As game day approaches, it’s important not to lose sight of what is really important for making this Super Bowl Sunday the best one yet–chips, cheese, and as much variety within the wing family as you can possibly rustle up (we’re talking buffalo, honey barbecue, ranch, five-alarm, jalapeño-cheddar, beer-battered, Cajun buttermilk, chipotle, kimchi–yes, you read that right.) Add a little bit of hometown pride and some sidesplitting commercials, and you’ve got a pretty good time ahead of you. We’re pulling all the stops out in order to make our SBS Party the most highly attended event on campus since therapy dogs.
For starters, pick a side. And preferably, stick to it. No one likes a fickle fan. It’s either the New England Patriots or the Seattle Seahawks, both of whom have an identical record of 14-4, including playoff games. As we are a native Bostonian and a disenfranchised Eagles fan (as a result of a rough season, sorry all you Philly peeps) respectively, we’re going to be rooting for the Pats this weekend. If you can’t pick which side to align yourself with, pick the one with the quarterback who has the most letters in common with your name (actually a halfway decent strategy for the apathetic Super Bowl watcher).
Once you determine where your loyalties lie, make sure that out here in the boonies, you can actually access the game. Whether it’s your own cable or a friend’s, or if you need to subscribe to an online service like NBC Sports Live Extra in order to tune in, definitely get that locked down prior to 20 minutes before game time in case you hit some bumps along the way. (Hint: if you are at a total loss of how to watch, some of the residential dorms on campus will be showing the game). Kickoff is at 6:30 p.m. and it will be broadcasted on NBC, although pre-game shows are always a good pump-up and can be quite informative.
No party can be successful without the creative incorporation of festive food, from appetizers, to dips, to drinks. We experimented several chip and dip recipes for the AFC Championship Game on Jan. 18, and found a couple of winners. Our favorite dip involves cream cheese, salsa, and shredded cheese, baked in a glass container just long enough for the cheesy layer to melt–ridiculously easy! We also found several ready-to-go appetizers from good ole Wally World and Weis (think frozen pig-in-a-blanket and Jack Daniels barbecue pulled pork sliders–just don’t forget the buns). If you don’t have access to a kitchen or are culinary-challenged, tortilla chips and salsa or pre-made guacamole is an easy fix.
As with most Super Bowl halftime performances in the past, pop star Katy Perry is sure to make an impression. We can most likely rule out the possibility of a scandalous wardrobe malfunction or the elating prospect of the reunion of a disbanded girl band from the 90s (been there, done that, à la Janet Jackson/Justin Timberlake or Beyoncé/Destiny’s Child). We can probably expect pyrotechnics, a sweet-treat-themed show, and a lot of male backup dancers. Perry allegedly leaked her Super Bowl song online, which features singer Lenny Kravitz, who will be performing with Perry at halftime. She was one of three acts on the short list to perform for the halftime show, including British rock band Coldplay and Barbadian pop singer Rihanna.
Make sure you time your potty breaks wisely, lest you miss the infamous Super Bowl commercials, which range from the heartwarming to the hilarious, and everything in between. Some Super Bowl watchers claim they only watch it for the commercials. If this is you, plan on peeing before and after the game–definitely not during. Budweiser is rumored to air an ad this year featuring three million puppies, while Progressive Insurance will most likely produce our favorite saleswoman Flo. Doritos ran its ninth consecutive “Crash the Super Bowl” contest, where contestants created and submitted their ads online, and fans voted on which they want to see during the commercial breaks. Like we said, limit your potty breaks, or suffer the consequences of missing out on the unveiling of a brand-new pop culture reference.
On a more serious note, this marks the second consecutive year in which the top seed from each conference has reached the Super Bowl. Just like last season, this game features the top defense against one of the top offenses.
No one is looking past Seattle this year after proving that they could stop Peyton Manning on the biggest stage a season ago. The Legion of Boom managed to stop Cam Newton and Aaron Rodgers, and will face another tough task in Tom Brady. However, Seattle will have to make sure they don’t get down early like they did against Green Bay. Russell Wilson managed to bring this team back to life after a horrible first three quarters, but he better hope that he doesn’t need that magic again. Still, even with the poor receiving group that Wilson has, he is 10-0 all-time against Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks. Luckily, he won’t have to carry the offensive load all by himself, as Marshawn Lynch is a good bet to find the end zone and record another 100-yard rushing performance.
The Seahawks may have won the Super Bowl last year, but the Patriots are no rookies when it comes to the big game. Brady is looking for his fourth Super Bowl victory in six appearances after cruising past the Colts 45-7 in the AFC Championship. LeGarrette Blount will need to find a way to repeat his 148-yard, three touchdown performance from two weeks ago against the second-best rushing defense of Seattle, while Rob Gronkowski should continue to be a matchup nightmare. New England, although known for its offense, still has the strength on defense to stop Seattle. They are tied for the second-least rushing touchdowns in the NFL (6) and allowed the eighth-least points per game (19.6). Darrelle Revis, Devin McCourty, and Rob Ninkovic are a few players who could turn the momentum in favor of New England.
Let’s not forget the kickers either, as we all know the game could come down to a last minute field goal. Although the teams have only attempted one field goal each in the postseason, both Steven Hauschka and Stephen Gostkowski are up to the challenge and could end up determining the winner of Super Bowl XLIX.
Prediction: 24-19 Patriots