Super Bowl Sunday is practically a national holiday for two reasons: great football and great commercials. Super Bowl XLIX arrives this year on Feb.1 and features two powerhouse teams. Tom Brady and the AFC Champion New England Patriots look to win a fourth Super Bowl in his career while Russell Wilson and the NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks try to capture a second consecutive title.
1. The Game Is in Arizona
This year’s Super Bowl is at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. This will be the third time Arizona hosts the event. The previous Super Bowls held in Arizona were Super Bowl XLI in 2008 when the New York Giants defeated the Patriots, 17-14, and Super Bowl XXX in 1996 when the Dallas Cowboys beat the Pittsburgh Steelers, 27-17.
This Super Bowl is the second game played at the University of Phoenix Stadium. Super Bowl XXX was held in Sun Devil Stadium—the previous home venue of the Arizona Cardinals before they moved into their current home in 2006.
2. Both Teams Playing Are No. 1 Seeds
The Seahawks and Patriots were both one seeds in their conferences. Both teams finished with a 12-4 record. This is the second year in a row that both of the top seeds in each conference meet in the Super Bowl.The Seahawks defeated the Carolina Panthers in the NFC Divisional round, 31-17, and won an overtime thriller in the NFC Championship against the Green Bay Packers, 28-22.
The Patriots earned their trip to the Super Bowl after they beat the rival Baltimore Ravens, 35-31, in an instant classic and demolished the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship, 45-7.
3. This Is the 6th Super Bowl in the Brady-Belichick Era
Bill Belichick and Tom Brady may be the greatest quarterback and coaching duo in NFL history. This year’s Super Bowl is their sixth appearance. Brady and Belichick found success early in their careers, winning Super Bowl XXXVI against the St. Louis Rams in 2002. The success continued when the Patriots were one of six franchises to win back-to-back Super Bowls. Winning Super Bowl XXXVIII and Super Bowl XXXIX, defeating the Carolina Panthers and the Philadelphia Eagles,the Patriots established league dominance.
New England’s invincibility in the Super Bowl did not last forever. In a record-setting 2007 season, The 18-0 Patriots met the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII. In a true David vs. Goliath matchup, the fifth-seeded Giants rallied and ruined the Patriots’ chance at perfection, defeating them 17-14.
New England met the Giants again in 2012 in Super Bowl XLVI, the Giants defeated the Patriots 21-17. It has been over a decade since the Patriots last won. Super Bowl XLIX will either end the drought or continue the losing streak.
4. Seattle Coach Pete Carroll Is Facing His Former Team
Pete Carroll is the fourth coach to face his former team in a Super Bowl. Carroll coached the Patriots from 1997-99. Other head coaches to face their former team include:Jon Gruden in Super Bowl XXXVII, Dan Reeves in Super Bowl XXXIII, and Weeb Ewbank in Super Bowl III. Gruden, as head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, defeated his former team, the Oakland Raiders, 48-21. Dan Reeves, head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, lost to his former team, the Denver Broncos, 34-19. Weeb Ewbank, head coach of the New York Jets, defeated his former team, the Baltimore Colts, 16-7.
5. Richard Sherman & Darrelle Revis Feuded in 2013
Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman is infamous for his trash talk, and he isn’t shy about tweeting out his feelings when it comes to his peers. Revis and Sherman exchanged words through Twitter in February 2013 when Revis was still with the New York Jets.
Their Twitter beef came to a truce, but this will be the test. Sherman and Revis meet on the field with the highest stakes to finally determine who the best cornerback in the NFL is.