One city is named after a religious figure who inspired a pope to take his name. The other after a native American chief who welcomed white settlers to his lands in the mid 1800s.
Rooting for the 49ers — if he would indeed root for such a violent sport — is St. Francis of Assisi, namesake of San Francisco. St. Francis lived at the turn of the 13th century and, according to folklore, he loved to preach to the birds. Real birds. Not 200 pound defensive backs dressed in Seahawk grey, mind you.
In Seattle’s corner is Chief Seattle of the Pacific Northwest’s Duwamish tribe. As a young man, Seattle was a warrior who took part in various raids and skirmishes. But when settlers came to the area around 1850, he chose a peaceful course of action. The settlers were so grateful they named the city after him.
So, two of the most hard-hitting and nasty teams in the NFL are from cities named after peace loving historical figures. Imagine that.
There are seven players who wore a Seahawk uniform who are members of the NFL Hall of Fame. The most famous of which may actually be the greatest 49er to ever take the field.
Jerry Rice played the final 11 games of his career with Seattle in 2004, totaling 362 receiving yards and three TDs. Of course, it was the 19,247 yards and 176 TDs he put up over 16 seasons in San Francisco that propelled him to Canton.
Toss in a 3 1/2-year stint with the Raiders and you have the NFL’s all-time leading WR.
San Francisco’s playoff history is the stuff of legend. Five Super Bowl titles, 20 playoff appearances in the past 32 years, “The Catch,” Joe Montana, Steve Young, Jerry Rice, Bill Walsh … You get the idea.
Seattle, obviously, doesn’t come close in comparison, but it would be a mistake to think of them as doormats. The Seahawks have made the playoffs eight of the last 15 years and even got to a Super Bowl is 2006.
Seattle’s CenturyLink Field is a dangerous place to watch a game. Don’t just take our word for it. It’s a scientific fact.
Seismologists have recorded two man-made earthquakes at the stadium caused by thousands of crazed, screaming jumping fans. The latest “fanquake” was observed during last Saturday’s win over New Orleans.
And then there’s that noise. That excruciating, ear-shattering noise that even made the Guinness World Records folks take notice.
On Dec. 2, 68,387 folks at CenturyLink Field broke the record for loudest crowd at an outdoor sporting event, when they cranked up the volume to a deafening 137.6 decibels.
How loud is that? Well, it’s 12 decibels higher than a chainsaw, seven higher than a jackhammer and only three and half short of an airplane engine. Put another way, the human pain threshold is 125 db. Yikes!
The 49ers mascot is named Sourdough Sam. He’s a clean-shaven, buffed up version of the teams’ original grizzled, gun-totin’ prospector logo from the 1960s. The Seahawks have a .. well, .. Seahawk roaming their sidelines. He goes by the name Blitz.
Before the NFL realigned in 2002, the Seattle Seahawks resided in the AFC West and counted the Raiders and Chargers among the biggest rivals. Perhaps their best season in the AFC came in 1984 when they went 12-4.
The team was led by QB Dave Krieg and future Hall-of-Famer WR Steve Largent. The 84 Seahawks were also noteworthy for having two of the best running backs ever produced at Penn State on the roster.
Curt Warner was then the Lions all-time leading rusher, and still holds second place on that list. And Franco Harris was finishing up his Hall of Fame career in Seattle. Unfortunately for both, Warner blew his knee out opening week, and age had gotten the upper hand on Franco.
Both SF’s Colin Kaepernick and Seattle’s Russell Wilson were drafted by Major League Baseball teams. Kaepernick was taken in the 43rd round in 2009 by the Cubs, but never signed. The Rockies selected Wilson in the fourth round in 2010. He played a couple seasons of minor league ball before focusing on football.
It’s a simple winning formula for the Seahawks and 49ers: Run the ball and play defense. San Francisco finished third in the NFL with 2,201 rushing yards and Seattle fourth with 2,188. Defensively, the Seahawks were the NFL’s best, giving up 4,378 yards with 39 turnovers. The 49ers were third with 5,071 yards allowed and 30 turnovers.
Marshawn Lynch loves his Skittles. When TV cameras captured the Seattle RB popping in some rainbow-colored candy on the sidelines a few years ago, a fad was born. It also begs the question that’s on minds of bored scientists across the nation: If Lynch were to be made entirely of Skittles, how many would he be made of? Assuming the average Skittle weighs 1.11 grams and the running back clocks in at 215 pounds, you would need 108,252 Skittles to equal one Marshawn Lynch.
So, you think Seattle is America’s most rain-drenched city? Think again, oh precipitation breath. The city’s annual rainfall of 37 inches isn’t even in the top 10 and trails places like Chicago, Dallas and Miami. However, if you’re talking cloudy, then Seattle’s listening. It’s in the top five nationally for cloudy days per year with 226. Not surprisingly, the forecast for Sunday’s game: Cloudy with a high of 50.
Breaking news! Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are playing in the AFC Championship game today. Really. How good are these guys? Well, you can’t peruse through the NFL record books without bumping into their names.
Manning is currently second on the all-time TD pass list with 491. He trails only Brett Favre who has 508. Brady is fifth on that list with 359.
Manning is also second in history with 64,964 passing yards. Again, he trails only Favre. Brady is seventh with 49,149.
What may be even more remarkable, is the both players missed an entire season due to injury. Brady with an ACL tear in 2008 and Manning with a neck injury in 2011.
Both that Patriots and Broncos were charter members of the American Football League when it was founded in 1960. And the first game ever played by both franchises was against each other.
It was Sept. 9, 1960, when Denver took on the Boston Patriots at Nickerson Field in Boston.
It wasn’t a high scoring affair, with the Broncos winning 13-10. One of the big plays in the game came from Denver quarterback Frank Tripucka, who tossed a 59-yard TD pass for the first TD in Bronco history.
Tripucka’s jersey number that day may sound a bit familiar. It was no. 18.
If you’re hoping for some nasty snowy Rocky Mountain weather today, you may be in for a surprise. The average snowfall for the month of January in Denver is 6.6 inches. In comparison, the average snowfall for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area for January is 14.2 inches.
You might have heard of Peyton Manning famous family. His dad, Archie, was a Pro Bowl QB with the Saints and his brother Eli has two Super Bowl rings.
But don’t forget about Tom Brady’s siblings. He’s got a little bit of fame in the bloodlines too. Brady has three sisters, Julie, Nancy and Maureen. Maureen, was an All-American softball pitcher in high school and Nancy played softball at the University of California.
But it’s Julie who added a little star power to the family dinner table when she married former Red Sox and current Yankee infielder Kevin Youkilis in 2012.
Of the four teams playing today, the New England Patriots are the only team without a Penn State player on their roster.
The 49ers have Pro Bowl linebacker NaVorro Bowman. The Seahawks have DT Jordan Hill and fullback Michael Robinson. And Denver has WR Jordan Norwood and offensive lineman Mike Farrell on their reserve/futures roster.
Tom Brady’s first career start came against Peyton Manning on Sept. 30, 2001. A week after the New York Jets knocked starter Drew Bledsoe into irrelevancy, Brady led the Patriots to a 44-13 win over the Indianapolis Colts in Foxboro Stadium.
Brady was efficient if not spectacular, throwing for 168 yards and no TDs.
Manning was downright dreadful. He ran for a TD and threw for another but two of his three interceptions were returned for New England scores.
They’ve met 14 times in their careers with Brady winning 10 of those matchups — including a 2-1 record in playoff meetings.
The quarterbacks combined numbers in this three playoff appearances don’t favor Manning: Brady’s thrown for 613 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. Manning for 824 yards, two TDs and six INTs.
Denver’s original Mile High Stadium was originally intended to be a minor league baseball stadium in 1948. It was home to the Denver Bears and later the Denver Zephyrs. The Colorado Rockies played there in 1993 and 1994 before moving to Coors Field.
In the franchises’s early days, the Patriots played games at Nickerson Field, the former home of the Boston Braves. And from 1963 to 1968, they shared Fenway Park with the Red Sox.
The city of Denver was named after James William Denver, a U.S. Congressman, soldier, lawyer, and actor. The story goes he visited the city named after twice before he died and was annoyed he wasn’t given enough respect by the townsfolk.
The Patriots play their games in Foxborough, Mass., about 20 miles south of Boston proper. The town has a bit of an identity crisis. Officially it’s called Foxborough, although the U.S Postal Service uses the alternative Foxboro to address mail. Either way, it was named after Charles James Fox, a British statesman.
The teams logos in the early days of the Broncos and Patriots franchises weren’t exactly things of beauty.
England has used a version of “Pat Patriot” on its helmets since 1961. But the original Pat used from 1961 to 1964 looks like he played one too many games without wearing a helmet.
The original Denver Bronco may be worse. Over 50 years before the state of Colorado legalized marijuana, this oversized cowboy looks like he was way ahead of his time. Luckily, this design was discontinued in 1962.
Denver is called the Mile-High City because it’s official elevation is almost exactly one mile above sea level. It’s 5,278 feet, two feet short of an exact mile. Foxborough, Massachusetts, on the other hand, comes in at a paltry 288 feet above sea level.