OK 12s. For the first time in three years, your beloved Seattle Seahawks will not be in the biggest game on earth.
By now, the sting from Seattle’s 31-24 loss at Carolina on Jan. 17 has started to subside. You’ve probably read one Seahawks fan’s sniveling letter to Panthers quarterback Cam Newton for disparaging a 12th Man flag. Perhaps you’re even one of the fans who signed the petition to ban Newton from CenturyLink Field, as embarrassing as it may be to admit.
But you can take pride in Russell Wilson and Michael Bennett sweeping the MVP honors on Sunday, Jan. 31, in the Pro Bowl — a game they were too busy to participate in the past two years while preparing for Super Bowls XLVIII and XLIX.
So what’s next?
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Well, there is Super Bowl 50 on Sunday, Feb. 7, between the Panthers and Broncos. But without the Seahawks in the fight, is it worth watching at all? You better believe it, and here are 12 reasons to tune in at 3:30 p.m. on Channel 7:
1. It’s the Super Bowl: Even without the Seahawks, it’s still our nation’s biggest annual sporting event. If it weren’t on a Sunday, it would need to be declared a national holiday.
2. Super Bowl parties: Here’s the good part this year; as long as you’re not the designated driver, you can indulge in as many beverages as you’d like — you don’t need to remember the game on Monday, anyway.
3. Super Bowl snacks: Did you forget that Super Bowl Sunday means you get a pass on your New Year’s resolution to eat healthy? Pass the dip and the football-shaped cookies!
4. Super Bowl ads: With a team to root on the last two years, it’s forgivable if Seahawks fans have forgotten that the ads sometimes the best part of the broadcast.
5. Former ’Hawks: Not a whole lot to offer here — Denver reserve offensive lineman Tyler Polumbus was in Seattle from 2010 to ’11, and Carolina receiver Kevin Norwood caught nine passes for the Seahawks in 2014.
6. Former Dawgs and Cougs: Even less here, but Carolina rookie linebacker Shaq Thompson of UW was a first-round selection by the Panthers.
7. Other Washington ties: Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart is from Lacey and Broncos defensive back Shiloh Keo lists Bothell as his hometown.
8. Super Bowl halftime show: Excluding “wardrobe malfunctions,” it’s usually not all that memorable. This year’s act will be headlined by Coldplay, Beyoncé and Super Bowl XLVIII alum Bruno Mars.
9. Rembering XLVIII: Mars won’t be the only connection to the Seahawks’ Super Bowl victory two years ago. With Denver back in the big game, there are sure to be replays of Seattle’s domination during endless pregame coverage.
10. Last rodeo for “The Sheriff?”: Whether you’re sick of his Nationwide commercials or plan to serve chicken parm at your Super Bowl party, there’s little doubt that Denver quarterback Peyton Manning has meant a lot to the NFL the past 18 years.
11. Booing Cam: Take out your frustration for every celebratory move by the Panthers’ polarizing quarterback, and maybe, just maybe, Denver will find a way to stop the likely league MVP.
12. Prop bets: It’s not just getting the lucky square to claim the office pool anymore. Vegas will take millions of dollars in action on everything from who will be responsible for the first dropped pass (Carolina’s Ted Ginn Jr. and Denver’s Demaryius Thomas are the favorites) to whether or not the winning margin in the game will be greater than in the New Hampshire Democratic primary.