Pick Your Legacy…Any Legacy

Get this man some Skittles. Can he carry the team to victory? Photo Courtesy: russell3wilson3
Get this man some Skittles. Will  he carry the team to victory?  Photo Courtesy: russell3wilson3

By Will Martin

Here we are as we now wind down the final week of the biggest game known to man – the Super Bowl!

This will mark the 48th time that one shall be played and for the 48th time we will proceed to reward the winning team with the Vince Lombardi trophy and 88,000 dollars per player compared to only 44,000 per losing player on losing team.

Dollars and sense, holler and scents. This is without a doubt a moneymaker for so many people and you can be sure that if you are one in need in being within a crowd at a bar, local tavern, or restaurant you can expect to pay a little more money for the right to claim a hot seat, have access to a buffet of some sort, prizes to be awarded, squares to be bet upon, crazy angles of plays and probabilities to appease Las Vegas.

There is also the whole dynamic of commercial watching. Especially in the first half where it is assumed that the most people will be watching the big game.

Consider how much we as fans have changed and evolved with the growth of the game. Consider how much we are willing to pay to ‘be a part of the action’ or in the middle of it all.

Super Bowl I tickets cost between 6 and 12 dollars. Face value on a ticket is now 600-1200 and will go for ten times the face value and then some…

Currently New York and New Jersey are in the middle of a cluster fudge of news, business and a desire to have your clients with a huge expense account to spend. In case you weren’t aware there are a lot of hotels, car companies, bartenders, waiters, valets, who anxiously await the chance to sell the hell out of their products in the hope of a huge life changing hookup.

Maybe it happens and maybe it doesn’t.

We will hear the stories-good and bad-about the ability to travel, navigate, party hop, be kept out of, great hospitality, poor service, price gauging, how the corporate elite travel and enjoy the big game on a Sunday better known as ‘Ground Hog Day.’

This article is supposed to address the topic of ‘legacy’. As in what will the legacy of this week’s Super Bowl engender upon the psyche of the fans, media, players, coaches, Madison Avenue, economic boost to two states be…and was it all worth it after all is said and done?

Sure, go ahead and pontificate about the legacy about Peyton Manning after his Denver Broncos (#1 in offense) proceed to defeat the #1 ranked defense of Seattle. Two trophies and then ponder retiring. Peyton last won a Super Bowl seven years ago while the Hawks last made an appearance eight years ago.

Go ahead and pontificate on the magnitude of the 12th fan having a wonderful fan base in a stadium specifically made to be loud as heck when Richard Sherman possibly comes up with the key breakup or interception of a pass by Peyton to give the good people of Seattle their first title since the SuperSonics in 1979.

Indeed there is also the angle of what it’s like to wait 15 years to play in your first Super Bowl like Champ Bailey is about to do this Sunday in New Jersey. Surely we would understand the feeling of being unsuccessful for so long and then you get the chance to leave the game you have played for so long on top.

Keep in mind that Peyton Manning will be completing his 16th season after Ground Hog Day. In the event of a Broncos win in the chilly climes can we rule out Peyton doing like John Elway and getting out on top? It’s a possibility.

How about the legacy of Manning playing in only 11 cold weather games in 262 career starts? It was enough for CBS Sports Greg Doyel to offer the following:

“Manning’s completion percentage in the cold is roughly 5 percentage points lower than his career rate, and his passing yardage is close to 50 yards per game below average. Granted, 11 games isn’t an enormous sample size, but it’s enough for me to take seriously. Three or four games? That would be statistically insignificant. That would be a fluke. Eleven games? With seven losses? That seems relevant, insightful, even foreboding for Super Bowl XLVIII.”

Even so there is that factor we like to call experience.

There’s also that legacy that lies ahead for the Beast Mode maker of the missed tackle Marshawn Lynch. In allowing for seven missed tackles in the championship game with the San Francisco 49ers that makes the total for 2013, 106 missed tackles on the Beast. Roughly six per game. Lynch has years of practice having also played in Buffalo a few years back. The cold conditions favor him nicely for Sunday.

There is also that little issue of not talking to the media on media day. This got me to thinking about the days of Duane Thomas who chose not to talk for most if not all of the 1971 season as the Cowboys won Super Bowl VI over Miami. You try doing that today it will cost you 100 grand a day. Believe that.

The NFL is big business. Media Day is a crazy mix of trying to get top echelon players to say something witty, funny, out there, over the top, or plain silly with the antics. Personally I have no desire to want to put up with the dumb shenanigans of someone a la Julie Brown back in the day. Keep it about the game itself if possible.

Legacy thought for all you old time old schoolers out there? Does all of his schtick we have been hearing from Richard Sherman remind them a little bit of another ex-linebacker who talked crazy back in the day but backed it up to a point? Remember Thomas ‘Hollywood’ Henderson?

Some view what Sherman has done and said to be a little over the top. This could come back to be a story if the Seahawks lose on Sunday. Otherwise you have players responding to the pressure of playing before an audience in the millions in many countries watching on may television sets.

To say nothing about the amount of security you’ll deal with and see on the ground and overhead. Helicopters flying around constantly searching thermal imaging sensors so that nothing bad happens like we saw at the Boston Marathon for example. Let’s just say that with over 100 law enforcement agencies New York and New Jersey are going to ensure that fans and players are safe at Met Life Stadium.

“As of this time, there are no threats directed against this event that we’re aware of,’’ New York police commissioner Bill Bratton told reporters Wednesday. “At the same time, the benefits of hosting this event here in this region is …the NYPD and its colleagues in the area have some of the best counterterrorism capabilities in the world. Not only in detection, but response.’’

Over 700 uniformed officers at the game on Sunday with hundreds more strategically placed along rail platforms, stations, and bus stations.

With only 11,000 parking spots available it is being reported that 15,000 fans will come to the game by light rail and another 15,000 by bus. The parking comprises only 40 percent of parking and those spaces have been claimed for a pretty penny.

If you can get into your seat within 15-20 minutes after clearing security that in itself is legacy worthy.

Back to the field of late Seahawks play caller Russell Wilson has been in a position to make things happen based on the play of his defense creating stops and turnovers. If a healthy Percy Harvin can somehow wreak havoc on a weak Denver secondary will that make for the legacy of Super Bowl XLVIII?

Let’s not forget the legacy of that city in Nebraska-‘Omaha’. Where Marlon Brando was born in 1924 and where that Mutual insurance company has roots. A way to see if a defense tips its hand to an ever studying Peyton Manning one can foresee a multitude of audibles that will somehow sway and offset the initial onslaught of defensive stops and guesses on the 16 year vet.

If Percy Harvin can get on the field Russell Wilson has a passer rating of 100.4. Something that Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin have not been able to give Wilson or the Seattle offense for a deep threat.

DeMarius Thomas and Eric Decker going up against Richard Sherman and Byron Maxwell. Good to the last drop? Or an even matchup all afternoon long for these four combatants? And how will Wes Welker in the slot do against the slot defending efforts of Walter Thurmond? Stay tuned.

It is estimated that over ten BILLION dollars will be bet on the Super Bowl. Next to 4th of July, Super Bowl Sunday is the second busiest grilling day of the year. Don’t forget the 11 million pounds of potato chips you and I will help to consume on Sunday.

The busiest day of the year for pizza joints bar none. Over double what they will do on a regular day! Wings are sold in some pizza places. Over 1.25 billion wings will be devoured on Super Bowl Sunday. That remains the King of the Big Game parties.

You’ll want to wash that down with beer. Expect 49.5 million cases of beer to be consumed on that day. Over 111 million people tuned in to watch the game in 30 languages and 180 countries. Paying for a prime spot for a 30 second ad will hit your pocketbook for 3.7 million.

This Super Bowl will mark the 21st straight year that an athlete from Nebraska will be a part of the big day courtesy of Stewart Bradley.

Which might explain the need to say ‘Omaha’.

Which could be the greatest legacy of all that I just put forth? Which is why when all is said and done Denver will come out on top 30-17 and both the Champ and Peyton say, ‘Thank You And Good Night!’.

Can’t say I’d blame them.

Enjoy the Super Bowl…and the legacy of how the game has grown since 1967. Kudos to the NFL.