The first play of Super Bowl XLVIII broke the Denver Broncos' back: a mistimed snap ended up as a safety for the Seahawks on the very first play from scrimmage, marking the fastest-scoring play in Super Bowl History. So what exactly went wrong? Peyton Manning says it was because of the noise.
"We were using the snap count on the play and due to the noise no one could hear me," Manning told reporters. "I was walking up to the line of scrimmage to sort of make a change and get us on the same page and then the ball was snapped," he added.
The odd thing is that Super Bowls, are usually not as loud as regular football games, mostly because it's not a true home game for either team. Seattle's CenturyLink Field is generally among the loudest in football and their "12th Man" crowd has been credited with unnerving more than a few offenses. Only they had to share the spectacle with the Broncos fans, and a lot of corporate folks who have no rooting interest.
"There’s not a lot of crowd noise. People mostly sit on their hands, outside of the fans that buy the tickets for the team. It’s kind of a corporate get-together." Ron Jaworski, an ESPN analyst who was the quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles, told The New York Times, which reported on the "quiet" Super Bowl phenomena late last month.
"It was real loud and we’re trying to go on a cadence and I thought I heard him. I didn’t, you know. He was already walking up to me because he had already said the cadence and I snapped it. But again, I’ll take full responsibility for that." center Manny Ramirez added.
That snap and safety set the tone for the game and Denver never really got back on track after that bungle.
It also was (not) a play with 1,000,000 to one odds, despite what one prankster tried to make everyone think. After that crazy beginning, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said he won $20,000,000 by placing a bet that a safety would be the first play of the Super Bowl:
I HAD SAFETY ON THE FIRST PLAY IN VEGAS !!!!!!!!!! 1mm to 1.. $20mm BABY. #Unbelievable— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) February 2, 2014
People went crazy and started imagining things they could buy had they placed that bet. But, Cuban later revealed that it was a hoax, which he then promptly deleted:
The actual Vegas were "only" about 50-1.