JERSEY CITY, N.J. – With five former University of Wisconsin players taking part in this Super Bowl, the school dispatched a videographer to media day Tuesday to interview the former players for posterity.
“You’re always trying to sell yourself to recruits, so it’s free advertising that just gives us more credibility when you do it on a big stage like this with two of your most prominent [former] players,” Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez said Wednesday.
Alvarez was referring to Seahawks second-year quarterback Russell Wilson and Broncos rookie running back Montee Ball. Wilson’s teammates include safety Chris Maragos and linebacker O’Brien Schofield, reserves who played at Wisconsin. And his offensive coordinator, Darrell Bevell, left college in 1995 as Wisconsin’s career passing leader.
The last time Ball and Wilson shared the spotlight came at the podium after the 2012 Rose Bowl loss to Oregon. Wilson had just completed a wildly successful, whirlwind season after coming from North Carolina State and adjusting quickly enough to be named co-captain. Ball had led the nation in rushing yards as a junior.
Cheering from prison
Demaryius Thomas’ mother and grandmother will cheer for the Broncos receiver around the prison TV Sunday, both wearing No. 88 jerseys they crafted with strips of tape.
Thomas was 11 when police burst through the door of their home in Montrose, Ga., and arrested both in 1999 on drug charges.
Now Katina Smith is at a minimum-security prison in Florida, sentenced to 20 years. Her mother, Minnie Pearl Thomas, who had two previous drug convictions, received two life sentences with the possibility for parole after 40 years.
Smith could have gotten a lighter sentence by testifying against her mother, but she refused.
Legendary Jets quarterback Joe Namath and former Giants quarterback Phil Simms will do the ceremonial coin toss on Sunday.
The coin toss is always a popular prop bet of the Super Bowl. The past five seasons the result has been heads, but the complete history is just about even — with heads landing up 24 times and tails 23. Comparably, the coin toss winner is 23-24 all-time in the Super Bowl.
As the visiting team, the Seahawks will call the toss.
Seahawks vs. Aggies
The Seahawks’ version of the 12th Man is front and center in the sports world, but the courts say Texas A&M owns the 12th Man.
Seattle paid Texas A&M $100,000 in a lump sum for licensed use of the 12th Man concept in 2006. The Seahawks can’t display “12th Man” in any official merchandising, though they can use the No. 12. The Seahawks also pay A&M $5,000 annually as part of a deal that’s been extended to 2020, but there’s no extra money in it for the Aggies with the Seahawks in the Super Bowl on Sunday.
The Aggies’ 12th Man tradition dates to 1922. A&M trademarked it in 1990.