4 differences in this Super Bowl from years past

An ancient "The Simpsons" prophecy has finally come to pass, and the Seattle Seahawks return for their second Super Bowl appearance today against two-time NFL champions the Denver Broncos.

This year's clash of the titans will involve each team's prominent quarterback. Former Colt leader and Brock Osweiler mentor Peyton Manning will face 2012's Rookie of the Year, Russell Wilson. In light of every year's hype and gripe over the game, there are a number of differences surrounding this year's most-watched sporting event that you may or may not have noticed.

1. "The Simpsons" predicted a Broncos-Seahawks Super Bowl in 2005 ... or did it? In a 2005 episode, "Bonfire of the Manatees" shows Homer gambling on a regular season game between both teams. Some outlets, including The Simpsons' official Twitter account, have widely reported another supposed accomplishment of the show's 20-year run time to be predicting a Super Bowl nine years in the future. Time will tell how accurate the show's final score was with its Broncos victory at 19-14.



2. The Seahawks cornerbacks are bigger media attention-seekers than the quarterback. Intentional or not, there seems to be a lot of media hubbub surrounding Seattle's self-described defensive backs, "The Legion of Boom." To the average sports illiterate, cornerback Richard Sherman might as well be the face of the Seahawks since his confrontation with San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick earlier this month. The altercation in the championship game that led Seattle to the bowl game has now polarized worse along fan lines than government policy has along party lines. Win or lose, don't expect Richard Sherman to disappear from NFL fandom tomorrow. We are more likely to see an end to the Afghan War this year than an end to the Sherminator's career.

3. Rock returns to the halftime show. For the first time since The Who's performance four years ago (Slash's Super Bowl XLV cameo three years ago doesn't count), an American rock group, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, is set to headline the show with pop artist Bruno Mars. Unfortunately, viewers will still be limited by a broadcast delay that has persisted since Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" 10 years ago.

As a word of advice, if similar media mayhem ensues this year and you don't want kids to notice, please don't remind them of it. At 11, I never would have picked up on Janet Jackson's slip-up with Justin Timberlake had the 24/7 spin cycle not agonized about it the next week.

4.) Recent legalization of recreational cannabis in both teams' home states marks history's first ever "Bud Bowl" this year. Despite continued prohibition in many places, the controversial crop is nothing new to Super Bowl celebrations — especially at a college campus near you. Expect King Chronic to make a continued presence not only at your party, BBQ or social gathering, but especially in the political spotlight these next few years. History is being witnessed in the making.

Newfound attention to the crop has also raised additional safety questions among law enforcement. In tonight's best-case scenario, users will stay indoors this evening prepared to ride out the worst night in Maricopa County for DUI arrests. In a worst-case scenario, Sheriff Joe's posse reports will indicate a rise in football fans driving slower and more carefully than years past.

But seriously; be safe this year and be smart. Friends don't let friends hate on underdog teams!

Reach the columnist at jbobay@asu.edu or follow him on Twitter at @JDBobay

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