The Super Bowl is a TV program and spectacle that has no rival; an estimated 100 million people watch the big game each year. The only other TV program to entertain 100 million viewers was the series finale of “M.A.S.H.” The Super Bowl is also a money driving machine. While some analysts estimate the event produces about $50 to $60 million, the NFL estimates it has and can generate up to $500 million.
Its popularity provides us with a wealth of memories. From commercials, to performers and on-field action, we often discuss a Super Bowl for months and years after the final seconds tick off the game clock. Listed below are the top 10 moments we’ll remember from this year’s Super Bowl. The moments include events that happened both on and off the field. What are your top 10 moments?
10. NFL limits parking and tailgating at MetLife stadium.
The NFL limited parking at MetLife stadium and encouraged fans to take public transportation to the game or a charter bus for $51. This irked many and worried others who thought bad weather could derail commuter’s plans. This is even though experts vowed New York City’s mass transit would make up for the inconvenience. If fans wanted to park their car in one of Metlife’s 13,000 available parking spaces, they had to buy a ticket well beforehand for about $150. For those who believe the parking price is high, it is actually on par with fees from the past few Super Bowls. In 2012, the average parking fee was $140.
The league also banned traditional tailgating because of its no-grilling edict during Super Bowls. While this topic continues to trend every year, it’s a common regulation. Tailgating has been banned at Super Bowls since the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001.
9. Manning throws his first interception to Kam Chancellor and Tony Carter’s pass interference sets up Marshawn Lynch’s touchdown. Seattle goes up 15-8.
While Seattle’s aggressive play had the Broncos reeling early, Denver only faced an 8-0 deficit in the first quarter. Prior to second quarter, Manning could have swung momentum back in his team’s favor with a quick drive and touchdown. However, Seattle’s safety Kam Chancellor had other ideas. He picked off Manning’s sailing pass at Denver’s 39 yard line and Seattle, once again, went on the offensive.
Quarterback Russell Wilson led Seattle to Denver’s 12 yard line, but failed to convert on 3rd and 4 when he lobbed an incomplete pass to receiver Golden Tate. The Seahawks were awarded another chance, however, because Denver’s defender Tony Carter interfered with Tate. Seattle obtained a new set of downs and running back Marshawn Lynch turned their opportunity into 7 points when he barreled forward for a 1-yard touchdown. Seattle took a 15-0 second quarter lead.
To some, this touchdown is a minor moment in a big game, but these series of events actually played a key role in both team’s momentum. First, it took a possession away from Manning. Second, it deflated both Denver’s offense and defense. And third, Tony Carter’s pass interference awarded Seattle 7 points when they would been kicking a field goal.
8. NFL plays its first cold weather game in an outdoor stadium.
For months leading up to Super Bowl XLVIII, the NFL -and Bruno Mars– feared the cold weather for a variety of reasons and fluctuating ticket prices also prove fans likely felt the same way. Yet, the weather turned out to be a non factor. Instead, the NFL should have been more nervous about one team blowing out the other, which is exactly what happened.
On average, it cost fans over $1,500 to attend this year’s Super Bowl. Many tickets sold for much more. As fans head home to their normal lives, I wonder if they feel the game and event justified its costs. While Seattle is happy, many Denver, and casual, fans may feel their money would have been better spent on a summer vacation to the tropical islands.
7. Broncos fail to convert on 4th down with 1:06 remaining in the half. Seattle leads 22-0.
Instead of putting points on the board with an easy field goal, Denver attempted and failed to convert a 4th and 2. The reason this Super Bowl moment ranks number 7 (if at all) is because prior to this event the Bronco’s offense had shown some promise. Their offense found rhythm in the second quarter with sustained drives of 15 and 9 plays, which is certainly more than we can say about their effort in the first quarter. A field goal would have lifted their spirits and seized some momentum from Seattle.
Nevertheless, it was all for not. The Broncos failed fourth down conversion was a sign of things to come and they went into half time as the first team since Super Bowl 35 to be shut out in the first half.
6. Broncos’ offense commits a safety on the first play of the game, Seattle takes a 2-0 lead and never looks back.
The Broncos brought Peyton Manning to the Mile High City for one reason—to bring the team back to the glory years of John Elway. And, to that extent, Manning has delivered. The Broncos also signed the Hall of Fame quarterback to help them win championships. And, to that extent, Manning has yet to deliver. Committing a safety on the first play of the Super Bowl is not how Denver will win Super Bowls.
On the first play of the game, center Manny Ramirez, not the baseball player, launched a snap past Manning and into the end zone. The Broncos’ recovered and officials awarded Seattle with a safety and two points. It was the quickest score in Super Bowl history and eerily similar to when officials penalized the Patriots for an intentional grounding in Super Bowl XLVI and awarded a safety to the Giants. Like the Patriots, Denver’s potent offense never recovered and both teams went onto lose the Super Bowl.
5. Manning throws a pick six to linebacker Malcolm Smith and Seattle takes a 22-0 lead before half time.
Manning had his offense in rhythm, but on the 16th play of a well-oiled drive, Malcolm Smith intercepted Manning and ran home for a 69 yard touchdown. While Manning would lead his team down the field on the next drive, his offense failed to convert on a 4th and 2 and they left the half in a 22-0 ditch. Smith, for his troubles, earned the award for Super Bowl MVP and a brand new Chevy.
4. Pete Carroll wins his first Super Bowl
Two NFL teams fired Carroll before he had the chance to create a masterpiece from scratch in Seattle. Hey, third time really was his lucky charm. The Jets fired Carroll after his team went 6-10 during its 1994 campaign and the Patriots fired Carroll after the 1999 season; he held a 21-27 record with the Patriots. Both the Jets and Patriots grew tired of waiting for Carroll to win games. So, instead, he moved onto USC where he led the Trojans to two national championships. Time mends most wounds and his success at USC helped land him the gig with Seattle, which likely became his last chance to lead an NFL team.
It’s interesting. Only a few years ago some believed Carroll was on the hot seat in Seattle. A string of poor draft choices and back-to-back 7-9 seasons sparked discussion as to whether Carroll was still a mediocre NFL coach. Fast forward a couple of years and he is in line for a contract extension. Carroll signed a 5 year, $35 million deal with the team in 2010. Seattle just extended GM John Schneider’s deal through 2016 and it is likely they’ll want to keep the tandem together.
Carroll’s Super Bowl victory will help propel him into the elite circle of NFL head coaches. If other teams don’t or can’t copy his over-the-top coaching mantra, they will at least try to copy his defensive blueprint. After all, his “Legion of Boom” defensive shut down the league’s greatest offensive on the biggest stage.
3. Bruno Mars and Red Hot Chili Peppers take center stage
Not everyone may have known about the pop singer prior to his 12-minute Super Bowl spot, but you know who he is now. It’s not easy to take the stage after past Super Bowl performing icons included Paul McCartney, Madonna or Beyoncé. It’s even harder to follow up on the NFL’s guarantee that it would be the concert of the year but the artist wearing his staple gold jacket and black pants quickly left all doubters in the dust.
During his half time performance, Bruno Mars sang his hits, “Locked Out of Heaven,” “Treasure” and “Runaway Baby” before launching into a performance with front man Anthony Kiedis and Flea to sing the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ 1991 hit “Give it Away.” Mars also performed a rendition of his top selling hit, “Just the Way You Are.”
Mars’ net worth is around $20 million. He was also nominated 7 times at the 53 Grammy Awards and won Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for his song “Just the Way You Are.”
2. Percy Harvin’s 87 yard kickoff return to enter second half is the game’s difference maker.
If the Broncos failure to convert on 4th down before half time deflated their tires, Percy Harvin’s 87 yard kickoff return for a touchdown sent Denver’s championship dreams careening off the road. It was the electric play that destroyed Denver’s half time adjustments, ruined their spirits and likely awarded Seattle with their first Vince Lombardi trophy. With the touchdown, Seattle went up 29-0.
The largest deficit overcome in a Super Bowl was 10 points and was achieved by both the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XXII and the New Orleans Saints in Super Bowl XLIV. After Seattle went up, the only thing louder than Seattle’s on-field play were their fans, known as the 12th man.
1. At the age of 37, Peyton Manning’s legacy takes a hit with his second Super Bowl loss.
In 2013, Peyton Manning made about $17 million more than Seattle’s quarterback, Russell Wilson. The Seahawks paid Wilson around $800,000 and the Broncos paid Manning $17,500,000. While we won’t make the case Wilson is a superior player to Manning, we can say that Wilson, the lesser paid star, outplayed Manning in the Super Bowl. That notion will sit just fine with Seattle’s front office; they actually had a passing interest in Manning before Denver courted him away a couple of years ago.
If Manning had beaten Seattle, he would have quieted many detractors who labeled him as a dud in the playoffs. Sure, Manning would have still owned an average playoff record, but he would have become the first starting quarterback to win a Super Bowl with two different teams. He would have also capped off a statistically historic regular season.
Instead, Manning left MetLife Stadium with a paltry 24.6 QBR Rating. The last quarterback to post a lower QBR in a Super Bowl was the Bear’s Rex Grossman against none other than Peyton Manning in the 2006 Super Bowl. While football is a team game and whether it is right or not, many critics will blame Manning for Denver’s loss.
The defeat also allows the following debate to continue: Who is the greatest quarterback of all time?
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