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The Baby Bananas Quick & Dirty Guide to Super Bowl XL*

February 3, 2006

*Mainly for use by those not entirely familiar with the sport (for the less than dim, “the sport” being football). Use this helpful guide to help you choose a team to root for at your Super Bowl festivities—hopefully not based on the color of the uniforms or the proximity of where the team plays to where your grandma lives.

THE TEAMS


The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Seattle Seahawks play the 40th Super Bowl in Detroit, MI. The odds have Pittsburgh favored by 4 points mainly because they *technically* had to beat tougher teams to get here than the Seahawks did, but that is all relative.

HISTORY
Seattle: An expansion team created in 1976. In the 80’s the Seahawk’s became the first sports franchise to retire the number 12 to honor fan loyalty (for those not familiar; the 12th Man represents a section of fans of the home team that helps their 11-player team from the stands). Currently experiencing court room drama over use of the words “12th man”.

This is their first Super Bowl appearance.

Pittsburgh: Has been in the league since 1933. They started as the Pittsburgh Pirates, but 7 years later, a fan vote changed the name to the Steelers. The team’s logo was created in 1962, a direct adaptation of the Steelmark used by the steeling industry. The Steelers are the only NFL team to have their team logo emblazoned on just one side of their helmets. The short answer as to why is because they weren’t sure how it was going to look, so they only applied the new logos to one side in case they would have to remove them later – the second side was never applied because of superstition over the team’s (then) recent success.

This is their fifth Super Bowl appearance; the Steelers are 4-1 in Super Bowls.

THE SEASON
Seattle: 13 – 3
Some say Seattle benefited from an easy schedule and a weak division. But, 13 wins is a lot no matter what and they put 5 players in the Pro Bowl. You don’t do that just because you beat Arizona twice.

Pittsburgh: 11 – 5
Methodical, well played wins. And although the AFC is more competitive conference than the NFC and the Steelers division is super tough, no one talks about the fact that they got to play the NFC North this season – a fairly cushy 4 games (ok, 3). Yet, they came away with a strong record, even despite the fact they lost two games with their back up quarterback.

THE PLAYERS – by position
Quarterbacks
Seattle:
Matt Hasslebeck – Not flashy, but gets the job done. Could probably go unrecognized at the supermarket. But he put up impressive numbers as the season’s 4th best passer, and was recognized for it with a ticket to the Pro Bowl as the NFC’s first-stringer. He is also the brother-in-law to Elizabeth Hasslebeck.

Pittsburgh: Ben Rothlisberger – The city’s love child. Ever since last year’s magical rookie season, this man can do no wrong in the eyes of his fans. However, he has proved he’s the real deal this year, battling injury and putting up solid numbers. Hasn’t shaved since the playoff run began—hence the Grizzly Adams look. If you’re wondering, that’s Rothlisberger there on your far left.

Running Backs
Seattle:
Shaun Alexander – The NFL Most Valuable Player. Broke the record for number of touchdowns in a single-season with 28. Big mouth, but not as big as some. He’s a smooth runner, fun to watch.

Pittsburgh: Jerome Bettis, a.k.a. The Bus – The team’s heart and soul, the team has publicly said they will be playing this Sunday “for him”. He’s a big guy and generally handles their short-yardage plays, you’ll notice him when he has the ball because he quickly lumbers along, well like a bus. They have Willie Parker to handle most of the load, but if things go the Steelers’ way we should see more carries out of Bettis as they honor what will probably be his last NFL game.

Receivers
Seattle:
Darrell Jackson, Joe Jurevicius and Bobby Engram – Not any real game-breakers among this corps, but effective in scoring and getting downfield. Look for them to take a lot of catches while being well covered or grabbing them straight up the middle.

Pittsburgh: Hines Ward and Antwaan Randle El – Speedy guys, but look for Ward to be the standout of the two…that is, if he can hold on to the ball. Randle El can be a force to be reckoned with but he hasn’t been catching touchdowns for a sometime.

Defense
Seattle: Lofa Tatupu – A rookie middle linebacker, small for his position but amazingly effective in stopping the ball from advancing. So mentally quick is he, that he’s responsible for calling the Seahawks’ defensive plays on the field. Another of the ‘Hawks sent to this year’s Pro Bowl.

Pittsburgh: Troy Polamalu, a.k.a. the dude with all the hair (well not really, but you’ll find him easily now that I’ve said that) – A safety who is able to line up all over the field and wreak havoc on every offense he faces. Recognized for his talents with a Pro Bowl nod. Look to see if a recent ankle injury, while practicing in Detroit, will affect his play on Sunday.

THE COACHES
Seattle: Mike Holmgren – Has one Super Bowl ring with the Green Bay Packers, and is trying to become the first coach to win with more than one team. He comes across as a serious coach, but with a nice side. Makes the tough decisions, but players generally like him.

Pittsburgh: Bill Cowher – The longest-tenured head coach in the NFL has never won a Super Bowl, losing once to Dallas. One of the main sourpusses of the NFL, he hardly ever seems happy with what his team is doing…even if it’s scoring touchdowns. He’ll find something to yell about at every given chance, and is prone to trick plays and taking chances on the field.

There you have it. Hopefully you can find a tid bit or two to make your game-watching more enjoyable. Maybe you’ll even be able to throw in a random factoid to impress your fellow partyers, I mean the bit about the Steelers’ helmets should impressive even real NFL fans.

Oh, and go Seahawks!

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. February 3, 2006 12:45 pm

    I was just about to comment on the 12th man trademark drama but then I refreshed and saw that you beat me to it.

    Happy Super Bowl!

  2. February 3, 2006 1:12 pm

    That was dumb, wasn’t it?

  3. February 3, 2006 3:32 pm

    I love this. Well done.

  4. February 3, 2006 3:49 pm

    Very impressed with the knowledge of the Steelers helmets! Good job!

    And Go Steelers!

  5. February 3, 2006 3:54 pm

    You are a funny gal, I must say!!

  6. February 3, 2006 3:56 pm

    I was just trolling through random blogs and came across yours. I’m so glad you included the bit about the Steelers logo on their helmets, as my boyfriend and I had wondered about it! Thanks! 🙂

  7. February 3, 2006 4:01 pm

    Wow, I just learned so much! And now I’m thinking about changing my team preferences… Gonna have to think some more. Hmm…

  8. February 3, 2006 4:06 pm

    delurking to say two things:

    first – you are one funny girl! i visit your blog daily for a good dose of amusement (when you post that is 🙂

    second – go seattle! my boys decided that they needed to root for seattle because hasselback’s brother is the backup qb for the giants. and if that’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me 🙂

  9. February 3, 2006 4:22 pm

    i-66, *blushes* that’s high praise from you 🙂

    Tyler, The Google might not be good for dating, but it’s great for random info! I had known about the logo, but not about why it was only on one side…and had always been curious.

    Harms, I wanted it to be funnier 🙂

    His suzy, now you can impress the bf with your fantastic football knowledge!

    Roary, that’s my girl! Be informed! Root for the right team (um, that’s the Seahwaks).

    …How, *more blushing*! Thank you! I wish I were funnier. So glad you delurked 🙂

  10. February 4, 2006 9:28 am

    i also linked to you on my blog… hope that’s okay 🙂

  11. February 4, 2006 1:00 pm

    Very diplomatic, unlike most of the Superbowl posts I’ve read!! Loved it! GO SEAHAWKS!!

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