Including their preseasons, the Seahawks and Patriots have played more than 20 games this season, spanning more than five months. Now, the big game has arrived. And though Team USA athletes won't be on the field in Arizona, many of them will be watching — and few more intently than fans of the team. We caught up with a number of them, who let us know about their Super Bowl traditions and who they like in Sunday's game.
What is your Super Bowl tradition, and where will you be watching?
Aly Raisman (Needham, Mass. | Gymnastics): I like watching it with my family. I don't normally hang out with a lot of people because I actually want to watch the game. I also will be in bed right after because I will have practice the next morning, so I will be curled up in a blanket on the couch.
Angeli VanLaanen (Bellingham, Wash. | Freeskiing): I come from a football loving family and our usual game day tradition is to gather in front of a large screen TV, snacks and beverages abundant, all decked out in our team's colors. However, while half my family roots for the Seahawks, the other bleeds green and gold for the Green Bay Packers. It's always a fun, loud and entertaining time. This year, unfortunately, I will be traveling again on Super Bowl Sunday. We have a grand prix competition in Mammoth, California, starting Monday.
Ariana Kukors (Federal Way, Wash. | Swimming): Well, last year for the Super Bowl, I was at the Sochi Olympics, watching from there, so I can't say I have a Super Bowl tradition, but my little sister and I wear our Seahawks onesies on game day! It has been so exciting to see this team do so well and how much good it has done for the city of Seattle. We are all so proud! This year, I'll be watching with a small group of close friends! I'm such a football fan, I like to actually sit and watch the game.
Aretha Thurmond (Seattle, Wash. | Track & Field): My Super Bowl tradition is watching the game with friends. Not sure yet where I will be watching it this year. Wherever I am, I will be wearing my Hawks jersey and waving my Seahawks flags.
Courtney Thompson (Kent, Wash. | Volleyball): SEA-HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not sure where I'll be watching it this year, but I will be cheering for the Seahawks, being from Seattle and all ... and enjoying watching athletes compete at such a high level.
Christa Harmotto Dietzen (Hopewell Township, Pa. | Volleyball): My Super Bowl tradition usually involves cheering for the Pittsburgh Steelers, you know, since we won six already. This year, since my beloved husband, Derek, is a diehard Seahawks fan, we will be hosting our own Super Bowl party with some of our closest friends.
Jim Craig (Winthrop, Mass. | Ice Hockey): My only tradition is watching the game with my family and friends.
Amazing win for the Patriots!!! Good luck next week!— Jim Craig (@JimCraigUSA) January 11, 2015
Jeremy Roenick (Boston, Mass. | Ice Hockey): I don't have a tradition — I've watched in Vegas before, I've had parties at my house before, I've been to Super Bowl parties before. I'm probably just going to be watching it from one of the local bars here in Phoenix with some of the guys from NBC — we'll be doing our telecast for the hockey game Sunday, so we'll just stick together. I grew up a Pats fan, back in the Steve Grogan days.
J.R. Celski (Federal Way, Wash. | Speedskating): I don’t have a specific tradition, but, for the last couple of years, I’ve watched choppy live streams of the game on my laptop overseas. Usually, my connection decides to time out when huge plays are made. This year, I’ll be watching the Super Bowl live in Glendale.
Kacey Bellamy (Providence, R.I. | Ice Hockey): Well, considering my whole family are huge Patriots fans and my cousin was in the NFL, every Sunday and Monday night in football season, we are glued to the TV if we are able to. This year, I will be in Toronto playing for the Boston Blades and flying back to Boston so, hopefully, the airport TVs will come in handy. I will, though, have my Tom Brady game jersey on all weekend for the games.
Katie Holloway (Lake Stevens, Wash. | Volleyball): My Super Bowl tradition will start this year at my new apartment in the Bay Area. I will be hanging my 12th man flag in the window and cooking some meatballs in my new Seahawks crockpot. This year, I am hosting all my 49er friends so I can rub it in their face! GO HAWKS!
Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif. | Volleyball): I don't have a Super Bowl tradition, unless we can count eating too much as a tradition?!? I will be watching the game from my little apartment in Cannes, France, streaming from NFL GameDay on my computer and projecting onto my dining room wall!
Tim Daggett (West Springfield, Mass. | Gymnastics): We hold our gymnastics invitational Super Bowl weekend. I miss the first quarter every year and have it DVR'ed. As we are breaking down, there is a strict no-update policy, and I ask people not to check their phones. I turn the radio off in my car immediately when I get in. Some of my friends and staff usually come over to my house and we watch the game as it happened!
Tori Dixon (Burnsville, Minn. | Volleyball): My family usually has a party... It used to be an even bigger deal when my dad was playing in the NFL. We were all more into it! But this year I'll be watching in Azerbaijan. Since it will be very, very early here, it'll probably just be with Foluke Akinradewo at one of our apartments.
Who will win, and what is your score prediction?
Aly Raisman: Patriots will win, 30-24. I have been a Pats fan my whole life. I love Boston sports teams. We are all Boston Strong!
Angeli VanLaanen: I predict a 30 to 26 Seahawks victory! With the "12th man" crew, how could we lose!? Shout out to all my friends and family in Washington, you guys are the true fans!
Ariana Kukors: Score: 31-27, Seahawks
Aretha Thurmond: The Seahawks will win, 38-17. Our defense the “LOB” will be the difference-maker and maybe even score a touchdown.
Courtney Thompson: Wherever I am, I will be texting with friends from home and Skyping with my family throughout the game. The Seahawks are always something that brings my family together wherever we are all in the world... So, for us, it almost feels like a holiday. I can't wait for Sunday!!!
Christa Harmotto Dietzen: I'm going with the Seahawks. Love the way they battle.
Jim Craig: Patriots, 24-21. They play better collectively as a total team and Coach Belichick gets the well prepared.
Jeremy Roenick: I think the Pats will win, 24-17. If you give Bill Belichick two weeks to get ready for a team, I'll put my money on him and Tom Brady's arm any day.
J.R. Celski: Seahawks, 24-20. Seahawks had a major scare in the NFC Championship Game and know they have to step their game up if they want to beat arguably the strongest team in the league. Both defensive secondaries will show up in the first half limiting passing opportunities. I see the Patriots running game with LeGarrette Blount, giving the Seattle run defense a tough time in the first half. Seattle receivers will show up big in the second half, and Marshawn will go into Beast Mode, leaving the Pats on their heels. I look for Doug Baldwin to step up against Revis. Brandon Browner will cost the Pats too many penalties in the backfield while trying to cover Kearse. I look forward to seeing who will line up opposite to Gronk (hopefully Kam Chancellor) and also seeing Kam and Earl lay it down on whoever gets their hands on the ball. I’m all about that action, boss! And also… I’m thankful.
Kacey Bellamy: My prediction is going to be 27-21, Pats, because these teams are both very evenly matched, but I have to give the Pats the advantage with everything going on with Deflategate there is going to be a little extra chip on their shoulders.
Katie Holloway: Seahawks will take it, 31-27. The Pats are good, but my Seahawks are tough. We will have a lot of 12s in Arizona. We haven't been dealing with #Deflategate, and Marshawn Lynch is strong and healthy. #BeastMode. It is promised to be a great game!
Nicole Davis: I hope the Seahawks win. They CAN win because they believe wholeheartedly in what they are doing, and they've been tested a lot this season and had no doubt in their abilities when they were tested. So I think this resiliency will help win them another Super Bowl. Score will be close, in my opinion, the Patriots are a great team.
Tim Daggett: The Patriots will win 27 to 13. They win because they are a more complete team, and Belichick, Brady and team will use the "deflate-gate" scandal as motivation!
Tori Dixon: I hope the Seahawks win. We work with Mike Gervais, who also works with the Seahawks. He always has awesome stories about them. Seahawks will win by 10!