The Seahawks and the Broncos are going to the Super Bowl! Huzzah for Seattle and Denver! It's a wonderful time to live in those two cities. They'll spend the next couple of weeks gearing up to cheer for their respective teams in the biggest football game of the season.
But what about the rest of us? Once we get past all of the brand new commercials, the national anthem, Bruno Mars, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Puppy Bowl and the Puppy Bowl fantasy draft), how is the average football fan going to cope on Super Bowl Sunday?
Never fear, we're here to help. If you don't live in the Emerald City or reside on a Rocky Mountain High, enjoy our guide to help you pick a side for Super Bowl XLVIII.
Reasons to cheer for the Seahawks
1. You're sick of Peyton Manning: Enough already! We get it, he's won a slew of awards, owns seemingly every passing record known to man and has starred in a string of awkwardly hilarious commercials hawking everything from pizza to luxury cars. But if he were really that great, why can't he do something to make the color orange look better? After all, he's had plenty of practice wearing it. Riddle me that!
2. You hate Omaha: Maybe you once got lost somewhere in Nebraska -- either the state or the movie. Maybe Warren Buffett once cut in front of you in line at an amusement park. Maybe you're from Council Bluffs and don't understand why more love doesn't get tossed to the good folks east of the Missouri River. Either way, you've had enough of Manning screaming "Omaha" 264 times per game. What's wrong with shouting out Alamogordo every once in awhile?
3. You enjoy a good "villain": Admit it, sometimes it feels good to root for the bad guy -- Walter White, Tony Montana ... Richard Sherman. In an era when image-conscious athletes choose their words carefully and leave us with cliché-laden interviews, can you really hate a guy like Sherman who gave us the first great emotional post-game speech of 2014? And if you say yes, I'm willing to bet this will change your mind.
4. Buzzworthy eats: There will be plenty of buzz in the next couple of weeks about some of the recreational options offered in the two teams' respective states. But when it comes to ingestibles, Seattle's got it all over Denver. Whether it's a cup of coffee or the flying fish at Pike's Place Market, Seattle is a foodie paradise. Denver? Rocky Mountain oysters sound fancy ... until you realize what they are.
5. Give Seattle a break: Haven't the sports fans in the Pacific Northwest had it bad enough? Seattle has just two major pro sports championships -- both from teams that no longer exist. That's not totally true. One of them is still around ... just not in Seattle (we see you, Kevin Durant). In fact, the last time the city celebrated a major championship, not one member of the current Seahawks was alive. I think most NFL fans can agree that Seahawks fans have suffered enough. Okay, maybe not Browns fans.
Reasons to cheer for the Broncos
1. Who doesn't love Peyton's acting: Forget what your friends say, you're a fan of unsung comedy genius and Peyton Manning is just the right combination of Jerry Lewis, Carrot Top and Dan Marino. Just look at how hilarious his Saturday Night Live PSA is. You think Tim Tebow could pull that off? Not a chance.
2. You enjoy sad Patriots: Let's face it, there weren't too many people outside of Massachusetts sad to see the New England Patriots season end. But you know what would make it better? If their arch-nemesis Peyton Manning won a Super Bowl -- and if he did it with the help of Wes Welker. Oh, to listen to Gisele Bundchen rant after that one. It might almost make you forget that Tom Brady has three Super Bowl rings, charming good looks and a supermodel wife. Almost.
3. You enjoy a man who can express his feelings.
4. (Expletive) the Rainbow: Really, what's so great about Skittles? Has any candy had more free promotion since Willy Wonka was handing out golden tickets? At your Super Bowl party, sneak a few Skittles into a bowl of M&Ms and watch the reaction of your guests. We'll see how much people enjoy tasting the rainbow then.
5. What does John Fox say?: Of the four coaches who participated in the conference championship games, Fox was the only one who didn't have a) the sideline demeanor of Oscar the Grouch, b) throw temper tantrums like a kindergartener who was denied his favorite sugary cereal or c) parade up and down the sideline with the swagger of a 19th-century oil tycoon. Plus, how can you hate a guy who came back from heart surgery in the middle of the season to help lead his team to the Super Bowl? You can't. Unless you're some sort of grouch.