The Super Bowl not only represents the final football game of the season, but also the last opportunity for members of the The Parkersburg News and Sentinel sports staff to share their thoughts with readers.
No matter who wins the Super Bowl, staff member Jay W. Bennett has repeated as the grid picks champion, winning by a seven-game margin.
Here are the staff members final records and Super Bowl predictions
For the second straight year, Jay W. Bennett won the season long football picks competition among members of The News and Sentinel sports staff. His name will go on the permanent plaque that adorns the sports deparment wall.
Jay W. Bennett (280-72): My favorite memory of Peyton Manning is from 1997 when the announcement for the Heisman Trophy was made and Mr. Michigan Man Charles Woodson was named the winner.
My second favorite memory of Manning is when he threw the decisive pick-6 to Tracy Porter of New Orleans during the Saints' 31-17 victory in Super Bowl XLIV.
Hopefully, my third favorite memory will come true later tonight when the best defense in the NFL knocks Manning around and reminds him this game isn't for old men.
At least if Manning does win, I know my neighbor David who recently moved here from Colorado and all his buddies will be happy. Of course, that's not going to happen - Seattle 28-26. Hey, I need that 8-6 for a super bowl square.
Dave Poe (273-79): I can't remember a more evenly-matched Super Bowl.
It is easy to make a case for either team.
The Broncos have the best player in the game at the position that can most influence the game, and that's an advantage hard to overcome.
But if defense wins championships- and it often does -then one must give the nod to the Seahawks.
No matter who wins, we will watch football history being made. Either Peyton Manning becomes the first quarterback to win the Super Bowl with two different teams or Pete Carroll becomes the first coach to guide teams to both the NCAA and NFL titles.
This one has the makings of a classic. Seahawks 24, Broncos 20.
Steve Hemmelgarn (272-80): Well now, let me see, who's going to win today's Super Bowl matchup?
If I could do this in reality, I'd be a millionaire by now.
I did, though, back in college, pick the winner of Super Bowl III (although I think this was actually before they started using Roman numerals) - the Joe Namath-led New York Jets in a 16-7 stunner over the Baltimore Colts - for the Ohio State school paper, The Lantern.
The catch was, however, that it was simply a you-take-one-team-and-I'll-take-the-other ploy to attract readers - and I just happened to get the team that won - although I did like the brash, outspoken Namath, who "guaranteed" a win.
But enough fiddle-faddle, the Colts again, of course - oops, I mean the Denver Broncos will win for Peyton Manning, cementing his Pro Football Hall of Fame legacy at age 37.
Let me see, not too high-scoring, but a pretty good game for a change. Broncos 31, Seahawks 27.
Jim Butta (267-85): Two words - Peyton Manning. If it is true that the most important position on the team is quarterback, the Denver Broncos have an overwhelming advantage over the Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.
Defensively, the most least talked about unit belongs to the Broncos. They have shown all season that they are capable of stopping anyone and if they can make Seattle one dimensional and force Wilson to beat them with his passing ability, then the advantage belongs to the Broncos.
Denver's running game is as good as or better than any team the Seahawks have faced this season and if it is effective, then that makes Manning even more dangerous.
Predictions are for a close game, but I do not see it...Denver 48, Seattle 24.
Joe Albright (260-92): Mark it down, Sunday Feb. 2, 2014, Peyton Manning will punch his ticket to Canton by capturing his second Vince Lombardi Trophy. After falling short last season in the AFC Championship game, the Broncos returned to and advanced to the big game beating Bill Belichick and Tom Brady in said game. The Broncos steamrolled through the regular season, finishing with a 13-3 record including an impressive opening night 49-27 victory over the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens.
The Broncos have relied on a record-setting offense led by Manning who broke the single season mark for touchdowns and passing yards.
The Broncos failed to go over the 27-point mark only once in a loss to the Chargers. Manning has plenty of weapons at his disposal on the Denver offense, more than the NFC champion Seahawks have seen all season. Richard Sherman can't be everywhere at once on the field for the Seahawks.
Manning will have had two weeks to get ready for the No. 1 defense in the NFL which is comparable to giving Nick Saban two weeks to get ready for anybody, not good for the opposing team.
Having said that, the last six teams to go into the Super Bowl with the best defense have won every time. That will change today. Manning will out -Omaha the Seahawks defense and get the Broncos into the end zone four times to capture the Lombardi Trophy in Super Bowl XLVIII. Broncos 28-17.
Kerry Patrick (258-94):
I don't want to see a 3-year-old cry, but I have to side with the hottest team and smartest quarterback in the game.
If you haven't seen the Seattle Seahawks' youngest fan in Kalee Buetow recite the players' names of her favorite team, it's downright adorable.
The Seahawks have one of the most dominating defenses in the NFL. However, Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning has faced every alignment in the book. He reminds me of baseball's version of Greg Maddux. Extremely astute at his craft.
Go with Denver, 23-14.
Guest Picker Eddie Thomas, sports copy editor: Several NFL?quarterbacks have made their mark in the sport. I haven't seen someone like Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning rally back after sustaining the injuries he has dealt with throughout his career. Manning is the key to the Broncos efforts in the big game, but I feel the Seattle Seahawks defense will halt the passing game of the Broncos.
The Seahawks' defensive backs will control the middle and sideline routes of the Bronco receivers and the running game will not be enough to win the game.
I pick the Seahawks, 27-21.