[[nid:100653]]If you're a diehard football fan, you might think there's nothing else to say after two weeks of wall-to-wall Super Bowl coverage. And if you're not really into football, you might dismiss the whole thing.
But this game has plenty of intrigue no matter your level of knowledge of the sport. Chances are, you'll find something on this list to bring up at your Super Bowl party either way.
- This game has all the makings of one of the best Super Bowls ever. It features the league’s best offense (by far) versus the league’s best defense.
- The Broncos are the first team in NFL history to score more than 600 points in a season. Peyton Manning and Co. could have stayed home during their last four regular-season games and still been the highest scoring team in the league this year.
- As a teenager, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock worked as the Broncos’ mascot, Huddles. Huddles has since been retired, but according to an ESPN story in 2012, Hancock earned $25 per game dressing up as the plush horse in 1986.
- The Chinese New Year is Friday, and that marks the beginning of the Year of the Horse. Coincidence? Probably. Good omen for the Broncos? Definitely.
- Gov. John Hickenlooper temporarily renamed all of Colorado’s 14ers after Broncos players. See the full list here. The governor gives reasons for most of the pairings, like naming Mt. Wilson near Telluride after Defensive End Shaun Phillips, who “Leads the Broncos in sacks this year and will be taking down [Seahawks quarterback] Russell Wilson.”
- Peyton Manning is the funnier of the two Super Bowl starting quarterbacks. This one’s a little subjective, but he has this, this and this to prove the point.
- Richard Sherman may be the villain in this game for Broncos fans, since he represents the Seahawks defense that will try to disrupt and upset Peyton Manning on Sunday. But Sherman is more thoughtful than his eruption at the end of the NFC Championship Game would suggest. After getting a lot of ugly reactions to those comments, Sherman explained himself in a column for Sports Illustrated.
- Seattle only has one player who’s been to a Super Bowl before, and he’s not likely to play much in the game. None of the Seahawks’ most important players have experience in the Big Game. The Broncos have four players with Super Bowl experience, but only one has a victory in the game: Peyton Manning, who’s 1-1 in prior Super Bowls.
- Seattle starting quarterback Russell Wilson was nine years old when Peyton Manning started his first NFL game in 1998 for the Indianapolis Colts. The nearly 13-year age difference between the two men is the largest ever between starting quarterbacks in a Super Bowl.
- Champ Bailey is this year’s feel-good story. The 35-year-old Bronco is in his 15th NFL season. He’s played in 12 Pro Bowls, which are the league’s all-star games. But he’s never been to a Super Bowl--until now.
Correction: The audio version of this story incorrectly states that this is Russell Wilson's third year in the NFL. It's his second year.