It's almost time: 25 things to watch for in Super Bowl XLVIII
Thank goodness for Laces Out, right? So, here it is: 25 things to look out for in Super Bowl XLVIII. Enjoy.
1. Bruno Mars
He's the star of the Super Bowl halftime show and he's got a lot on his shoulders with such a huge audience watching him in-person and on television. But who cares about that? I'm talking fashion here. Will he wear a fur or faux fur coat? What's he gonna wear on his head? Porkpie hat? A beanie? Maybe he'll just let his hair blow in the New Jersey wind. Whatever, as long as he sings "Locked out of Heaven' -- which is the only Bruno Mars song I know -- we'll be fine. Oh, yah-yah.
The guy has been shredding bass for the legendary Red Hot Chili Peppers for years, and they're sharing the stage with Mars. Mr. Flea has also been known to get on stage sans shirt on several occasions. So, it begs the question: Will he go shirtless in the frigid weather on Sunday? He'll get the ultimate respect if he does. I'll personally give him a million dollars (I really won't) if he plays in his birthday suit.
3. Richard Sherman's mouth
A lot will depend on whether the Seahawks win the game. He's not that much of an in-game talker, but the refs could be watching him closely. Will he draw a flag for unsportsmanlike conduct? Maybe. However, if his team hoists the Lombardi Trophy, all bets are off. Expect a rant of "300" proportions before he spontaneously combusts at midfield.
4. Marshawn Lynch's mouth
This poor guy. All he wants is to be left alone to carry the rock and truck fools on the field. However, his reticence at speaking to the media this week has brought even more unwanted attention on him and his gold-plated teeth. If the Seahawks lose, he'll probably be left alone, but if they win, he'll be forced to say something. Here's where I think conventional wisdom goes out the door. Expect Lynch to actually be verbose if his team comes out with the victory.
5. Peyton Manning's mouth
We're watching for the word "Omaha." How many times will he say it? More than 30? At least 45? The number will be high, for sure. And that's a good thing because the Omaha Chamber of Commerce will pledge $1,500 to Peyton Manning's charity every time he utters the word. I would suggest making a drinking game where you take a shot every time he says Omaha, but I don't want a nation of people throwing up before halftime.
6. Kickers and their excuses
The Broncos' Matt Prater and the Seahawks' Steven Hauschka will have a tough time doing their jobs, with the cold and possible high winds affecting their attempts at field goals and extra points. Although they're pros and should be trained to deal with these things, expect one or both to blame the conditions for any misses. Even if a kick gets blocked.
7. Onside kicks
Remember Sean Payton and his legendary "Ambush" call to start the second half of the Saints' win over the Peyton Manning-led Colts in Super Bowl XLIV? Well, Manning is back, this time with the Broncos, in Super Bowl XLVIII. Who knows, the Seahawks might try and pull a rabbit out of their hats if they find themselves in a hole early. Not saying it will happen, but it's worth keeping a close eye on this.
8. Percy Harvin's head
This season hasn't gone exactly as planned for Mr. Harvin. He missed a large majority of the regular season, returned to play in the NFC divisional game against the Saints and took two major hits to the head and was knocked out of action. He'll be back in the Super Bowl, but here's hoping that he can get through this game unscathed. May I suggest wearing a Wes Welker-type helmet?
9. Russell Wilson's hair
He decided to grow it out this season and the results have been … curly. I can only imagine what would happen to his hairdo if he spent some time in the South Florida humidity. But he's in New Jersey on Sunday and I'm expecting to see a shower of steam come off his dome whenever he takes his helmet off. I'm talking clouds here, folks.
10. Derrick Coleman will do something inspiring
The Seahawks' fullback and his story of perseverance despite being hearing impaired is the stuff of movies. I can't get enough of him. Seriously, he could tie a shoe and it would bring a tear to me eye. Here's hoping he comes through with an impressive play.
11. The coin toss!
This is television at its finest. One flip. Two options: heads or tails. I'm a heads man, myself. I'll be on the edge of my seat waiting to see the team that wins it. And what will that team decide to do? Kick? Receive? Or possibly defer, which is the passive-aggressive option. It's like saying, "I want to receive in the second half, but I don't want to tell anyone that." Weak sauce.
12. Zooey Deschanel
Well, I have no idea if she's going to be at the game. However, what I do know is that her show "The New Girl" will air a new episode immediately following the Super Bowl. FOX self-promotion! Gotta love it.
13. The Seahulk
Everyone should experience the 12th Man in person. However, seeing an excellent representation of that crazy fan base on television will have to do. Look out for cameras to find the man painted like the Incredible Hulk sitting in the crowd. He'll be there.
14. The Manning Family
A lot of people are probably sick of the First Family of Football, and I can understand that. But that doesn't change the fact that the entire clan will be there to watch Peyton try and clinch his second championship ring. Don't worry, it's more than likely that you'll catch a glimpse of Archie and Eli and possibly Cooper chilling in their box and sitting on the edge of their seats.
15. Chris Christie
The New Jersey governor has had to put up with a lot of guff over the past two weeks. First of all, Super Bowl XLVIII is being played in New Jersey, not New York. However, everyone and their mother keeps blathering and blathering about New York this and New York that. It's nonsense. This is New Jersey's game, so I wouldn't be surprised if Christie throws down a steel cage challenge to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo at some point during the game. By the way, I'm taking Christie in that fight.
16. Justin Bieber
Everyone's favorite Canadian bird-brain has been all over the place lately. According to Page Six of the New York Post on Friday, he had arrived in town for some Super Bowl pre-parties when authorities detected the strong odor of pot coming from his private jet. SMH. So, does that mean he and his rolled-up sleeves are coming to the game? Oh … God … No.
17. Renee Fleming
The world-renowned American opera singer has been tapped to sing the national anthem. Nice. What I'm really intrigued by is the prop bet for the actual song. Las Vegas has set the over/under on the time for Fleming to belt it out at 2:20. Personally, I'm going with the over. I think it will take her at least 45 seconds to get through "Oh, say can you see" at the beginning. She's an opera singer, and like everything involved with opera, she'll take forever.
18. Chris Kluwe
What does the former NFL punter have to do with the Super Bowl. Duh, he's going to be doing a live chat for FOXSports.com during the game, bringing his brand of acerbic and witty commentary. Please make sure to join us while you watch the game on TV. Yes, that's more FOX self-promotion.
Who's gonna cry? Seahawks fullback Michael Robinson – who battled a serious illness early in the season -- let it flow after his team won the NFC Championship Game. Will he start bawling again if his team wins? What's more, how many of you will cry during an especially touching commercial? Sure, you might laugh now, but I guarantee there will be some of you reaching for a tissue when you see the Budweiser ad on Sunday.
The last time the Seahawks were in the Super Bowl, the zebras may have had an undue influence on the game. The Steelers won, and many fans in Seattle think the officiating had a lot to do with the outcome.
21. Knowshon Moreno
I know, we already covered crying earlier, but the Broncos running back deserves a section of his own. Will we see him cry the Niagara Falls on Sunday during Renee Fleming's national anthem? But beyond that, what role will he play in the Broncos' game plan against that vaunted Seattle defense? We'll wait and see.
Not sure if that has never happened in a Super Bowl, but I wouldn't be surprised to see some beer-fueled fan try and run on to the field. Whoever tries will be dealt a level of punishment never seen before. I'm talking swarms of security, police and federal agents all doling out a vicious beatdown. I'm actually rooting for it.
Marshawn Lynch may not open his mouth much, but he sure isn't afraid to open wide when it comes to devouring the delicious candy. What's more, let's see if any 12th Men and Women shower the field with Skittles if Beast Mode reaches the end zone.
Will it snow? Just for aesthetic purposes, wouldn't it set a nice scene to see a light dusting fall at game time? However, if the wind picks up, this could get ugly. Never before has a setting for a Super Bowl played such a starring role in a game, and I know most of us can't wait to see what happens.
25. Erin Andrews' postgame interview
The last time she got a hold of a player after a game, Richard Sherman went on a diatribe for the ages. EA will get a chance to silence her doubters after Sunday's action and the results should be impressive.
Enjoy the game, everyone!