Just because you live in Colorado doesn’t mean you know squat about football (or care). But the collective Super Bowl spirit is contagious. If all the excitement has you wanting to jump on the Broncos’ bandwagon, you should probably brush up on the basics before tomorrow’s game. Here, a crash course to expedite you to a Super Bowl XLVIII conversationalist.
If you haven’t watched a Broncos game all year you should know that…
Denver is united in orange.
The Broncos are set to wear orange jerseys with white and navy accents for Sunday’s Super Bowl contest. The Broncos have never won a Super Bowl in orange jerseys (we’ve lost three in orange).
Extra credit: The Broncos won the Super Bowl in 1998 in navy blue against the Green Bay Packers, and the following year they beat the Atlanta Falcons in white jerseys.
Peyton Manning ages well.
At 37, Peyton Manning is poised to win his record fifth NFL MVP award after a historic season. Led by Manning, the Broncos set records this year in points scored (606) and touchdowns (76). Manning broke records for most passing touchdowns (55) and yards (5,447). With a Super Bowl win—his second—Manning would be the first quarterback to win the big game with two different teams.
Extra credit: Manning’s first Super Bowl win was with the Indianapolis Colts, where he played from 1998 to 2011.
John Elway is still king.
When the Broncos Hall of Fame quarterback took over as vice president of football operations three seasons ago, he inherited a team that had just had their worst season in franchise history (they won just four games). Now, the Broncos are back in the Super Bowl.
Extra credit: Elway is also largely credited with the Broncos signing Manning as a free agent in 2012.
John Fox is fierce.
The Broncos head coach had aortic heart valve surgery during the team’s bye week in November, which caused him to miss time with the Broncos. Now, Fox is heading for his second Super Bowl as a head coach.
Extra credit: Fox’s first trip to the big game as a head coach was when he helmed the Carolina Panthers (they lost to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVIII).
Champ Bailey is finally in the Super Bowl.
Future Hall of Fame cornerback Champ Bailey will play in his first Super Bowl, 15 years after making his NFL debut. Despite battling a foot injury for most of the season, the 35-year-old veteran has looked more like a champ since the playoffs began.
Extra credit: Bailey has played with Denver for 10 seasons.
You’re not seeing double.
Two of the Broncos’ receivers have the same last name. Demaryius Thomas, who wears #88, is listed as the Broncos number one receiver. Julius Thomas, who wears #80, is the Broncos newest weapon.
Extra credit: A former basketball player from Portland State, Julius is a strong tight end with great hands that Manning relies on in critical situations.
The Broncos have a supporting cast.
Memorize these names:
- Wes Welker is a first-year Bronco receiver who battled concussions this season. Extra credit: He previously played for the New England Patriots.
- Receiver Eric Decker is often mixed-bag player with awesome moments—and some not-so-much. Extra credit: Off the field, Decker is best known for filming a reality TV series with his wife, country singer Jessie James. (And this GQ photo shoot.)
- Running back Knowshon Moreno is playing for a contract (he’s a free agent after this season). Extra credit: He cried before a game during the national anthem this year—for a good reason.
- Kicker Matt Prater earned a spot in the record books by kicking the longest field goal in NFL history this season. The 64-yard mark broke a three-way tie at 63-yards by kickers that included past Bronco Super Bowl winner Jason Elam. Extra credit: Watch this Saturday Night Live skit where Jesus tells Tim Tebow to pray for Matt Prater.
This game offers the best of both worlds.
Peyton Manning brings perhaps the greatest offense in history to Super Bowl XLVIII, while Seahawk’s cornerback Richard Sherman leads the number one defense in the league.
Extra credit: Manning’s number is 18. (You knew that one, right?)
—Image courtesy of Shutterstock