Super Bowl XLVIII
Yes, the New York Giants played the Seattle Seahawks this year. Yes, Denver Broncos' quarterback Peyton Manning and Giants' quarterback Eli Manning are brothers. Peyton, however, won't be getting much advice about the Seahawks from Eli. Giants-Seahawks, you will recall, was a 23-0 Seattle victory in which Eli tossed five interceptions.
"Yeah, he told me he couldn't help much with Seattle," Peyton Manning said in his news conference shortly after the Broncos arrived Sunday afternoon. "That wasn't one of the Giants' best games."
Denver coach John Fox missed four weeks of the 2013 NFL season due to a heart condition. He says the condition was first discovered when he was defensive coordinator for the Giants.
Broncos' safety MIke Adams, like the Giants' Victor Cruz, is a native of Paterson, N.J. He says that if the Broncos win the Super Bowl Sunday he is leaving his uniform on and walking to Paterson. He says he would do it because Paterson "can be almost like cancer" and he wants to show the doubters that he made something of his life.
The game might be in New Jersey, but Broncos and Seahawks players don't appear to want to spend any more time in the Garden State than they have to.
The Super Bowl matches the Seahawks league-leading defense vs. the Broncos league-leading offense. Former Giants coach Bill Parcells says it reminds of the Giants Super Bowl matchup against the Buffalo Bills, which the Giants won, 20-19.
Yes, the game-time temperatures are likely to be in the 20s. That could be a great thing writes Hampton Stevens in The Atlantic. He says it would "strip the game down to its gutsiest, sloppiest, most gloriously determination-testing form."
Odds 'n Ends
The perfect NFL coach may not exist, but if you tried to build one from all of the current NFL coaches what would you take from Giants coach Tom Coughlin. Sports On Earth chooses something that might surprise the segment of Giants' fans who see the 67-year-old Coughlin as a stodgy, inflexible, set in his ways old man whose time has passed by. SOE chose Coughlin's 'chameleon skin.'
Schematic adaptability is crucial to our perfect coach, but so is personal adaptability. Few coaches, especially ones who have tasted success, are able to significantly change their approach when the need arises. Coughlin's martinet style wore thin with the Giants, and to his credit, Coughlin recognized he needed to adapt or die (or get fired, which is the same thing to a head coach). So he stopped pretending he was in the British Navy, and began to relate to his players well enough to spur them to a pair of championships.
[Valentine's View: Coughlin is not a perfect head coach. As SOE points out one does not exist. He has shown his adaptability again this offseason by basically blowing up the offensive coaching staff, moving on without loyal coaches who have been around him for a decade or more, and -- with Ben McAdoo as offensive coordinator -- embracing an offense that will likely be different than any Coughlin has ever coached.]
Yahoo Sports offers millions of reasons why the NFL could expand the playoffs.
Justin Pugh turned out to be an excellent first-round pick for the Giants in the 2013 NFL Draft. If the entire first round could be done over again, however, would the Giants be better off with wide receiver Tavon Austin? Don Banks of Sports Illustrated re-drafted the first round, and the Giants wound up with the diminutive speedster who was actually drafted eighth overall by the St. Louis Rams.
Let's leave you with this ESPN video that captures the 2013 NFL season in less than three minutes: