Read this handy football primer before you watch the Super Bowl, and learn everything you need to know about football before the big game.
A game consists of four 15-minute quarters, with a halftime intermission after the second quarter. Each team is given four downs, or attempts, each time they have possession of the ball to go 10 yards or more. Every time the team goes 10 yards, they get another set of four downs. The ultimate goal is to get to the end zone to score a touchdown or close enough to kick a field goal. A field goal is worth three points; a touchdown is worth six points. When a team scores a touchdown, they then have the chance to kick the ball for an extra point, or they may try to score a two-point conversion (score two points). In a two-point conversion attempt, the team that just scored must run a play from the 2-yard line and advance the ball across the goal line as if it were a normal touchdown. If the team succeeds, it earns two additional points on top of the six points for the touchdown.
Super Bowl Basics
This is the 42nd Super Bowl and the second time it has been held in Arizona. Super Bowl XXX was held at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona (the Cowboys beat the Steelers, 27-17). The first Super Bowl was held January 15, 1967, when the Green Bay Packers beat the Kansas City Chiefs 35-10. The Patriots are making their sixth Super Bowl appearance; they've won three times. The Giants are making their third Super Bowl appearance; they've won twice. The Patriots have 20 players with Super Bowl experience on their current roster; the Giants have three. Tom Coughlin is the head coach of the Giants; this is his first Super Bowl as a head coach. Bill Belichick is the head coach of the Patriots; he is one of four coaches to have won three Super Bowls.
Notable New York Giants
-Eli Manning: No. 10, quarterback. He hasn't thrown an interception in the playoffs.
-Plaxico Burress: No. 17, Wide Receiver. He has played exceptionally well with a bad ankle and knee all season.
-Brandon Jacobs: No. 27, Running back. Despite missing five games because of injuries, Jacobs still produced big numbers. He returned for the last four games of the regular season to help lead the Giants to the playoffs and the Super Bowl.
Notable New England Patriots
-Tom Brady: No. 12, quarterback. This season, Brady broke the NFL single-season record with 50 touchdown passes. He's also one of only four players with three Super Bowl wins as a starting quarterback. Despite his celebrity status (he dates supermodel Giselle), he is the ultimate team player.
-Tedy Bruschi: No. 54, linebacker. Bruschi will be only the 15th player to play in five Super Bowls. Although he had a stroke two years ago and has a hole in his heart, he was able to return to the Patriots; this is his first Super Bowl since his stroke.
-Randy Moss: No. 81, wide receiver. One of the most talented athletes on the Patriots, he is a big guy who can sprint quickly and never drops the ball.
Thanks to Giants fan Jason Hermes and Patriots fan Dan Gosh-Roy for providing this information.