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48 people who could have an impact on Super Bowl XLVIII

In honor of Super Bowl XLVIII, 48 people who could have an impact on America's biggest ballgame
by Berry Tramel Published: February 1, 2014

In honor of Super Bowl XLVIII, 48 people who could have an impact on America's biggest ballgame:

1. Peyton Manning: America's quarterback is playing in his brother Eli's home stadium, needing a win to match Eli with two Super Bowl wins.

2. Richard Sherman: The Mouth That Bored during Super Bowl week remains the NFL's best cornerback, even if he hasn't said so since arriving in Greater New York.

3. Wes Welker: How big is the Oklahoma City folk hero? President Bill Clinton, unprompted, mentioned Welker's Super Bowl quest during an ESPN interview.

4. Pat Bowlen: The Broncos owner grew up in Wisconsin but has two degrees from OU (business 1965, law 1968). He bought the Broncos in 1984.

5. Russell Wilson: The Seattle quarterback counts two alma maters — he graduated from North Carolina State, then transferred to Wisconsin and says he cherishes both schools.

6. Troy Aikman: Quarterbacked the Cowboys in three Super Bowls. Now calling his fourth Super Bowl as Joe Buck's sidekick.

7. Earl Thomas: The NFL's best safety didn't win the Thorpe Award, like fellow Longhorns Michael Huff and Alvin Ross in 2005-06, but Thomas has become the best of Texas' defensive backs.

8. Demaryius Thomas: The mother and grandmother of the Bronco receiver have been in prison on drug convictions since he was 11.

9. Queen Latifah: Just down the road from her hometown of East Orange, N.J., the hip-hop pioneer and Oscar-nominated actress and talk-show host will sing “America the Beautiful” for the second time at a Super Bowl. Saints-Colts was the first.

10. Pete Carroll: The Seahawk coach has the best winning percentage in franchise history (.594); Carroll also is second in New England Patriot winning percentage (.562), trailing only Bill Belichick.

11. Marshawn Lynch: Seattle's little-talking tailback has become the NFL's most physical tailback, running harder than even Adrian Peterson.

12. John Elway: Perhaps the NFL's greatest quarterback has become a huge success as the Broncos' executive VP of football operations. He recruited Peyton Manning to Denver.

13. Joe Buck: His dad, the great Jack Buck, called Super Bowl IV for CBS. Now Joe Buck calls his fourth Super Bowl for FOX.

14. Percy Harvin: The first-year Seahawk scatback has been injured and barely played (one regular-season catch, three postseason catches), but he's been cleared for the Super Bowl and could be a game-breaker.

15. John Fox: The Denver coach missed four games this season because of a heart procedure but joined Don Shula, Dick Vermeil, Mike Holmgren, Dan Reeves and Bill Parcells as the only coaches to take two franchises to Super Bowls.

16. Michael Robinson: The Seahawk fullback, once a Penn State quarterback, was cut by Seattle after his liver and kidneys started shutting down in August. But Robinson recovered and was brought back by the Seahawks in October.

17. Ken Norton Jr.: The Seahawks' linebacker coach, who was on the Southern Cal staff with Pete Carroll, is the only player in NFL history to play on three consecutive Super Bowl champs — '92 and '93 Cowboys, '94 49ers.

18. Matt Prater: The Bronco kicker set an NFL record for longest field with a 64-yarder on Dec. 9 in Denver, but the Super Bowl will be played at virtual sea level.

19. Russell Okung: Seattle's nice-guy left tackle out of OSU has lived up to the promise of the No. 6 overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.

20. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie: The Bronco cornerback was an Arizona Cardinal rookie five years ago when he was beaten by Santonio Holmes for the Super Bowl-winning TD pass.

21. Max Unger: The all-pro Seahawk center sports a beard that would shame James Harden's, but Unger vows it's coming off after the Super Bowl.

22. Zane Beadles: The Bronco guard is growing quite the beard himself and says he might not shave after the game.

23. Olivia Manning: Archie gets most of the spotlight for his boys, but don't forget the mother of Eli and Peyton. Her sons have quarterbacked five of the last eight Super Bowls.

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by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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