Bailey’s first Super Bowl appearance ends in disappointment

Denver cornerback Champ Bailey, the former Georgia standout, waited 15 years to reach the Super Bowl.

Bailey, a 12-time Pro Bowler, had mixed results, as the Broncos were routed by the Seahawks 43-8 in Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday at MetLife Stadium after he gave the pre-game speech.

“I just reminded them why we’re here and what you play for, things like that,” Bailey said. “It’s not about any one individual. It’s about the whole team. I just wanted to kind of give them a sense of where I was coming from and what it means to me.”

On Seattle’s second possession, before things went sideways, Bailey came up to tackle Seattle wide receiver Doug Baldwin for a 6-yard gain. On the next play, he stopped Seattle wide receiver Percy Harvin after a 5-yard reception.

Seattle tried to catch the Broncos sleeping with a flea flicker, but Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson threw the ball away.

On the next play, Baldwin ran an nice route and got behind Bailey for a 37-yard gain. Seattle had to settle for a field goal, which made it 8-0.

Denver had a safety on the first play of the game and things went downhill from there.

“You definitely don’t want it to start like that,” said Bailey, who said he plans to continue playing. “You know, it’s two points. You can bounce back from things like that. Unfortunately, they went down and kicked the field goal. You can’t play a good team like that and make mistakes. They’re going to make you pay.”

Bailey finished with four tackles.

Weather cooperates: The first Super Bowl held in an outdoor stadium in a northern city received some cooperation from Mother Nature.

The sun was out for most of the day before the game and the temperature at kickoff was announced at 49 degrees and partly cloudy, which was 10 to 15 degrees above normal, according to the National Weather Service.

The New York/New Jersey Super Bowl committee had a contingency plan to move the game in case of bad weather.

The league feared that the game, which is normally played in a warm weather city or domed stadiums, would be played in wintry conditions.

Super Bowls have been played in domed stadiums in Minneapolis and Detroit.

Super Bowl VI, which was played at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans, holds the record for the coldest Super Bowl. It was played at 39 degrees. The Dallas Cowboys defeated the Miami Dolphins, 24-3.

Record showing: Denver wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, who starred at Georgia Tech, set a new Super Bowl record when he caught his 12th pass for a 14-yard touchdown in the third quarter.

The previous mark of 11 was held by four players: Cincinnati’s Dan Ross (Super Bowl XVI), San Francisco’s Jerry Rice (Super Bowl XXIII), New England’s Deion Branch (XXXIX) and New England’s Wes Welker (XLII).

The omen of the 12th man: Seattle's 12th man apparently made a road trip to the Super Bowl.

When Denver running back Knowshon Moreno recovered an errant snap in the end zone for a safety for 2 points for Seattle just 12 seconds into the game, it was the quickest score in Super Bowl history.

The previous record of 14 seconds was held by Chicago in Super Bowl XLI. Devin Hester opened the action with a 92-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. The Colts, who were led by Manning, went on to win that game 29-17.

Harvin’s 87 kickoff return to open the second half also took just 12 seconds off the clock.

Smith earns MVP: Seattle linebacker Malcolm Smith intercepted a pass intended for Denver running back Knowshon Moreno and returned it 69 yards for a touchdown.

The interception return was the longest in a Super Bowl since New Orleans cornerback Tracy Porter intercepted Manning in Super Bowl XLIV and returned it 74 yards for a touchdown.

Seattle defensive end Cliff Avril tipped the pass.

Smith also recovered a fumble by Thomas in the third quarter and was named the most valuable player of the game.

Smith, a third-year player from USC, added seven tackles (four solo stops) and one pass defensed.

Smith, who has intercepted a pass in four of his past five games (including postseason), did not have an interception in his first 43 career games.

He became the third linebacker to earn Super Bowl MVP honors, joining Dallas’s Chuck Howley (Super Bowl V) and Baltimore’s Ray Lewis (Super Bowl XXXV).

Lockette atones: Seattle wide receiver Ricardo Lockette, the Albany native who played at Fort Valley State, atoned for an early unnecessary roughness penalty in the first quarter with a big 19-yard catch in the third quarter to pick up a first down.

On the next play, Wilson completed a 23-yard touchdown pass to Jermaine Kearse to put the Seahawks up 36-0 with 2:58 left in the third quarter.

Etc.: The past 10 Super Bowls have been within seven points in the 4th quarter. Super Bowl XLVIII deviated greatly from that theme of close games. …Seattle did not punt in the first half and dominated the time of possession in the first quarter, 11:41 to 3:19. …The Seahawks outgained the Broncos 148 to 11 yards in the first quarter.