Girls Guide to NFL Pre-Season

This week marks the start of NFL Pre-Season, when all NFL players return from their summer off and get back to practicing for the 2014-15 season. Wondering why it matters and what it means? You’ve come to the right place. Read on.

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Hilary Phelps': Fun Girls Guide to Football

Hilary Phelps’: The Fun Girls Guide to Football

Sunday, February 5, 2012 is the date for Super Bowl XLVI, being held this year in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The venue rotates locations every year, across major NFL cities.  Up until this point, the Super Bowl was always hosted in either a warm weather city (San Diego, Miami, Tampa, etc.) or in a dome stadium, where temperature didn’t matter. Next year, however, in a bold move to try and “spice up” the Super Bowl, for the first time in it’s 47year history, the big game will be played at an outdoor cold weather venue – New York City.

The New England Patriots will play the New York Giants, creating a rematch from the 2008 Super Bowl, where the Giants won.

Going into that game the Patriots has amassed the best regular season record in NFL history, going an unprecedented 16-0 surpassing the 1972 Miami Dolphins who were 12-0 in route to Super Bowl victory. With offensive weapons Tom Brady and another future Hall of Famer Randy Moss, the Patriots broke numerous offensive records during the regular season. But the relentless Giants defensive line got pressure on Brady early in the game and continued to pound the Patriots quarterback, all four quarters.  The game ended on one of the most prolific pass/catch plays in Super Bowl history with an amazing “on the helmet” catch by David Tyree from Eli Manning.  Soon thereafter Eli connected with Plaxio Burress for the game-winning touchdown, and the Giants upset the heavily favored Patriots, which sets up a great rematch in the 2012 Super Bowl.


The Patriots are predicted to win by 3 points

In football parlance “the Pats are favored by 3” meaning the Pats are predicted to win the game by three points.  A lot of guys bet on football games, and the Super Bowl is one of the biggest gambling days of the year.  But what does that really mean? According to Las Vegas odds-makers, you can bet on odds, statistics or any combination thereof. The only two that are necessary for the “Fun Girls Guide to Football” are what’s called the “spread” and the “over/under.”  The first of these two terms indicate the anticipated margin of victory.  In other words, the Pats by 3, means that the Patriots are predicted to win and second of all, the spread is to be a three point margin of victory.  The second of these two betting terms (over/under) refers to the total amount of points to be scored. In other words, if the over/under is 56, that means the odds makers in Las Vegas are predicting that the final combined point total of the two teams will be 56 points. So for all of us that sit there, during a regular season or a play-off game and hear “I need a touchdown” or “ He can’t make this field goal” when it seems that neither would really win or lose the game, it’s because it wouldn’t… it probably has to do with whether he wins or loses his bet.

The Quarterback for the New England Patriots is Tom Brady, who played college football at the University of Michigan and is married to the gorgeous Gisele Bundchen.  While Brady is married to one of the most recognizable faces in fashion, Eli Manning, the former number one pick out of Ole’ Miss, is married to his beautiful college sweetheart, Ali McGraw.  While most families, fiancées and wives spend the game up in a suite, Manning and McGraw are slightly different.  In 2009, when the Giants travelled to Green Bay to play Bret Favre (his last game as a Packer) the temperature at kickoff time of the NFC Championship Game was at -35F. Manning, who like most football players is incredibly superstitious, feels he plays his best when Ali is sitting outdoors with the fans, and not in the suite with family and friends. Accordingly, on the night of his biggest game as a professional, his then-girlfriend was bundled up with the rest of the Lambeau fanatics, for an unthinkably cold night game in Wisconsin. Thankfully for Ali, Indianapolis is a dome stadium, so temperature won’t be an issue.

If Tom Brady leads the Patriots to a win, he will have four SB rings, tying him with Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw as having the most victories in NFL history.  If Eli and the Giants win, he will have twice as many rings as his brother, Payton.  Like any sport, statistics are important, but true champions are determined by how often they won and more importantly, how often they won on the biggest stage. While many people consider Payton Manning to be one of the best mechanical and tactical QBs in NFL history, Tom Brady is one of the most prolific winners in the history of the game. If he wins again on Sunday, he will stand beside Joe Montana—who is widely considered to be the best to ever play the game—as the winningest SB QB in NFL history.

Rooney Mara, of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" is the niece of the Giants co-Owner and Team President, John Mara.  While the film earned strong box office numbers and received solid critical review, not many people know that it was originally done in 2009 and was a global phenomenon. Rooney’s sister, Kate, is also an up and coming actress, with her most popular role—at least among the guys with whom you’ll be watching the game—was as Brittany, the assistant to Eric Murphy, on the HBO show, Entourage.

Each team will have an enclosed Suite, where the owners and invited guests sit during the game.  Look for former players and the quarterback’s families to be seated in their respective boxes as well.  Each Suite is set up with food, beverages, and protection for the cold, Indianapolis weather!

The MHK patch on the Patriots uniform stands for Myra Hiatt Kraft, the wife of Patriots owner, Robert Kraft. Myra died just prior to the start of the regular season, after the two sides (players and owners) resolved their differences and ended the strike. Mr. Kraft, who is considered to be a passionate owner and a respected businessman, left his wife’s bedside during the final day of negotiation to ensure that the deal went through and the Lockout was lifted. In an emotional address from the steps of the NFLPA Headquarters in Washington, DC when the players and owners addressed the media and confirmed that the Lockout had finally ended, players, with tears in their eyes, thanked Robert Kraft for working so hard to ensure that they could all return to work, at a time when his heart and mind were elsewhere. Mr. Kraft broke down and hugged the players and thanked his departed wife for supporting him and the game they both loved so much. In the days and weeks after her death, current and former Patriots recounted stories about how she knew every man’s name and would often bring cookies or other ‘treats for the boys.’ Many undoubtedly miss her, and her memory is emblazoned on the patch worn by all the New England players this season.