There are a lot of questions surrounding Super Bowl XLIX, and surprisingly, they don't all revolve around Deflategate. Sure, that's the story everyone wants to talk about right now when it comes to the New England Patriots, but let's not over-inflate the situation and forget about the big game. Did you know the Seattle Seahawks are playing, too?
To get you ready for Super Bowl Sunday, here's a little FAQ to keep you up-to-date on key aspects of the game and everything surrounding it.
CL: It doesn't matter if you are from New England or Seattle. This game is going to be one for the ages. I know that term gets thrown around more than the word amazing on "The Bachelor," but it's true. Not only will we get to see how New England's high-powered offense matches up against Seattle's Legion of Boom, but the ramifications of this game will be felt across the NFL for years to come. First off, a Patriots win would cement Tom Brady's legacy as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time. Say what you want about Spygate and Deflategate, but there's no denying Brady's clutch play over the years and the mark he's made in the postseason. Four Super Bowl rings puts him in rare company. If the Seahawks win, however, they would be the first team since the 2004 Patriots to win back-to-back Super Bowls. A new dynasty would be born, and it could signify the end of the Brady-Belichick era.
CL: I'm going to go with Richard Sherman on this one, just because I think he'll be mad whether the Seahawks win or lose. If they win, he'll be mad that people doubted the Seahawks (right, Doug Baldwin?). If they lose, he'll be upset that New England took the air out of Seattle's title hopes. Too soon?
CL: When we think of a Tom Brady-led offense, we don't usually think about a power running game. The Patriots rushed for 100-plus yards six times this season, going 5-1 in those games. Their only loss came against the Buffalo Bills in Week 17, when most of the Patriots starters were on the bench. While the Patriots seem to have an advantage over the Seahawks in the passing game, their rushing attack could be the key to a Super Bowl victory. In the five Super Bowls Brady and the Pats have played in since 2001, their three victories came in games where they rushed for 100-plus yards. The Patriots failed to surpass 83 rushing yards in their two losses to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII and XLVI. Given how well LeGarrette Blount performed against the Indianapolis Colts in the Conference Championship, Belichick and Josh McDaniels may be inclined to emphasize the run early on. While Seattle's main focus should still be on stopping Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman, they can't sleep on New England's run game.
Which celebrities are feuding over this game?
CL: "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" doesn't come out until next year, but right now we have a superhero rivalry going on between Star-Lord and Captain America. Chris Pratt (a Seahawks fan) and Chris Evans (a Patriots fan) have been engaged in some friendly trash talking on Twitter in regards to their respective teams. Here's just a taste of what's been going on:
Regardless of who wins, Pratt and Evans will be contributing to a great cause. In this case, there are no losers.
Colin J. Liotta is a Digital Features Editor at NFL.com. He's also a lover of comic books and superheroes. You can follow him on Twitter @TheSportsHero.