So if you read the last post, you know a little about the coaches for this weeks game, but they’re not really the ones you’ll be watching on Sunday, and certainly not the ones bound to amuse us during this weeks coming media parade. So let’s talk players.
Quarterbacks – Old Guard Vs. New Guard
Tom Brady is quarterback royalty. When you ask someone who doesn’t know football for the one name they know, they’ll give you his. But it wasn’t always so easy for him. Tom was the youngest child of 4, with three older sisters, and those hair pulling sessions must have been more merciless than any line of scrimmage he’s seen since! But quite seriously, at college he was hugely undervalued, and when the draft came he was chosen a disappointing 199th overall in the 6th round. Analysts have since said that he was the greatest draft pick of all time.
He struggled, and worked his way into a starter position, eventually becoming the better half of the Brady/Belichick dynasty that has dominated football for the last decade. Brady has played his entire professional career with the Patriots, and is in every sense of the word ‘a franchise player’. He embodies the values that the franchise holds, and is unflinchingly loyal. Thank goodness he looks good in Navy and Red – but honestly he’d probably look good in any colour. On top of his many football related achievements, he has beaten out a bunch of other, very attractive men to become Glam Mags ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ for the second year in a row. On top of that, he has three kids. A son from his beautiful ex-girlfriend, and a son and daughter from his supermodel wife Gisele Bundchen, who by the way, nearly broke twitter with all her excited emojies after the AFC win.
But Brady has been on top a long time. He’s hosted SNL, voiced himself on The Simpsons and Family Guy, and most recently done this just laughable photo shoot. To me, that dog collar says – I’m here and that Dobermans not taking me anywhere! But the next two weeks will be tough for him. The Pats were just accused of deflating their footballs below regulation in the AFC championship game. They’re being investigated over the next few weeks and unfortunately, this is one scandal he’ll have a hard time passing off on his evil looking coach. Brady has admitted to preferring footballs with less air, and it’s hard to believe that one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time wouldn’t notice that his football didn’t feel quite right, or that someone else would mess with them.
But what about Russell Wilson? This is Russell’s third year in the league, so his resume couldn’t possibly measure up to Brady’s. It’s impressive, but he’s not considered one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time…yet. Wilson was slighted in the draft, like Brady, (he was picked in the third round) and just like Brady, he was not immediately made starter for the Seahawks. He competed against two other prospects in training camp, and just barely came out on top. Pete Carroll took a huge chance with him. Other teams were afraid to even look at him because of his size. The average height for a quarterback in the NFL is 6’3 (Brady is 6’4). Russell is 5’11.
But over the past three years he has proven himself both on and off the field. He took his team to their first Superbowl ever last year and won against Brady’s biggest rival. His charity work seems to take up as much time as football. He runs his own foundation, helping youth in communities in need. Russell Investments donates $3000 every time he throws a touchdown. This year he started a campaign to talk about domestic abuse when the NFL was in desperate need to have that conversation AND he runs a passing academy in the off season, donating all the proceeds to a charity for Diabetes in honour of his father. Russell has a big heart and two very adorable great danes.
I also just want to quickly address the possibility that Russell Wilson might be psychic. Firstly he claims that when he was 14, Jesus appeared to him in a dream. But visions can happen to anyone. What about this quote he gave on the Thursday before a game, predicting the way the game went. “It’s gonna come down to the fourth quarter. It may go to overtime. I’m expecting something great to happen, some amazing play to win the game, or amazing drive, or a back-and-forth two-minute drill.” Then when they were down, he told his offensive coordinator how they would win the game “”I told Darrell Bevell I was going to get the look I wanted, make the check we’d practiced and hit Jermaine [Kearse] for the winning touchdown.” AND THEN HE DID. All I’m saying is that we should consider this as a possibility.
Now, while Brady and Russell share a similar history, their public personas are very different. Brady is a team man, he says what he’s supposed to say, when he’s supposed to say it, and always appears in stoic control. He never does anything unexpected. Russell is a little different. He’s still mild mannered, but his emotions tend to be a bit grander than Brady’s. He was weeping after the NFC championship game…..weeping! They’re both deserving of this cup, it’s a battle of the new kid cementing himself amongst the greats, and the King trying to stay on top – And I think the dog collar thing is just a bit too much so I’m going with the oracle that is Russell Wilson.
But let’s talk defence
Richard Sherman is a great man, and the leader of Seattle’s incredible defence – The Legion of Boom, known for their hard hits. Richard in particular is known for this trash talk and is the self proclaimed ‘best corner in the game’. The last time the Pats and Hawks played, he intercepted a throw from Brady and shouted “U mad bro??” repeatedly in the QB’s direction. Later he posted a picture where he is seen taunting Brady with the same caption – It went viral. Brady was noticeably ruffled, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him try something similar at the Superbowl. For all his talk it must be said that Richard puts the game first. He’s a passionate player and a powerhouse on the field. In the NFC championship game he hurt his elbow but stayed on the field, cradling his injured arm and rallying his team. He claims the injury is minor and he’ll be back on the field Feb. 1st.
But he’s not my favourite defensive player for the Hawks. That title belongs to Michael Bennett. If you watched the highlights or saw much of anything from the NFC game, you most likely saw a weeping Russell Wilson, and large bearded man riding a bike around the stadium. Michael Bennett, overcome with excitement after the win, saw a police bike and promptly took it. He has since said it was the best bike ride of his life “like the first time you make love…really good”. He defended his lap by saying that he was giving the people what they want – he was right. He’s undoubtedly one of the most amusing men in football. Journalists love talking to him because he always says something great. During the playoffs, when asked how he was dealing with the stress, he answered “Doing the exact same thing we always do: not having sex on Wednesday’s, watching Homeland, just chilling.”
And whatever you do, make sure you’re ready for his notorious sack dance. He recently said that his was the most important sack dance in history because it caused a baby boom in Seattle, so don’t be caught unawares: it’s that sexy. I’ll attach a link below, but for those too fertile to watch it, I can tell you that he recently described it as “two angels dancing while chocolate is coming from the heavens.”
Lastly for the Seahawks defence (although there are plenty more where that came from) I want to talk about Derrick Coleman. You may know him from a Duracell commercial that aired leading up to last years Superbowl. It’s arguably the greatest ad ever made, and called attention to the largely unknown fact that Derrick Coleman is deaf. Quite honestly when I watch it I feel the need to immediately go out and buy Duracell batteries, and I’m not the only one.
After seeing the ad a 9 year old hearing impaired girl wrote a letter to Coleman saying that he inspired her. He wrote back and the whole thing became the cutest thing to happen in football, maybe ever. Riley Kovalcik, her twin sister and the whole family ended up getting VIP tickets to the Superbowl last year and hung out with Coleman for an hour on game day. Since, he has become an icon for kids everywhere with hearing impairments.
But the Patriots have a few players worth mentioning too!
Derelle Revis is also considered to be the greatest cornerback in football. Two years ago, he and Richard Sherman had a lengthy twitter battle regarding who the best really was, but don’t expect him to be bated this year. Bill Belichick likes his players to be reserved and tight lipped off the field. When he was recently asked about Sherman, he changed the subject right away. This is Revis’s first year with Patriots and his 8th year in the NFL but he’s never been to the Superbowl before, so this is a big deal for him. His spot on the field is nicknamed Revis Island which can be defined by urban dictionary as ‘a place where NFL wide receivers frequently get lost’ and Urban Dictionary is no joke. He also has his own shoes – The Nike Zoom Revis and they’re pretty cool.
And then there’s Brandon Browner who played for Seattle last year – this is his first time facing off against his former team. It’s also his first Superbowl. He was suspended last year for violating the NFL’s performance enhancing drugs rules, although from what I can tell, it was a claim from his time with the CFL. In an interview with The News Tribune he said “Those guys are like my brothers over there – they’re my best friends. But on the day, I’m trying to win. I’m headhunting.” He has been the only Patriot player (other than Brady) to come forward with his thoughts on Deflate Gate, coining the new and influential, trending hashtag – #inflatethis
So who’s got heart on Deffence – Seahawks
The Hawks certainly have some players worth noting. The first is Marshawn Lynch and his infamous Beast Mode. You’ll hear a lot about him on press day because he’s a fan favourite, everyone will want to talk to him, and he will try and skirt them all. In 2013 he was fined $50,000 by the NFL for failing to speak to the press. Seahawk fans raised that amount to pay the fine for him, and forced the NFL to back down. In the end the NFL said that he had to donate the fan money and gave him a firm warning. This year, when he failed to comply again, he was fined $100,000. He was also fined twice this year for unsportsmanlike conduct after grabbing his crotch post touchdown, and another $10,000 for wearing ‘Skittles’ cleats on the field. Lynch has been eating Skittles during games since high school. For a while Seattle Fans threw Skittles on the field when he would score. This year an official deal was announced, and during the Superbowl, Skittles will donate $10 000 to Lynch’s charity every time he scores a touchdown. But he isn’t all rosy. During his time with the NFL he’s been suspended for carrying a weapon, received a DUI and pled guilty to a hit and run.
He did however get this Seahawk Grill made, and it should be noted that while he doesn’t like talking to the press he’s the heart of the Seahawks offence and is idolized by his team mates.
Luke Willson is the Seahawks Canadian Sensation. He’s in his second year but has only begun starting consistently this season. He’s young but he has made some incredible plays this season – including a mind boggling catch in the NFC championship last Sunday when they needed it most. Sports writer Zito Mado said that “Luke Willson was the Luke Skywalker missile that destroyed the death star” and he also has great hair. Pete Carroll sees a lot of chemistry between Luke and Russell Wilson with Russell noting “It’s always nice to pass to another Wilson.”
And then there’s Doug Baldwin who gives Richard Sherman and Michael Bennett a run for the Hawks Mr. Congeniality. Doug Baldwin can come off a little angry. He’s best known for his rants, which usually all boil down to a common ‘Haters gonna Hate’ philosophy. He usually apologizes after he’s cooled down and had a popsicle. A few days after his most recent, angry rant after the NFC win, he spoke to the News Tribune saying “All the frustrations I had in the entire course of that game, and the entire course of the season came out…I don’t know, man. I’m just a fiery, passionate guy. I don’t try to ruffle feathers on purpose. Sometimes it just happens that way because of the mentality I have.” Baldwin also hosts a Youtube Channel called Fresh Files that is 50% confusing, 40% funny, 10% boring and certainly worth a look if you don’t have much else to do.
And the Patriots…
If you’ve never heard of Gronk, then you are missing out. The Gronk is a frat boy, offensive beast for the Patriots and if you haven’t heard of him, you may have heard of his trademark touchdown ritual, Gronking. This is where he throws the ball down as hard as he can, and gets a little crazy eyed. (links attached) It’s very charming – the ladies just swoon. Earlier this week he actually claimed responsibility for the Patriots deflated footballs, saying that his sheer Gronking force had led to the deflation. It was very a noble admission and the ladies swooned once more.
Gronk, also known as Rob Gronkowski will be a big player in the Superbowl and you’ll here his name thrown around a lot. Here are some things you might not know about him. He has his own cereal called ‘Gronk Flakes’, a sponsorship deal with Dunken Donuts, and his very own party bus. He was on a reality TV show called the’ The Choice’ where he tried to find love AND he has a charity; the ‘Gronk Nation Youth Foundation’ – just try and say that three times fast. In conclusion – Gronk is great.
And then there’s Julian Edelman – the Patriot nice guy. He posted a video this week titled ‘Growing Pats’ in which heartwarming photos of Patriot players before they were great are played alongside the Growing Pains theme. It’s cute alright. He has a great chemistry with Tom Brady – not quite Gronk level, but still pretty good. Both he and Brady were overlooked in college and in the draft. Besides, Gronk just can’t express his feelings like Edelman can – this week our boy Julian told reporters about Brady, “I truly love that man.”
Over all, The Patriots have a killer offence but I’ll only talk about one more. In November a young, likable player named Jonas Grey played the game of his life. I won’t get into details (he rushed 200 yards in one game) but suffice it to say that Jonas Grey, who had been relatively unknown the week earlier, landed himself on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Two days after that his phone died during the night, his alarm didn’t go off and he did the one thing that a Patriot can never do. He missed practice. Bill Belichick has some pretty strict rules about lateness and just showing up in general, so to make a point, Bill benched his new star running back. Since then Jonas has played minimally in 4 games, and not played at all in 3. And that very same week the Patriots re-signed the much less likable LaGarrette Blount, who has mostly replaced Jonas. Jonas Grey being a smart fellow knows he’s a story this week and is doing his very best to avoid the media and keep his coach happy, but it will be interesting to see if he’s given a chance on Sunday.
Who’s got heart on offence – I’m going for Pats. There’s just something about Gronk.
LINKS – Seattle
Marshawn Lynch Opens up in a Skittles Interview http://www.sbnation.com/lookit/2015/1/26/7919385/marshawn-lynch-happily-answers-questions-in-skittles-ad
A really great and serious Marshawn Lynch article http://espn.go.com/nfl/playoffs/2014/story/_/id/12232435/the-misunderstood-marshawn-lynch-why-seattle-seahawks-running-back-trust-media
The Onion pokes fun at Beast Mode http://www.theonion.com/articles/panicking-marshawn-lynch-unable-to-deactivate-beas,35147/
Richard Sherman meets a fan with a custom prosthetic leg http://www.sbnation.com/lookit/2015/1/27/7920939/richard-sherman-fan-prosthetic-leg-seahawks
Michael Bennetts Sack dance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3l7729sPB_k
Derrick Coleman’s Duracell commercial https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzQFA2hxyRQ
LINKS – Patriots
Edelman’s Growing Pats Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KY9BBjLOwQM
Derrell revis shoes http://www.nicekicks.com/tag/darrelle-revis-shoes/