The season-long (longer, really) storyline surrounding Super Bowl XLVIII has been the supposedly horrid possibility that February in New York is cold and snowy. Aside from that being preposterously lame, it's insane that people overlooked the most pivotal storyline: BADGERS EVERYWHERE.
Alas, that's what we get. Russell Wilson and Montee Ball are the headliners, of course. Wilson's had a marvelous season for Seattle in just his second year in the NFL, completing 63.1 percent of his passes for 3,357 yards, 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions. On the ground, he's rushed 96 times for 539 yards (5.6 per attempt), one touchdown and 31 first downs.
In summation: he's been damn fun to watch.
As for Ball, his rookie campaign began somewhat slowly due to ball control issues and struggles in pass protection, as well as Denver's solid running back depth. Knowshon Moreno had himself a solid season, but Ball caught on late, setting forth is first and only hundred-yard game Dec. 1 vs. the Chiefs, rushing for 117 yards on 13 carries. He finished the regular season with 120 carries for 559 yards (7.3 per carry) and four touchdowns. He also added 20 receptions for 145 yards.
Moreno left Sunday's AFC Championship Game vs. the New England Patriots in the fourth quarter due to a chest injury, but he's expected to be fine for the Super Bowl. Alas, Ball will remain second fiddle. But he's received double-digit carries in both of the Broncos' two postseason wins, so it's safe to say we'll see a solid amount of the former Badger back.
More that we'll see: two other former Badgers in Seattle's Chris Maragos and O'Brien Schofield. The former's a walk-on we profiled in our feature on Wisconsin's program who's in his third year with the Seahawks. Maragos played in all 16 regular-season, recording 12 tackles and recovering two fumbles. The latter's in the first season with Seattle, has played in all but one game this season and recorded eight tackles and a sack. He's also the namesake of one of B5Q's most frequent commenters, OBrienSchofieldIsMyHero.
We'll have looks at these guys' Wisconsin careers leading up to the Super Bowl, but to get us started, who are you rooting for? Ball and the Broncos, or the Badger-laden Seahawks?
Oh, and this is cool: Wisconsin leads all Big Ten teams with four Super Bowl representatives and is second only to Tennessee nationwide. Seattle's offensive coordinator is also none other than Darrell Bevell. The Badgers' quarterback from 1992-95, Bevell eventually broke into the NFL as a coach in 2000 as an offensive assistant with the Packers.
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