They say that baseball is our national pastime, but these days, it seems that football is king. The ultimate football championship, the Super Bowl, has practically become a national holiday. But what if you don't follow football?
For anyone who has trouble telling a wide receiver from a point guard, or who thinks the game starts when one team kicks the ball into left field, here are some helpful hints to get you by.
This year will be the 46th annual Super Bowl. That's what the XLVI in the title means, if you can't count in Roman.
The Super Bowl is the culmination of the division and conference playoffs, but it is not actually a part of the playoffs. It is considered part of the "postseason," a term which covers all games after the regular season ends, including the playoffs. The bowl features the champions from the NFL's two conferences - the American Football Conference and the National Football Conference.
The New England Patriots, led by quarterback Tom Brady, are AFC champions with 15 wins, three losses, and no ties in regular season and playoff games. The New York Giants, led by quarterback Eli Manning, are NFC champions with 12 wins and seven losses.
Kickoff will be at 5:30 p.m. today at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. There will be 68,000 fans in the stands and an expected 100 million viewers.
The Patriots and Giants last Super Bowl appearance was when they played each other in Super Bowl XLII. The Giants won that contest 17-14. Quarterback Manning was selected as the game's MVP.
The first Super Bowl was on Jan. 15, 1967, in Los Angeles, California. In those days, the AFC and the NFC were separate leagues, not just conferences within the NFL. The Green Bay Packers won over the Kansas City Chiefs, 35-10.
The winning team will receive the Vince Lombardi Trophy, named after the Packers coach who won the first two Super Bowl games.
If you get lost in some of the terminology flying around, here's a quick cheat sheet: wide receivers, tight ends, quarterbacks, running backs, and fullbacks are offensive positions, whereas linebackers and cornerbacks are defense. Defensive ends and defensive tackles should be self-explanatory.
If you really want to sound smart, remember that only a quarterback can be "sacked."' With any other ball carrier, it's just called being tackled for a loss. Also, there's no such thing as a "forward lateral;" a lateral is a pass sideways or backward.
Contact Joe Sutter at (515) 573-2141 or firstname.lastname@example.org