If you're invited to a Super Bowl party and aren't quite up to speed about Sunday's big game, join the club. This blogger's a Buffalo Bills fan and tries to kind of tune out around this time of the season because, after all, it brings back some painful memories.
But it is the big story of the weekend, and The Two-Way knows it needs to be covered in some way. So here we go with three things you could drop into the conversation if you're invited to watch the game with friends or family and need to sound sort-of knowledgeable:
-- "John's older by 15 months." Something even those who don't care about the game at all have probably heard about by now is that the two teams are coached by brothers, which hasn't happened before at the Super Bowl. Jim Harbaugh coaches the San Francisco 49ers. John Harbaugh coaches the Baltimore Ravens. Bonus nugget: their dad, Jack, coached at Western Michigan University.
-- "Kaepernick might as well be a rookie." San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick wasn't given the starting job until the 10th game of the season. This is only his second year in the league and the Super Bowl will be only the 10th time he's started an NFL game. Bonus nugget: Kaepernick, who's 25, won't be the youngest starting QB in Super Bowl history. The Miami Dolphins' Dan Marino was 23 when he started Super Bowl XIX in 1985.
-- "The Ravens overcame incredible odds to get here." NPR's Mike Pesca dug up some fascinating numbers for Morning Edition. "Take the most dire moments in the in the Ravens' post-season run," Mike said. Those include trailing the Denver Broncos by a touchdown with 30 seconds left, falling behind in New England (where the Patriots almost never lose if they're ahead at halftime) and a game against the Colts that wasn't decided until the last moment.
Baltimore's cumulative chances of winning all three games, according to the numbers crunchers at PredictionMachine.com: About 1 in 950. The data gurus at AdvancedNFLStats.com say the Ravens are, by a factor of about 2 to 1, the least likely team to have ever reached the Super Bowl after facing such difficult situations. Bonus nugget: The Bills' preseason odds of winning the Super Bowl were 60-1. But let's not think about the Bills just now.
For more coverage of the Super Bowl, you might consider checking our friends at:
-- WYPR in Baltimore.
-- KQED in San Francisco.
-- WBUR's Only The Game.
And there's also:
-- "Are NFL Football Hits Getting Harder And More Dangerous?" (On the Shots blog)
-- "The Super Bowl No One Cared About." (On The Picture Show blog)
-- "A Quest For Real Beer, Without The Gluten." (On The Salt blog)
-- "Wacky Super Bowl Ads Are Already Getting Serious Play." (Our earlier post)
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