Everything you need to know as you head to your annual Super Bowl Party
Well it’s here, the biggest sporting event of the year. Super Bowl LI (51), February 5, 2017. It’s the Atlanta Falcons facing the New England Patriots in Houston, Texas. Many story lines follow this game. Can the greatest of all time, Tom Brady, win his fifth Super Bowl in seven attempts? Will NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, have to hand the Patriots the Lombardi trophy after bringing down harsh punishments including a four game suspension for Brady and major fines for Deflategate? Can Penn Charter’s own, Matt Ryan the 2017 NFL Most Valuable Player, climb the mountain to win the big game? Is New England’s Bill Belichick really the greatest football coach of all time?
The Atlanta Falcons have only reached this game one time before in 1999 where they were defeated 34-19 by the defending champion Denver Broncos. The city of Atlanta has been in a championship drought for 22 years since the Braves won the World Series in 1995. Can the city starved for a title over come New England, who seemingly, has a team in a professional sports championship every year? The Falcons look to continue a strong run as they have won 6 in a row, including wins over the Seahawks 36-20 in the divisional round and Packers 44-21 in the NFC championship.
Atlanta, People to know
- Matt Ryan- Philadelphia’s (suburbs) own Matty Ice, he was a star at Penn Charter High School before playing his college football at Boston College. Ryan ended up as the 3rd overall pick in the 2008 NFL draft. He has had a successful career in the league, including the 2017 MVP after posting a 69.9 completion percentage for almost 5,000 yards and 38 TDs to go against only 8 interceptions. The knock on Matty and the Falcons is their inability to finish seasons and big games. Before this season Matt Ryan was 1-4 in playoff appearances.
- Julio Jones- Probably the best wide receiver in the NFL. The 6’3 220 pound freak, eclipsed 1400 yards on the season to go along with 17 TDs in just 14 games. Matt Ryan’s favorite target was the 6th overall pick out of Alabama in 2011 and has taken the league by storm ever since. Look for Julio to have an outstanding game if the Falcons hope to be successful.
- Dan Quinn – The Atlanta Falcons head coach already has a Super Bowl ring, he got it 2014 as the defensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks. He held that position for two seasons before becoming head coach of the Falcons last year.
- Arthur Blank – The billionaire owner of the Falcons. Blank is the founder of Home Depot. He bought the team in 2002 and has been on the sidelines ever since.
The New England Patriots are in search of their fifth Super Bowl victory in seven appearances since 2001. They’ve been quarterbacked by Tom Brady for each of their four previous victories and he hopes to cement his legacy of the greatest of all time with ring number five. The are led by “the hood” Bill Belichick, the often quiet mild mannered head coach of the past 17 years. The Patriots have dealt with many punishments since Deflategate, brought down by Roger Goodell, Tom Brady was suspended four games, the organization surrendered multiple draft picks, and owner Bob Kraft was fined millions of dollars. Still the team battles on. During the suspension, with back up quarterbacks at the helm, the team went 3-0. They lost star tight end Rob Gronkowski to injury for the remainder of the season in week 12. Still they reached the Super Bowl. Many people from New England call this a dynasty, and in Super Bowl LI, they will have to prove it.
New England, People to Know
- Tom Brady- The sixth round draft pick out of Michigan is considered the greatest quarter back of all time. He has won four Super Bowls, three Super Bowl MVP’s, and two league MVP’s most recently in 2010. Brady holds basically all of the career postseason passing and wins records. He has been in screw you mode for the Patriots against the league and Roger Goodell after his four game suspension. Can he continue that through the championship?
- Bill Belichick- The long time head coach of the Patriots has posted a career record of 261-125 including a post season record of 24-10. He has long been criticized for shady antics including; Deflategate, taping practices, and stealing play calls, but the record speaks for itself. Do the Falcons stand a chance?
- Robert Kraft – A Patriots season ticket holder since 1971, billionaire Kraft, bought the team in 1994 for $172 million. Kraft built a new $300 million dollar stadium in Foxborough for the team and they have made the playoffs 16 of his 21 seasons.
- Chris Hogan (Bonus) – Although not a corner stone of the franchise, Hogan is a wide receiver with a remarkable story that started at Penn State University. He was a four year lacrosse player for PSU before playing one season of football at Monmouth and bouncing around the NFL before finding a home in New England.
Prediction: Patriots 34 Falcons 28
A staple of American culture, Super Bowl Sunday has long been an event in which friends and family gather to watch the big game, enjoy some cold beverages, and some hot food. Why the Monday after has not been declared a national holiday, blows my mind. Here I want to focus on a few staples of the Super Bowl Party.
Along with Football, food has long gone hand in hand with the Super Bowl Party. To keep your guests happy, there better be way too much food and plenty to drink. Here is a power ranking of Super Bowl foods.
- Wings – hot, mild, barbecue whatever! Have plenty to go around as this is, without a doubt, the GOAT of Super Bowl foods.
- Chips and Dip – the favorites are salsa, guacamole, and maybe French onion. Don’t hesitate to go crazy with some buffalo chicken dip, spinach atrichoke, or nachos.
- Hoagies and Cheesesteaks – while many people with fill up on the wings and sides, any smart host has to have an entree to fill the guests up. No better choice than a solid hoagie tray and some Philly Cheesteaks (this may be a local bias).
- A Snack Tray – this item speaks for itself, if it doesn’t, I’ll post a picture for example.
In Game Activities
Gambling is a big part of sports and I’m not talking about bookies or loan sharks, but to keep party guests entertained, have a little light gambling going on mid game.
Square Pool- its a grid of squares that can be purchased. You number the board from 1-10 on the X and Y axis, the top row represents one team with the side representing the other. Basically, if the team’sscore after each quarter ends in your number, you get paid.
Super Bowl prop bets – Vegas always releases some fun prop bets for people to enjoy before, during, at halftime, and at the end of the game. Some fun ones this year are coin toss, national anthem over/under, number of times Trump is mentioned, color of the Gatorade bath for the winner, and who the game MVP will thank first. The bets:
- Luke Bryan Nation Anthem: o/u 2:09
- Will Luke Bryan forget or omit a word: Yes +700, No -400
- What song will Lady Gaga play first: Born this way +225, Bad Romance +250, Poker Face +1000
- Super Bowl MVP mentions first: God +200, coach +900, owner +900, team +200, family +900
- What color will Gatorade poured on coach be: Orange +300, blue +750, clear +300, red +500
Whatever you’re doing during the game, have fun and be safe. I hope I gave you some ideas to make the party interesting or foods to bring that are real crowd pleasers. Let me know how it goes! Thanks for reading.