When I woke up this morning, I had no idea what an important day that today was. That was until I saw this tweet from ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter:
50 days! I couldn't believe the season was that close. As a football junkie, I wish that the football season went all year long, but alas, it doesn't. So the football shaped hole in my heart has been filling itself with anticipation for the upcoming season. The more I thought about the season that is oh so close, I started thinking about all the things I'm looking forward to this football season. The list was getting long, so I said let's do 50 reasons to look forward to the 2014 season. Here we go:
1. Johnny Football
2. Fantasy Football
3. NFL Red Zone
4. Because 'Merica
5. Bad Lip Reading Videos
6. Finally back to REAL football after watching too much soccer
7. Super Bowl
8. Touchdown Celebrations
9. Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning
10. Excuse to eat more buffalo wings
Over the weekend, Johnny Manziel set off a media frenzy when he showed up and partied in Las Vegas, including attending UFC 173 (see above) as well as a pool party with fellow NFL-er Rob Gronkowski. What was everyone so worked up about? Well, it made people start to wonder whether or not Johnny Football had the focus to be a great quarterback in the NFL or whether partying would cause his downfall.
I decided to debate the only person who is able to match wits with me — and that person is me.
Red = Big Deal; Blue = Not a Big Deal
Me: Thanks for taking time to talk about this.
Me: No problem, happy to do it.
Me: Okay, let's get started. Anyone who thinks that this is not a big deal is blind to the past of Johnny Manziel. One of the questions coming into the draft was Manziel's focus and whether or not he was more wrapped-up in his own celebrity persona than actually playing football. This just is another confirmation that he is not going to cha...
Me: Let me stop you right there. After winning the Heisman Trophy following his 2012 season at Texas A&M, the media scrutiny on him grew exponentially. Yes, he partied. Yes, he had fun. Which is not much different than 99% of other college students. If partying was a big deal that would distract Manziel, than you would have guessed that he would have struggled in his following season. But he didn't. In fact, he put up BETTER statistics. Who's to say he can't succeed in the NFL?
In addition to all the other stories we can tell about last night's events — the unseasonably warm weather, the great performances by Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and that absolute whomping the Seahawks gave to the Broncos — there are the stories about ticket prices.
Now that the game is over, I can say this about ticket prices: the story that's told depends greatly on how you look at the data.
For tickets listed on TicketNetwork.com — both before and after we knew the teams for the big game — the overall average selling price was $2,656, the lowest it has been in four years. However, it was only just barely the lowest in four years. For the 2012 game, the overall price was $2,670. Despite this game having a lot against it — a cold-weather city, an unprotected venue, and a lineup that had to travel very far from home — the overall price was only 5% lower than last year.
If you don't watch football regularly, tuning in to the Super Bowl may not be at the top of your list of ways to spend a Sunday evening. But the Super Bowl is one of those things it seems like everyone tunes in to watch, football fan or not. Here are 6 alternative reasons to watch the game on Sunday, even if football isn't quite your thing.
#1: The commercials
Some people say they actually watch the Super Bowl just for the commercials. It's the one time where we don't mind being bombarded by advertisements. Every advertiser is vying for our attention and desperate to become "that" commercial we all talk about the next day, like the "Whassup" commercial in 1992; "The Force" Volkswagen commercial in 2011; or the Old Spice commercial called "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like." The commercials are usually good for a laugh or, at the very least, an eye-roll.
There are only three games left in this NFL season, which on the surface is a sad thing (how did this season go by so fast??!?), but luckily for football fans, the two games this weekend are setting up to be a couple fantastic match-ups. The four remaining teams in the postseason – the Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers – each finished with 12 or more wins and are considered by football experts to truly be the four best teams in the NFL this season.
While being the best team is obviously important to having a awesome conference championship weekend, it's all the additional story-lines and rivalries that are setting this weekend up to be one of the greatest weekends of football in memory.
Brady vs. Manning
For the past decade, the debate has raged on across the NFL – who is better: Tom Brady or Peyton Manning? Whichever side you choose, there are plenty of good reasons why you are right. Manning has the huge numbers and more MVP awards; Brady has more championship rings and the most playoff wins in league history. I fall on the side of Tom Brady, although I am extremely biased due to the fact that I am a Patriots fan. However, for many people, this weekend's game between the Broncos and Patriots is the line drawn in the sand; whoever wins the game is the better quarterback and perhaps the greatest of all-time. Of course, that may be going a little overboard, but it has thrown gasoline on the fire of this QB rivalry, which is only adding to the anticipation of the game.