Who Am I?

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I served in the US Navy from 2002-08; four of those years were as a Nuclear Propulsion Operator aboard an aircraft carrier. I engage in political activism in various Democratic circles when I am able to. I have a cat, and I am an uncle.

All opinions that I express are my own and do not reflect the views of any organization that I represent.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

SUPER BOWL XLVIII




It is finally here: Super Bowl XLVIII.

For the 7th time in the network's sad great history, Fox will air the Super Bowl. So... for the last time this season...

ASSUME FOX VIEWING POSITIONS!



HISTORY

Denver and Seattle played in the AFC West from 1977 until 2001. Today the teams meet in the regular season every four years. Their last meeting was back in September 2010 in Denver and are scheduled to meet again sometime in the 2014 season in Seattle. Though the Broncos won that game 31-14, the season would spiral into a 4-12 season that would lead to the mid-season firing of Josh McDaniels. The 2010 version of the Seahawks would finish 7-9, win the NFC West, and win a playoff game. It was also coach Pete Carroll's first season with the team.

Denver leads the all-time series with the Seahawks 34-19, but Seattle won their only playoff meeting. In 1983, the Seahawks beat the Broncos in Seattle 31-7 in the AFC Wild Card Playoff. It triggered a deep playoff run before their run ended at the hands of eventual Super Bowl champion Oakland Los Angeles Raiders.

This is Denver's 7th Super Bowl appearance. Led by the Orange Crush defense in 1977 the Broncos appeared in the first Super Bowl to be played in a dome, Super Bowl XII at the Superdome in New Orleans. Denver was no match for the Dallas Cowboys Doomsday Defense of the 1970s as the Cowboys came away with their second Super Bowl of the decade.

In 1983, the Broncos were able to force a trade with the then-Baltimore Colts for the rights of first overall pick John Elway. Elway led the Broncos to three Super Bowls in four years in the 1980s. Their back-to-back appearances were at the expense of the Cleveland Browns. In the 1986 AFC Title Game it was "The Drive" that sent the game to overtime and allowed the Broncos to escape with a 23-20 victory. The following year it was Ernest Byner's fumble near the goal line that preserved a 38-33 win in Denver. The 1989 edition of the AFC Title Game was rather one sided as the Broncos easily put away the Browns 37-21.

But in those 1980s Super Bowls there was no chance for Elway comeback magic. The NFC won 8 of the 10 Super Bowls in seasons taking place in the 1980s. Denver lost by a combined score of 136-40 and became the second team to lose 4 Super Bowls. The first was the Minnesota Vikings and was later matched by the Bills 4 consecutive Super Bowl losses of the early 1990s. The Patriots became the 4th club to join the 4-time loser club with their loss in Super Bowl XLVI.


Towards the end of Elway's career it was looking like he was never going to win a Super Bowl championship. Things came together for the Broncos in 1997 when the Broncos won their first Super Bowl championship over defending champion Green Bay. Running back Terrell Davis was named the game's MVP with 157 yards rushing and 3 touchdowns.




The following season behind a Terrell Davis 2,000-yard season Denver hoisted the Lombardi Trophy again with a 34-19 win over the Atlanta Falcons in Miami. Quarterback John Elway was named that game's MVP and retired afterwards. In the years afterwards Denver made the playoffs six times with two times being bounced out of the Wild Card round, two other times reaching the divisional round, playing in the AFC Title Game in 2005, and finally reaching the Super Bowl this season.

Seattle's Super Bowl history resulted in one appearance in Super Bowl XL against the Pittsburgh Steelers. This is their 13th playoff appearance in team history. Seattle made their first playoff appearance in 1983 with a 9-7 record which was also the year they defeated the Broncos in the Wild Card Round 31-7. Seattle made a deep playoff run before losing to the eventual Super Bowl Champions, Los Angeles Raiders, in the AFC Championship game. The following season Seattle would avenge the loss in the 1984 Wild Card round but lost to eventual AFC Champion Miami in the divisional round. Seattle would make two more playoff appearances in the 1980s but each time would result in an early playoff exit. The team would make the playoffs in 1999, but again fail to advance past their first game.

Fortune would change for Seattle when the team left the King Dome for their present stadium. Since moving into CenturyLink Field in 2002, Seattle has made the playoffs 8 times in 12 seasons. 2002 was also the same year that Seattle moved from the NFC to the AFC due to league expanding to its current format of 32 teams. Seattle has won 2 NFC Championships, but has not captured the Vince Lombardi Trophy.



BY THE NUMBERS


SEATTLE
DENVER
Record
13-3
13-3
Playoff Seed
NFC 1
AFC 1
Penalties
1st
4th
Penalty Yards
1st
5th
Offensive Yards
17th
1st
Total Offensive Plays
29th
1st
Passing Yards
26th
1st
Rushing Yards
4th
15th
First Downs
9th
1st
Offensive Yards Per Plays
9th
2nd
Giveaways
T-26th
15th
Takeaways
1st
T-16th
Turnover Differential
1st
T-14th
Points Scored
9th
1st
Touchdowns Scored
20th
1st
Defensive Yards
1st
19th
Total Defensive Plays
6th
23rd
Passing Yards Against
1st
27th
Rushing Yards Against
8th
7th
First Downs Against
T-3rd
27th
Defensive Yards Per Plays
1st
15th
Points Against
1st
22nd
Touchdowns Against
1st
25th

Denver also has the best percentage of their drives ending in some kind of score at 47.5%. Seattle is also in the top 5 in that category coming in at 40.7%. Seattle has a lower drive ending in a turnover percentage with 9.3% vs. Denver's 10.4%. Seattle also starts with better field position on average than Denver (own 31.0 vs. own 28.3), in part due to Seattle leading the NFL in takeaways. Because Seattle allowed the fewest points, yards, and yards per play, they also had the lowest drives ending in a score percentage coming in at 24.7%, which was 1.5 points better than San Francisco who they defeated for the NFC title. Denver ranked 14th in this category. And as shown with leading the NFL in takeaways, Seattle opponent's drives ended with a turnover 19.4% of the time compared to Denver's 12.6%. Seattle opponents had to start at their 25.8 yard line while Denver opponents started at their 27.8 yard line.



WEATHER


This is first Super Bowl to take place in a northern city with an open stadium. It appears that the weather is slightly exceeding expectations. The forecast for East Rutherford, NJ on Sunday calls for a cloudy skies with temperatures in the upper 40s in the daytime. Winds are expected out of the west at 6 miles per hour. With kickoff at 6:25 PM (ET), temperatures will be in the lower 40s and eventually bottoming out near freezing with winds shifting to the NNW at 8 miles per hour. There is a 50% chance of precipitation but it does not appear that precipitation will impact the game as it will show up after the game ends.



THE PICK


From the looks of this, it is an evenly matched contest. Denver has their high scoring offense, but Seattle has that defense. Led by 2013 NFL Offensive Player of The Year Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is looking for his second Super Bowl championship. Manning also has his 5th MVP award. Winning the Super Bowl would cap a remarkable season than Manning has had.

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is seeking his first. Seattle can run the ball with Marshawn Lynch at running back and the Fox microphones might be following cornerback Richard Sherman for a sound bite or two.

Both teams have already played in this stadium this season both against the Giants. Denver played in this stadium back in Week 2 while Seattle played here mostrecently back in December. Both teams came away with wins over the lowly Giants.

Seattle's most recent championship was in 1979 when the Supersonics won the NBA championship. Seattle lost their basketball team as it relocated and became the Oklahoma City Thunder. Denver does not want to become the first NFL team to lose five Super Bowls.

I have personal connections to both cities. It was ten years ago this coming March that I met my ship in Bremerton, WA. People say that Seattle is a dreary place, but it really isn't. And as shown in recent postings, I have relocated to Colorado where most of my mother's family live.

Both teams have very compelling stories and would fit very well in telling the championship story. Peyton Manning winning his second Super Bowl Title would strengthen his resume for the Hall of Fame. If Seattle wins, Richard Sherman's postgame interview would probably be the most viewed and shared YouTube video in the website's history.

Denver was bounced out of the playoffs in the first round in the 1996 playoffs. The following season they won their first Super Bowl. In 2012, Denver was the 1-seed and was bounced out of the playoffs early. This year Denver is in the Super Bowl.

Also if you recall in Super Bowl XLVI, Eli Manning and the Giants won at Lucas Oil Stadium which was the home field of the Colts where Peyton Manning was the quarterback for many years. MetLife Stadium is home of the Giants where Eli Manning is the quarterback.

Well... at the start of the year I said Denver would win it all. At the start of the playoffs I (eventually) said Denver over Seattle. According to the Chinese Zodiac, it is the Year of The Horse.

Better stick with Denver. I rode them at the start of the season and I might as well go with them in the end.

BRONCOS 28, SEAHAWKS 24


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