The LGBT Weekly guide to Super Bowl XLVIIIEntertainment News, Feature Story, Section 4A Thursday, January 30th, 2014
There are a lot reasons people watch the Super Bowl. Mainly it’s because football is a great game, a part of the American cultural lexicon that, say, the Eurovision singing contest in Europe is (only with far fewer twinks). And through the years, the Super Bowl has become as well known for its athleticism and sheer adrenaline-pulsating excitement as it is for the commercials it airs and the Super Bowl Halftime Show it puts on. So, in an effort to get you more acquainted with the nuts and bolts of the game – no, not those nuts –San Diego LGBT Weekly brings you our first annual gay guide to Super Bowl XLVIII. (That’s 48 for you non-Romans.)
The game itself is being played between the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football Conference and the Denver Broncos of the American Football Conference this Sunday, Feb. 2, at 6:25 p.m. EST on FOX at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ, a town whose greatest distinction may be that it is the only place in the United States with a population of less than 10,000 people who were once home to five major sports franchises; the Giants, the Jets, the Nets, The Devils and the Red Bulls. (The New Jersey Nets are now the Brooklyn Nets meaning when they’re not playing they’re wearing thick, black, horn-rimmed glasses, sporting ear gauges and talking about how they are the most deserved generation ever.)
And while the venue is chosen long before the season ends, it’s kind of sad that many of the fans will not be making the trek to the game given the proximity of the stadium and the fact that it is predicted to rain and snow heavily on the day of the game. (Not that this ever stopped a diehard fan.)
The Seattle Seahawks will be wearing their road colors – white jersey and blue pants – with their iconic royal blue and forest green osprey helmets. While their record has proven undeniably strong in their home play uniforms – blue on blue – with a record of 15 wins and one loss, Seahawk fans will be happy to know that their away game uniform has proven equally successful with two wins and only one loss. [Fashion note: In 1983, coinciding with the arrival of Chuck Knox as head coach, the uniforms were updated slightly. The striping on the arms now incorporated the Seahawks logo, and the TV numbers moved onto the shoulders. Helmet facemasks changed from gray to blue. Also, the socks went solid blue at the top, and white on the bottom.]
The Denver Broncos will be sporting orange jerseys with white pants. According to the Broncos’ Web site, Denver has a 14-2 regular season record (2-1 in the postseason) since switching back to the orange jerseys prior to the 2012 season. Denver has worn orange jerseys in three Super Bowls – and lost each time. Dallas defeated Denver in Super Bowl XII, Washington was victorious in Super Bowl XXII, while San Francisco won Super Bowl XXIV. Interestingly, OUTSports.com has noted that, “teams wearing white have won six out of the last seven Super Bowls.”
Right now, the Las Vegas odds makers have Denver ahead by a 2.5 spread but that could change as we get closer to the game. Of course, having Peyton Manning as your quarterback probably does good things for your odds, to say nothing of the word on the street which has Manning nabbing this year’s Most Valuable Player award for what surely has been an amazing season for the 37-year-old. Despite the yardage debate which ultimately went to him – it had Manning seven yards shy of the of all-time record set by Drew Brees in 2011 for single-season yardage passing – on the opening game of the 2013 NFL season, Manning became one of only six players in NFL history to throw seven touchdowns in a game. He did so against the defending Super Bowl XLVII champions, the Baltimore Ravens. Against the Oakland Raiders in week three, Manning broke the record for most touchdown passes in the first three games of a season after throwing 12, passing Tom Brady’s record in 2011.
But the Seattle Seahawks’ Russell Wilson is no slouch either. Besides having one of the top ten selling jerseys in the league (hey, that counts for something!) and being responsible for four second-half comebacks – a league tie – Wilson is on track to become the winningest quarterback in his first two years on the field ever (21 wins in his first two years). Furthermore his height, at 71″ he’s the shortest quarterback in the league, has driven him to succeed. In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Wilson confessed, “As a kid, people kept telling [me], “You’re too short to play pro sports. Anything the naysayers would say, I would type it up, print it out, and hang it above my computer at home,” he says. “Every day I would see those words and use them as motivation.”
This year, for the Super Bowl Half Time show, the performances will come back to earth with the musical stylings of Bruno Mars, a man who could never be confused with the average testosterone-laden fan found at Super Bowls, and a rumored surprise appearance from ’90s rock sensations, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, a band whose sexual ambiguity could also never be confused with the average testosterone-laden fan found at Super Bowls either.
Of course, let’s not pretend we haven’t been checking out what we here at the LGBT Weekly like to call the intangible factors: cheekbones, soulful eyes, physique and smile. That said, our vote for the hottest Seahawks this year go to Russell Wilson (QB), and the always spirited Richard Sherman (cornerback). For the Denver Broncos, our votes go to Eric Decker (WR) and Demaryius Thomas (WR).
In the end, most experts agree, it’s going to come down between the Seahawks powerful defensive line and the Broncos offensive. For the Seahawks, it’s going to be a question of not allowing Denver to score early or often. For the Broncos, the game in many ways rests on Mannings’ shoulders. If he can snap the ball and get it out on the field he’ll have a better chance of routing the Seahawks.
Of course, if the game is a dud, there’s always those $4 million, 30-second commercials to watch.
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