SUPER BOWL 101 - For women (and men) who don't know football (Steelers vs. Cardinals)
Posted Feb 02 2009 10:50pm
Are you ready for some football? Unless you’ve been living on a deserted island (or somewhere in the woods), you at least know the Super Bowl game is this Sunday (I hope). If you’re already a big football fan, you get it. But, if you are a football novice, or a “football widow", you may need an extra guide to get you through the big game day!
Here’s what you need to know to maximize your enjoyment for what some consider the greatest day of the year. Forget New Year's Eve, it’s all about the Super Bowl baby!!!! Come on... if you can't beat 'em, you must join them! So please, read on...
Logistics (Game Day) Sunday, February 1st, 2009 - Super Bowl Sunday! Kick-off: 6:00pm (EST) on NBC
The game takes place in Tampa, Florida it's one of the best places to play due to the climate and it's estimated that Tampa will generate over $200 million for hosting. Raymond James Stadium, often referred to as the “crown jewel” of the NFL by league insiders, is home to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the University of South Florida Bulls. The stadium will be host to Super Bowl XLIII.
There are 72,500 seats available at Raymond James Stadium, but don't feel bad if you don't have tickets. Here's how the tickets are distributed: 75 percent are given to the 32 NFL teams. The Cardinals and Steelers get nearly 18 percent of those, and the host team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, gets 5 percent. The remaining tickets are controlled by the NFL and distributed to NFL affiliated companies -- NBC (the network broadcasting the game), corporate sponsors, media, VIP's charities, the host committee -- and then what's left go to the fans.
Don't feel bad if you're watching from home or at a friend's house or some sports bar with a big screen TV. NBC will use 55 high-definition cameras for its Super Bowl coverage, including ''Cable Cam HD'' roaming over the field for overhead shots so odds are, you'll have a better (and cheaper) seat.
The Teams - The Pittsburgh Steelers know all about the Super Bowl, having made six previous appearances and won five titles. The Arizona Cardinals are new to the big stage, but they've won three playoff games in decisive fashion to reach Tampa.
Home Team - Pittsburgh Steelers Founded in 1933, the Steelers are the oldest and most championed franchise in the AFC. The team will appear in its seventh Super Bowl on February 1st and is one of only three teams to have won the Super Bowl five times. They have hosted more conference championship games than any other NFL franchise. From 1974 to 1979 the franchise became the first NFL franchise to win four Super Bowl titles in six seasons, a feat which is yet to be matched.
Fun Fact: Remember the Steagles? The Pittsburgh Steelers have actually gone through three name changes during their history. The team actually began as the Pittsburgh Pirates, before owner Art Rooney changed their name to the Steelers in 1940. In 1943, they became the "Steagles" when they were merged with the Philadelphia Eagles as football rosters became depleted during World War II. Ironically, the next year (1944) saw them similiarly merged with the Cardinals, and they became the oh-so-exciting "Card-Pitt" team.
Away Team - Arizona Cardinals Prior to Super Bowl XLIII, the last time the Cardinals were in the Super Bowl was NEVER!
Fun Fact: While the Arizona Cardinals might be Super Bowl first-timers, the Cardinals football team is actually the oldest continuously run professional football franchise in the nation.
What people will be talking about leading up the game:
The Coaches Pittsburgh Steelers Bill Belichick and the Arizona Cardinals Ken Whisenhunt, whose teams meet on Sunday in Super Bowl XLIII, are a perfect match.
Fun Fact: Ken Whisenhunt spent the previous six seasons with the Steelers, the first three as tight ends coach and the last three as offensive coordinator; helped team earn victory in Super Bowl XL.
The Quarterbacks Kurt Warner and Ben Roethlisberger are the quarterbacks in this year's Super Bowl.
Will the Cardinals' Kurt Warner or Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger join Tom Brady as the only active quarterbacks with multiple Super Bowl rings? Warner torched the Eagles' blitz with his quick release but now has to face Pittsburgh zone-blitz master Dick LeBeau, who has more natural pass-rush talent to send at Warner. Roethlisberger seemingly always finds a way to elude pressure and connect on passes in key situations.
Pregame Festivities Faith Hill: The Grammy-winning artist will sing 'America The Beautiful' in pregame festivities from Raymond James Stadium. Hill sang the national anthem before Super Bowl XXXIV, when the St. Louis Rams beat the Tennessee Titans, so she could be a good-luck charm for Kurt Warner, which might not sit too well with this woman ...
The National Anthem Jennifer Hudson: In what is being hailed as a 'comeback performance,' the Chicagoan will sing the national anthem -- her first public appearance since the murders of her mother, brother and nephew.
The Halftime Show Bruce Springsteen: Not too long ago, there was a better chance of Barack Obama becoming president of the United States than Bruce Springsteen doing the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl stage isn't Springsteen's style, but if Paul McCartney and Tom Petty can pull off a live performance at an 80,000-seat stadium, The Boss & the E Street Band are a sure thing. The 13-minute set figures to include 'Born to Run' and 'Born in the U.S.A.' But with Springsteen, you never know. Also on game day, watch for the return of the zooming U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds to put on a spectacular flyover just before kickoff.
Commercials No matter what your team loyalties, the Super Bowl is always a great time for any football fan. Even if you cannot get into the game, or hate both teams, there is still one great part of the game, the Super Bowl Commercials.
And an economy in recession didn't have much impact on Super Bowl advertising this year. NBC is charging an average of $3 million for a 30-second spot -- a bump from last year's average of $2.7 million on Fox.
Over the years there have been some real gems. Who can forget the “WAZZUP” commercial, or the “Nothing But Net” spot. My favorites are ALWAYS the Budweiser horse commercials. Check out Superbowl-ads.com to see Who's buying what in Super Bowl XLIII.
Fun Facts: E*Trade's Talking Baby: An articulate toddler who trades stock on a computer keyboard and then spits up will be hard to top, but Talking Baby is back after a successful debut last year. According to Investor's Daily, after the Super Bowl last year, the Talking Baby ad became the most-watched ad on TiVo systems and on YouTube. And, don't forget to check out MSNBC's Top 10 Super Bowl Commercials> of all time.
That should be enough information to not only get you through the game, but to score you some points! The trick is too actually learn to like it! And, with a house full of boys, I wouldn't have it any other way!
Did I mention my son is a true Steelers Fan and my father-in-law will actually be there? It certainly helps to make game day fun for us!
So I say to you one more time.... "ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?"