SUPER BOWL 50, airing Sunday, February 7th on CBS, is a huge deal, whether you’re rooting for the Carolina Panthers or the Denver Broncos. Whether you’re pulling for the “Sheriff” or the “Showman”. Whether you’re waiting on a crowded corner in Charlotte, in anticipation of Sammy Yaravitz running down College Street wearing nothing but a grin and a Sir Purr headdress.
With some commercials costing almost 5 million dollars, not just the pups and Clydesdales will be playing heartstrings and special effects to be the most memorable of this 50th Anniversary Game. Ratings show Super Bowl 2015 had an all-time record for viewership average of 114.4 million. This year’s anticipation of the 50th Anniversary festivities that include Pepsi Halftime performance by Coldplay, Beyonce and Bruno Mars, combined with the NFL’s Best Offensive Team playing the League’s Strongest Defensive Team, hold all kinds of record-breaking potential.
But for those of you watching all those commercials occasionally interrupted by football, here is some interesting trivia…
* A Broncos-Panthers Super Bowl matchup was 184-1 before the start of the season. Las Vegas Odds Makers show the Carolina Panthers opened as clear favorites last Sunday over the Denver Broncos. The public money has been backing them ever since, with over 80 percent of the early money on the Panthers. Finally, someone is showing these boys some respect, even if it is within the circle of bookies and risk-takers.
* The Denver Broncos have gone to 7 Super Bowls with QBs drafted by the Colts.
* Panthers are the 8th team in the Super Bowl history to win a conference championship game by at least 30 points.
* This will be the first Super Bowl featuring opposing starting QBs who were drafted No. 1 overall.
* At 26, Carolina’s Cam Newton is one win away from being the first ever QB to win the Heisman, National Championship, NFL MVP & Super Bowl.
* At 39, Denver’s Peyton Manning will be the oldest quarterback to play in a Super Bowl, having his worst statistical season in 2015 since his rookie year with
the Indianapolis Colts in 1998. Manning’s playing career and statistics have ranked him among the greatest quarterbacks of all-time.
* Carolina started the season 14–0, not only setting franchise records for the best start and the longest single-season winning streak, but also posting the best start to a season by an NFC team in NFL history. Their 2015 season ended 15-1. This will be the Panthers’ second Super Bowl appearance in its 21-year franchise history.
* Denver went 12-4 in the 2015 season. This is their ninth Super Bowl appearance in their 46-year franchise history, winning two consecutive Super Bowl Championships in 1997 and 1998.
* The Super Bowl Trophy is crafted entirely of sterling silver by Tiffany & Co. The trophy stands 22 inches high and weighs 7 lbs. In 1971 it was rechristened the Vince Lombardi Trophy to honor the legendary Green Bay Packers’ coach, who fittingly said, “Winners never quit, and quitters never win.”
* Rivera-Kubiak is first matchup of Super Bowl HCs who are ex-NFL players since Ditka vs. Berry 30 years ago. Rivera played in that game.
* Five years into his NFL career, the “Showman”, Cameron Jerrell Newton, born May 11, 1989, is 6 feet 5 inches and 250 pounds. His love for the game was compounded when he survived a near fatal collision in December 2014, only one block away from his home turf of Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. He still wears the yellowed hospital wristband to remind him of what’s really important in this life. “The truth of the matter is, if I’m not in my position using my position in a positive way, then shame on me.”
* A five-time league breaking MVP, the “Sheriff”, Payton Williams Manning, born March 24, 1976, is 6 feet 5 inches and 230 pounds. He has played in 3 previous Super Bowls. This will be his second with Denver, which also earned him a reported $2 million bonus for beating the Tom Brady and the Patriots.
* Manning holds the record for most playoff losses with 13. Ironically, like Babe Ruth who is known for the most home runs as well as the most strikeouts, Manning is tied with Brett Favre’s 186, as the starting quarterback with the most wins in NFL history.
The crew at CNS has filmed and entertained some of the Panthers’ star players (Greg Olsen and Ryan Kalil @CreativeNetworkStudios) long before they huddled on the buoyant brink of becoming the World Champions of Super Bowl 50. Here’s hoping the magical favor that’s hovered over the Panthers all season will linger one more Sunday…placing Carolina among the coveted crowned in NFL history.
Meanwhile, this writer is headed downtown to the corner of College Street and Destiny, hoping to catch a glimpse of her wild and wonderful friend, Sammy Yaravitz, in his Sir Purr headdress and birthday suit…