Wanna throw some facts and trivia around today and impress all your friends? Or perhaps provoke them? (A little friendly trash-talkin’ never hurt anyone.)
If so, here’s a little quiz about these two teams and this game (and only this game, so no, it won’t help if you know who caught the “Immaculate Reception”… but if you do, good for you, we’re proud of you). You can take this with you to a Super Bowl party, to make the experience a bit more informative for some of the millions of non-NFL fans who watch the game (or to teach those who don’t watch it, but talk over it and wait around for the big-budget commercials).
Before we start, though, a disclaimer: I’m a Patriots fan. I make no apologies about that. I can therefore make no claims that this is an unbiased quiz, only that it will add some fun to your viewing experience.
First, a three-part question:
1a. Who is the only former NFL head coach who previously coached both of these teams?
A: Bill Parcells
1b. Which of these current head coaches were assistants under that coach?
A: Both (Belichick was Giants’ defensive coordinator, Coughlin coached wide receivers). They actually worked together for three years under Parcells.
1c. What Super Bowl, and in what year, did that former team win, and who did they beat?
A: Super Bowl XXV, in 1991, in which the Giants beat the Buffalo Bills 20-19. (Two side notes: This game’s most memorable moment was a last-second 47-yard field-goal miss by the Bills. And the pre-game rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner by Whitney Houston was phenomenal, and even sold very well when released as a single in the months after the game.)
2. What Giants player had the guts (or gall) to predict a Giants’ 23-17 victory over the Patriots last week?
A: Plaxico Burress (probably ticked that the Steelers made the Super Bowl AFTER he left to come to New York in 2005).
3a. Who is the oldest player on the field for each team?
A: Giants –Punter Jeff Feagles, age 41, entered NFL in 1988. Patriots– Junior Seau, age 39, entered the league in 1990. Neither has won a Super Bowl.
3b. Who is the Giants’ second oldest, who also has no ring?
A: Michael Strahan, age 36, and a close friend of Seau. (Sidenote: Other notable old-timers or first-timers: NEW ENGLAND –Randy Moss, 31… no ring yet; Troy Brown, 36; Rodney Harrison, 35; NEW YORK –Amani Toomer, 33; Sam Madison, 33)
4. Who is the other guy named Brady playing today?
A: Patriots TE Kyle Brady, age 36 (another oldster playing for his first ring)
5. What two current Patriots players played on Bill Parcells’ 1997 Super Bowl losing New England team?
A: Tedy Bruschi and Troy Brown
6. These Giants had three straight road wins in the playoffs to reach the Super Bowl. Which of these two teams has done this before?
A: The 1984 Pats had three road playoff wins, after which the Chicago Bears utterly smushed them in Super Bowl XX.
7. The Patriots are attempting a perfect 19-0 season. What member of the perfect 16-0 1972 Dolphins has been the most vocal and annoying throughout the 2007-08 season?
A: Dolphin Wide receiver Mercury Morris (Surrender the title, Mercury… you were good against weaker opponents. The stats don’t lie.)
8. What player on the field today has played for both these teams during his career?
A: Giants punter Jeff Feagles punted for New England in 1988 and ’89.
9. What two current Giants have previously appeared in a Super Bowl?
A: Strahan & Toomer, who suffered a 34-7 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in January 2001.
10. What player in today’s game sat out the first part of the 2005 season while recovering from a stroke?
A: Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi, who suffered a moderate brain bleed on February 18, 2005, just a few weeks after the Patriots’ third Super Bowl victory and his own Pro Bowl appearance.
11. What’s the Vegas line on this game?
A: Patriots are favored by 14. (Side note: Super Bowl XXIX in 1995 had the San Francisco 49ers favored by 19 points over Junior Seau’s San Diego Chargers, in the widest Vegas line ever. The 49ers won. If the Giants win, the only comparable upset would be Super Bowl III, in which the 19-point underdog New York Jets defeated the Colts–led by Joe Namath and featuring today’s Westwood One radio announcer John Dockery at cornerback.)
Enjoy the game!