Super Bowl XLIX
|Super Bowl XLIX|
|Date||February 1, 2015|
|Stadium||University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona|
|Favorite||Patriots by 1|
|National anthem||Idina Menzel|
|Halftime show||Katy Perry featuring Lenny Kravitz|
|TV in the United States|
|Announcers||Al Michaels (play-by-play)
Cris Collinsworth (analyst)
Michele Tafoya (sideline reporter)
|Cost of 30-second commercial||US$4.5 million |
Super Bowl XLIX is an upcoming American football game between the American Football Conference (AFC) champion New England Patriots and National Football Conference (NFC) champion Seattle Seahawks to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 2014 season. The game is scheduled to be played on February 1, 2015, at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:30pm MST (6:30pm EST/23:30 UTC). This will be the second Super Bowl played in that stadium (XLII), and the third one held in the Phoenix metropolitan area (XXX at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe). The game will be broadcast in the United States by NBC.
For the second season in a row, but only the third time in 21 seasons, the number one seed from each conference will meet in the league championship game. This will also be the first time in a decade that an NFL team will play in consecutive Super Bowl games, with the last such instance in 2004 and 2005, when the Patriots played in Super Bowls XXXVIII and XXXIX, respectively. Super Bowl XLIX will be the Seahawks' second consecutive Super Bowl appearance, having defeated the Denver Broncos 43–8 in Super Bowl XLVIII in 2014, while the New England Patriots will be returning for their eighth Super Bowl appearance, and their first since losing 21–17 to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI in 2012. With their appearance in Super Bowl XLIX, the New England Patriots will join the Dallas Cowboys and the Pittsburgh Steelers as one of the three teams that collectively share the record for most all-time Super Bowl appearances, as each has appeared in eight separate Super Bowls to date.
Pete Carroll will be the fourth head coach to face his former team: Weeb Ewbank defeated the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III, Dan Reeves lost to the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXXIII and Jon Gruden defeated the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII; Carroll coached the Patriots from 1997 to 1999, and he was succeeded by Bill Belichick.
- 1 Background
- 2 Broadcasting
- 3 Entertainment
- 4 Officials
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Host selection process
Initial plan for Kansas City as host city
NFL owners initially voted in November 2005 to award a Super Bowl to Kansas City, Missouri, in honor of Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt, the founder of the American Football League (AFL) in the 1960s who helped engineer the annual game. Then-NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue further announced on March 5, 2006, that Kansas City would host Super Bowl XLIX. However, the game was contingent on the successful passage of two sales taxes in Jackson County, Missouri, on April 4, 2006.
The first tax to fund improvements to Arrowhead and neighboring Kauffman stadiums passed with 53 percent approval. However, the second tax that would have allowed the construction of a rolling roof between the two stadiums was narrowly defeated, with 48 percent approval. In the wake of the defeat, and opposition by the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and several civic and business groups, Hunt and the Chiefs announced on May 25, 2006, that they were withdrawing the request to host Super Bowl XLIX.
After the Kansas City plan fell through, the following submitted bids to host Super Bowl XLIX:
- Raymond James Stadium – Tampa, Florida
- Sun Life Stadium – Miami Gardens, Florida
- University of Phoenix Stadium – Glendale, Arizona
Tampa and Miami both submitted bids after losing the Super Bowl XLVIII bid to MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Arizona had declined to bid for Super Bowl XLVIII, citing the economy, to focus on bidding for Super Bowl XLIX.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello confirmed in April 2011 that Tampa and Arizona were selected as finalists. The league then announced on October 11, 2011, that University of Phoenix Stadium will host Super Bowl XLIX. This will be the second Super Bowl contested at University of Phoenix Stadium, which hosted Super Bowl XLII in February 2008, and the third Super Bowl contested in the Phoenix area, as Super Bowl XXX was held at Sun Devil Stadium in nearby Tempe in January 1996.
New England Patriots
The New England Patriots had a rough start to their 2014 season, starting the season with a 2–2 record and hitting a low point with a humiliating 41–14 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in week four. By this point, the Patriots faced heavy criticism in the media, especially quarterback Tom Brady. Former Patriots safety and teammate Rodney Harrison declared Brady "looked scared to death" in the pocket and "doesn't have any confidence in his offensive line." However, New England recovered with a NFL season long seven game winning streak, beginning with a dominating 43–17 win over the Cincinnati Bengals in week five, and went on to lose only two more games for the rest of the year (the latter of which was done while resting the starters the final week of the season), finishing the season with a 12–4 record and the number one seed in the AFC. They finished fourth in the NFL in scoring (468 points) and eighth in points allowed (313), and had the largest point differential in the NFL (with an average margin of victory of 9.7 points). The Patriots defeated the Baltimore Ravens 35–31 in the AFC Divisional playoffs, and then defeated the Indianapolis Colts 45–7 in the AFC Championship Game.
Brady had another fine season in his 14th year as the team's starter, earning his ninth Pro Bowl selection with 4,109 passing yards and 33 touchdowns, with just eight interceptions. His top target was Pro Bowl tight end Rob Gronkowski, who caught 82 passes for 1,124 yards and 12 touchdowns, along with wide receiver Brandon LaFell, who caught 74 passes for 954 yards and seven touchdowns. Wide receiver Julian Edelman was another key aspect of the passing game, with 92 receptions for 974 yards and four touchdowns, while also rushing for 92 yards and returning 25 punts for 299 yards and a touchdown. Running back Jonas Gray was the team's leading rusher with 412 yards and a 4.6 yards per carry average, while Stevan Ridley added 340 yards and Shane Vereen had 391. Vereen was also a reliable pass catcher, hauling in 52 receptions for 447 yards. On special teams, kicker Stephen Gostkowski was selected to his third Pro Bowl and became the third player ever to lead the NFL in scoring four times, converting 35 of 37 field goals (94.6 percent) and racking up 156 points. Special Teamer Matthew Slater also made the Pro Bowl for the 4th time.
The Patriots defensive line was led by five time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Vince Wilfork and defensive end Rob Ninkovich, who compiled eight sacks. Behind them, linebacker Jamie Collins led the team in tackles (116) and forced fumbles (four), while also intercepting two passes. Linebacker Dont'a Hightower was also a big contributor with 89 tackles and six sacks. The secondary was led by Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis, along with Logan Ryan and safety Devin McCourty, each of whom recorded two interceptions, while Brandon Browner recorded one, and added a physical presence to the secondary.
Although the Seahawks qualified for a second consecutive Super Bowl appearance, they also started the season slowly just like New England, floundering near the season's midpoint with a 3–3 record. However, they went on from there to win nine of their final 10 regular season games, preventing their opponents from scoring any touchdowns in five of them. By the time they finished with a 12–4 record and entered the playoffs, they had earned the number one seed, and not allowed any touchdowns in the previous 10 quarters. Their defense ranked first in the NFL in fewest points allowed (254) and their offense was tied at first in rushing yards (2,762). The Seahawks defeated the Carolina Panthers 31–17 in the NFC Divisional playoffs, and then defeated the Green Bay Packers 28–22 in the NFC Championship Game.
Quarterback Russell Wilson was back in control of the Seattle offense, completing 63.1 percent of his passes for 3,475 yards and 20 touchdowns, with seven interceptions, while also rushing for 849 yards and six touchdowns. The team's leading receiver was Doug Baldwin, who caught 66 passes for 825 yards and three touchdowns. Receiver Jermaine Kearse was another reliable target with 38 catches for 537 yards, while tight end Luke Willson caught 22 passes for 362 yards. Running back Marshawn Lynch was selected to his fourth Pro Bowl, ranking fourth in the NFL with 1,306 rushing yards and first in rushing touchdowns with 13. He also caught 37 passes for 364 yards and four more touchdowns. Running back Robert Turbin chipped in 310 yards and 16 receptions. On special teams, kicker Steven Hauschka ranked fourth in the NFL with 134 points and made 31 of 37 field goals (83.8 percent).
Michael Bennett anchored the Seattle defensive line, leading the team with seven sacks, while teammate Bruce Irvin ranked second with 6.5 and intercepted two passes, returning both for touchdowns. Behind them, linebackers K. J. Wright and Pro Bowl selection Bobby Wagner combined for a staggering 211 tackles (107 for Wright, 104 for Wagner), while Wright also forced three fumbles. But the strongest aspect of the team's number one ranked defense was their secondary. Known as the "Legion of Boom", they sent three of their four starters to the Pro Bowl for the second year in a row: cornerback Richard Sherman, free safety Earl Thomas, and strong safety Kam Chancellor. Sherman led the team with four interceptions, while Thomas had 97 tackles and forced four fumbles. Chancellor had 78 tackles and also recorded six passes defensed.
New England became the first playoff team to overcome two 14-point deficits as they defeated the Baltimore Ravens 35-31, pulling ahead for the first time in the game on Brady's 23-yard touchdown pass to LaFell with 5:13 left in regulation. Then safety Duron Harmon iced the game by intercepting a pass from Joe Flacco in the end zone on Baltimore's ensuing drive. Although New England only had 14 rushing yards, Brady's franchise playoff record 33 completions for 367 yards and 3 touchdowns, along with a rushing score, were able to make up the difference.
The Patriots had a much easier time in the AFC title game against the Indianapolis Colts. Although the score was still a close 17-7 by the end of the half, New England dominated the game in the second with touchdowns on their first four drives. Brady had another great game, throwing for 226 yards and 3 touchdowns with 1 interception, while Blount rushed for 148 yards and 3 scores. New England's defense held Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, who had thrown for 4,761 yards and 40 touchdowns during the season, to just 12/23 completions for 126 yards. By the end of New England's two postseason games, Brady set new NFL records for postseason passing yards and touchdowns, while coach Bill Belichick set the all time record for most playoff wins.
Seattle started off their postseason with a 31-17 win over the Carolina Panthers. The score was just 14-10 at the end of the first half, but the Seahawks took control of the game in the second, scoring 17 unanswered points. After a field goal and Russell Wilson's 25-yard touchdown pass to Luke Wilson, Chancellor put the game completely out of reach by intercepting a pass from Cam Newton and returning it 90 yards for a touchdown.
Seattle had to mount a furious comeback to defeat their next opponent, the Green Bay Packers, as they fell behind 16-0 before Jon Ryan's 19-yard touchdown pass to Garry Gilliam on a fake field goal in the third quarter got them their first score. They still found themselves trailing 19-7 with just over 5 minutes left when Wilson threw his 4th interception of the day. But after Green Bay was forced to punt, Wilson led the team 69 yards to make the score 19-14 on his 1-yard touchdown run. Then receiver Chris Matthews recovered an onside kick for Seattle, and they took their first lead on a 24-yard touchdown run from Marshawn Lynch. Now with the score 20-19, the Seahawks managed to go up by 3 points on a dramatic 2-point conversion play in which Wilson was forced to run all the way back to the 17-yard line near the right sideline before hurling the ball to the opposite side of the field, where Luke Willson, who had only been assigned as a blocker for the play, caught the ball and took it into the end zone. Although Green Bay kicked a field to send the game into overtime, Seattle's comeback could not be stopped. After winning the coin toss, the Seahawks took the ball and drove 87 yards to win the game on Wilson's 35-yard touchdown pass to Kearse, sending the Seahawks to the Super Bowl for the second year in a row.
Super Bowl XLIX is the first Super Bowl matchup, and the first postseason matchup, between the Patriots and the Seahawks (the Seahawks were part of the AFC before moving to the NFC due to realignment caused by the Houston Texans joining the NFL as an expansion team in 2002; the Patriots and the Seahawks had never matched up in postseason play during the Seahawks' tenure in the AFC). It is notable for featuring the coach of one team who had replaced the other coach at one point. Current Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was hired in 1999 to replace Pete Carroll, who is now the coach of the Seahawks. This is only the third time this has occurred. The other two times were in Super Bowl III and Super Bowl XXXVII. In both cases, the team coached by the man who was replaced by the other won the game.
The Patriots played in the first and latest Super Bowl to be contested in the University of Phoenix Stadium, Super Bowl XLII, when their quest for a 19–0 undefeated season fell short, losing to the New York Giants 17–14.
The betting odds for Super Bowl XLIX initially opened after the conclusion of the conference championship games with the Seahawks favored by 2.5 points, but within hours of opening, heavy betting on the Patriots had moved the line to a toss-up at most sportsbooks.
After the AFC Championship Game, ESPN reported an NFL investigation discovered 11 of 12 footballs the Patriots had used during it were under-inflated, while none of the balls used by the Colts had been. Patriots coach Bill Belichick denied any knowledge that the footballs his team used were not inflated to NFL standards. The NFL's investigation into this case, colloquially known as Deflategate, is ongoing.
As the designated home team in the annual rotation between AFC and NFC teams, the Seahawks elected to wear their college navy home jerseys with navy pants.  The Patriots elected to wear their white road jerseys. 
Super Bowl XLIX will be televised by NBC in the United States, with play-by-play announcer Al Michaels and color analyst Cris Collinsworth calling the game from the booth and Michele Tafoya working as sideline reporter. Game coverage will be preceded by a six-hour pre-game show hosted by Bob Costas and featuring the rest of the Football Night in America crew, including Dan Patrick, Josh Elliott, Tony Dungy, Rodney Harrison, Hines Ward, Mike Florio and Peter King. John Harbaugh will serve as a guest analyst.
The game will also be simulcast in Spanish on the cable channel NBC Universo (formerly known as mun2). As with other major events broadcast by the network, the telecast will be cross-promoted with other NBCUniversal properties: various NBC News and NBC Sports programs will either broadcast from Phoenix or feature reports from the game, and Golf Channel will cross-promote the game with its coverage of the Phoenix Open golf tournament and produce live Feherty specials from the Orpheum Theatre.
NBC set the sales rate for a 30-second advertisement at US$4.5 million, a price $500,000 above the record set by the two preceding Super Bowls. NBC began selling advertising for the game in May 2014; as of January 2015, the game's advertising had not yet completely sold out, with approximately 5% of the advertising slots still up for sale. A large number of automotive advertisers have reduced their advertising during the game, to be replaced by a wave of first-time Super Bowl advertisers, including Skittles, Carnival Cruise Lines, Loctite, Mophie and Wix.com, among at least ten others. NBC will post the Super Bowl commercials on a Tumblr blog in real-time, immediately after they air during the game telecast.
Paramount Pictures, Universal Studios, Walt Disney Studios, 20th Century Fox and Lionsgate paid for movie trailers to be aired during the Super Bowl. Paramount paid for Hot Tub Time Machine 2 and Terminator Genisys. Universal paid for Jurassic World, Minions, Furious 7, and the debut trailer for Ted 2. Fox paid for The Fantastic Four. Lionsgate paid for The Divergent Series: Insurgent during the pre-game show. Disney paid for Tomorrowland.
NBC will also live stream the game on NBCSports.com on computers and the NBC Sports Live Extra app on tablets. Mobile device rights are exclusively to Verizon Wireless NFL Mobile for its subscribers.
Local market coverage
The flagship stations of each station in the markets of each team will carry their local play-by-play calls. In Seattle, KIRO-FM (97.3) and KIRO (710 AM) will carry the game, with Steve Raible on play-by-play and Warren Moon on color commentary. As a clear-channel station, KIRO's commentary will be audible over much of the West Coast of North America after sunset. In New England, WBZ-FM (98.5) will carry the game, with Bob Socci on play-by-play and Scott Zolak on color commentary. Per contractual rules, the rest of the stations in the Seahawks and Patriots radio networks will carry the Westwood One feed.
International radio coverage
Westwood One's coverage will be simulcast on TSN Radio in Canada.
In the United Kingdom, BBC Radio 5 Live returns to coverage after the previous year's NFL broadcaster, Absolute Radio 90s, dropped out of sports coverage. Rocky Boiman and Darren Fletcher return as commentators.
In August 2014, it was reported that the NFL had a shortlist of three potential acts for the Super Bowl XLIX halftime show, including British rock band Coldplay, American singer Katy Perry, and Barbadian singer Rihanna.
However, it was also reported by The Wall Street Journal that league representatives asked representatives of potential acts if they would be willing to provide financial compensation to the NFL in exchange for their appearance, in the form of either an up-front fee, or a cut of revenue from concert performances made following the Super Bowl. While these reports were denied by an NFL spokeswoman, the request had, according to the Journal, received a "chilly" response from those involved.
On October 9, 2014, Billboard announced that Katy Perry will perform at halftime and the NFL confirmed the announcement on November 23, 2014. On January 10, 2015, Perry announced that Lenny Kravitz would make an appearance at the halftime show.
- Referee – Bill Vinovich (52)
- Umpire – Bill Schuster (129)
- Head linesman – Dana McKenzie (8)
- Line judge – Mark Perlman (9)
- Field judge – Bob Waggoner (25)
- Side judge – Tom Hill (97)
- Back judge – Terrence Miles (111)
- Replay official – Mike Wimmer
- Replay assistant – Terry Poulos
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