFL would get him in. I also see a case for Thurman Thomas to get in....though I'm not totally sure that he will. Of course, I'm a stern believer that Art Monk deserves to be in the Hall. I also think that John Madden will slide in as well. And that may be all of this year's class. Aikman, White, Moon, Monk and Madden....with a possibility of Thomas. The guys that won't make it?? Well, I think Derrek Thomas and Michael Irvin will eventually make it....but not in this year's class. I think they'll get in with the 2007 class....which features only Bruce Matthews as a possibility.
#16-NO MORE 12TH MAN. Texas A&M is miffed that Seattle raised the banner on the 12th man.
#15-PROPS: Also known as "proposition bets"...these are the other betting scenerios during Super Bowl Sunday. Bets such as the coin toss, who will score first, who will score last, who will get the first 1st down in the 2nd quarter, the last score of the first half, who will punt first, will there be a missed FG attempt, who committs the first penalty, who uses the coach's challenge first, will that challenge be overturned, first QB sack, first timeout, etc. Go to Bodog Sportsbook for more betting info.
#14-THE $10,000 HOT DOG: The great thing about Ebay is the odd things you find on there. Well...go to EBAY and bid on this. A hot dog that was bought during the 3rd quarter of the NFC Championship game at Qwest Field is going for over $10,000!!! The latest bid was $10,069 as I type this. Oh...and it isn't like the guy who put the hot dog up for bid was looking for that. The first bid was $1. Yep, one buck. Now, 139 bids have passed and you get the figure above. Some guy who's Ebay name is "theboss2b" who has a flawless buying history is the leading bidder. By the way, I'm selling the piece of toilet paper that was stuck to my shoe after walking out of the men's room of the Staples Center during halftime of Kobe Bryant's 81 point game [warning: sarcasm].
(Sportz Note: Since I wrote this, the seller has adjusted his description of the Hawk Dog and has snice had bidders pull their bid on the item. The price was up to a whopping $14,999....but now has dropped down to just over $1,500.)
#13-DON'T LOSE THE SUPER BOWL: The winner of the game will, of course, be memorialized in NFL films for eternity. But the loser will fall.....fall hard. The last 5 teams to lose the Super Bowl have FAILED to make the playoffs the following year. Yep. Laugh...but how many people figured the Philadelphia Eagles would be done by mid-season? Before that, it was Carolina. Before that, Oakland. Before that, St. Louis. Before that, the Giants. So, good luck to the teams that are in the game...since there is no guarantee of success past that. #12-SHAUN ALEXANDER WAS RUNNING!
Alexander finished with the 2nd best rushing season for a player that went on to the Super Bowl. Only Terrell Davis' 2008 yards in 1998 were better.
#11-SOMEONE WILL SCORE BEFORE HALFTIME: There has never been a Super Bowl that was scoreless at halftime. NEVER. The closest came in Super Bowl IX when the Steelers took a 2-0 lead into the half over the Vikings. But the last two Super Bowls have been scoreless in the first quarter. In fact, only TWICE has the Super Bowl been tied at halftime anyways. Super Bowl XXIII, the Niners and Bengals were tied at 3-3 at the half. Then, last year's Super Bowl XXXIX was tied 7-7 at the half. #10-NO PUNT HAS EVER BEEN RETURNED FOR A TD IN A SUPER BOWL.
Amazing, huh? There have been kickoffs returned for TDs [in that Giants-Ravens Super Bowl XXXV....back to back kickoffs were returned for TDs]. But no punts.
#9-BEWARE OF THE DARK HORSE: In a game like this, sometimes someone that nobody planned for has a huge game and becomes the difference maker. This dates all the way back to Super Bowl I....when Max McGee [who spent the previous night partying in LA] of the Packers caught 7 passes. Weird, since he caught only FOUR all season long! Or the Redskins' Timmy Smith, who ran for a record 204 yards in Super Bowl XXII. Or Desmond Howard, who is known for two things. His Heisman trophy and Super Bowl XXXI MVP. Or the Cowboys' Larry Brown, who went from a nobody to Super Bowl XXX MVP.....back to a nobody. So, who could be the darkhorses in this game?? Well, for Seattle...I'll take Bobby Engram. For Pittsburgh, gimme Heath Miller. #8-LINGERIE BOWL:
Yep...it's that time of year again. Lingerie Bowl III!!! The Dallas Desire, Los Angeles Temptation, Chicago Bliss and New York Euphoria will do battle on the gridiron!! Dennis Rodman is the league commissioner. Jenny McCarthy and Cindy Margolis will be doing color commentary. The Fridge will be....well, there. Go to LINGERIE BOWL III - Home of the Lingerie Football League (LFL)
for more info
#7-WHO WILL BE AT THE GAME?? Here ya go: Each team is given an allotment of 17.5% of the tickets to the game. The host team [in this case, the Lions] gets 5% of the tickets. The NFL gets 25.2% of the tickets....with each other NFL team to get 1.2% of the tickets. So...what does that mean? Well, each team can sell tickets to their fan base [most likely the season ticket holders] and such. The NFL does several things with their tickets. They hold a lottery to sell some of the tickets. Some more get sold in a "package deal" via a tour group that includes a lot more than just the ticket. The other teams use their tickets for their players, some "special fans" and used in various contests. The best way to buy a ticket for yourself?? Go somewhere like StubHub.com and pay thru the nose.
#6-SEATTLE IS MORE EXPERIENCED: We all can see the images of Terry Bradshaw tossing passes in the Super Bowl. We see Swann and Stallworth's amazing catches. We see Franco Harris bowling over guys. In contrast, Seattle is making its first ever Super Bowl appearance. But ALAS!!! Seattle heads into this game with much more experience in the Super Bowl. Only ONE STEELER has played in a Super Bowl....and that is reserve DB Willie Williams. There are FIVE SEAHAWKS that have seen the Super Bowl stage.....DE Grant Wistrom [Rams], WR Joe Jurevicius [Buccs], C Robbie Tobeck [Falcons], DT Chuck Darby [Buccs] and P Todd Rouen [Broncos]. Only Tobeck doesn't own a Super Bowl ring.
#5-YOUTH IS BLISS: If the Steelers win the Super Bowl, Ben Roethlisberger will be the youngest QB starter to win the Super Bowl....supplanting Tom Brady's youthful win in Super Bowl XXXVI. By just starting the game, Big Ben will be the 2nd youngest QB to appear in the game....trailing Dan Marino's Super Bowl XIX appearance. The oldest? John Elway...who was 38 when he started Super Bowl XXXIII for the Broncos....his final game.
#4-THEY'VE BEEN THERE BEFORE: Both head coaches, Mike Holmgren and Bill Cowher, have been to the Super Bowl before. This is the first time since Super Bowl XXXIII that both coaches had Super Bowl expirence entering the game. That year, Mike Shanahan [who won the previous year with the Broncos] and Dan Reeves [who was coaching the Falcons, but lost his previous three Super Bowls with....the Broncos] met in a battle of big game vets. The only other times it has happened in the last 25 years?? Super Bowl XXVIII [Jimmie Johnson and Marv Levy's 2nd straight meeting], Super Bowl XXVI [Joe Gibbs and Levy], Super Bowl XXII [Gibbs and Reeves], Super Bowl XIX [Bill Walsh and Don Shula] and Super Bowl XVIII [Gibbs and Tom Flores].
#3-THE LUCKY NUMBER 8: Starting QBs who wear the #8 are a combined 5-0 in the Super Bowl. Troy Aikman won 3 Super Bowls with the Cowboys; Trent Dilfer won with the Ravens; Steve Young won with the 49ers. Pretty good news for Hasselbeck. The #7?? Well, the QB that has worn the #7 has lost 5 of the last 7 Super Bowls.
#2-SOME GREAT STATS: During this "40 Stops" project, I've named off some pretty odd facts. Here are some clinchers:
*-Ben Roethlisberger and Matt Hasselbeck have the most combined letters in their last names than any other starting QB duo in Super Bowl history.
*-The AFC is 3-0 in Super Bowls played in February.
*-Of the 40 Super Bowls...this will be the 24th Super Bowl with at least two alumni from USC. This year it is Troy Polamalu and Lofa Tatupu
*-The Steelers are 2-0 lifetime in the postseason in domes...which includes the win in the RCA Dome a few weeks back.
*-Seattle has lost their last 5 postseason games away from home.
*-Hasselbeck and Tatupu become the 6th and 7th father/combos to be in a Super Bowl [dads Don Hasselbech and Mosi Tatupu played in Super Bowls XVIII and XX, respectively for the Raiders and Patriots].
*-Seahawk WR Joe Jurevicius will become the 6th NFL player to reach the Super Bowl with THREE different teams [he also reached the game with the Giants and Buccaneers].
#1-WHY I THINK PITTSBURGH WILL WIN: Defense, mainly. The 3-4 defense is a perfect defense against the West Coast Offense....and they've been playing well. The Steelers have reached the Super Bowl with help of a rabidly attacking defense which made Peyton Manning and Jake Plummer look like fools. Well, Seattle doesn't have shotgun formations, so it will be a shorter distance to get to Hasselbeck. The defense has played well enough against the run that they can stop Shaun Alexander from having a great game. I think they'll really smack Alexander around and try to get him out of the game, mentally, early. Then, it will be up to Hasselbeck to beat them. With the way that that Steelers secondary has played of late...that will be a tall order. Also, Pittsburgh has a decided advantage in the special teams department as well. Pittsburgh 30-20