Super Bowl: Everything you need to know

Carolina Panthers wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin, left, and wide receiver Devin Funchess (17) pose for a photo inside Levi's Stadium. Photo / AP.
Carolina Panthers wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin, left, and wide receiver Devin Funchess (17) pose for a photo inside Levi's Stadium. Photo / AP.

The Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos will battle it out today to be crowned champions of Super Bowl 50.

The NFL's best offence (the Panthers) go up against the best defence (the Broncos), with two of the league's most iconic quarterbacks fighting to see their team lift the Vince Lombardi trophy.

Here is our complete guide to the game, with everything you need to know.

When is it?
Sunday, February 7 at Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara. Kick-off is 3.30pm local time.

And in NZ?
That translates to 12.30pm. Barring a power cut (as seen in New Orleans) or overtime (yet to be happen in a Super Bowl), it should finish around 4.30pm.

Where can I watch it?
On ESPN. NFL Countdown will be screening all morning and coverage of the game an opening ceremony from 12.00pm.

Which teams will be duking it out?
The Carolina Panthers, the NFC's No 1 seed, meet the Denver Broncos, the AFC's No 1 seed.

Who's who?
The Broncos will wear white, the Panthers will be decked out in black. The logic is simple, according to John Elway, Broncos executive VP and general manager. 'We've had Super Bowl success in our white uniforms,' said Elway, who was the Broncos' QB in back-to-back Super Bowl wins in 1997 and 1998.

And the winner will be...?
All signs point to Carolina. They are 17-1 this season and come into the game on the back of a 49-15 destruction of the Arizona Cardinals.

In Cam Newton, the Panthers possess a mobile quarterback with a rapier-like arm and a penchant for Superman celebrations. With top target Greg Olsen to aim at and a strong running game, Carolina built up the NFL's top scoring offense with 500 total points.
Without the ball, Carolina's defense is packed with playmakers on all three levels, with do-it-all, ball-hawking linebacker Luke Kuechly on top of his game.

Do Denver have a chance?
The Broncos reached the Super Bowl two years ago and were blown away by the Seattle Seahawks, a team comparable with today's Panthers.

But under Wade Phillips, Denver have the No 1-ranked defense in the NFL. They left Tom Brady bemused and battered in the AFC Championship game, registering between 20 and 25 hits on the quarterback, depending on your source.

They have a running game which is improving as the season wears on and two top end receivers in Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders.

What's on the line?
Peyton Manning is expected to retire after his fourth Super Bowl. He is in the conversation for the best quarterback of all time, but his cause will be boosted by winning a second ring.

At 39, however, his powers are on the wane. But if he follows Elway in riding off into the sunset with a second Super Bowl, expect quite a send off. And tears.

Any interesting facts?
This is the first Super Bowl in which both starting quarterbacks are No 1 overall draft picks. Manning was taken first by the Indianapolis Colts in 1998 and Newton was No 1 overall 13 years later.

The Broncos are in their eighth Super Bowl (2-5), while the Panthers are playing in their second (0-1). Manning is the first quarterback to reach a Super Bowl under four different head coaches (Tony Dungy, Jim Caldwell, John Fox and Gary Kubiak) and would become the first quarterback to win the Vince Lombardi trophy with two franchises.

Can I get a ticket?
If you have about $NZD 6000 spare.

Who will commentate?
CBS's Jim Nantz and Phil Simms. Both are not afraid to express their admiration of Manning.

What happens at half-time?
During the 30-minute break, the peculiarly popular Coldplay will rattle through their catalogue, joined by pint-sized pop crooner Bruno Mars. Oh, and Beyonce.

Which one's the referee?
Clete Blakeman leads the seven-man crew. He was the one who failed to flip the coin before overtime in the Divisional Round Arizona Cardinals Green Bay game.

It will be his first Super Bowl, but the appointment met the approval of NFL sage Peter King. 'I think Blakeman's a good ref. Good presence. Good control of game,' he tweeted.
Where are the Roman numerals?

They have been ditched for the first time since Super Bowl 4. They will be back next year for Super Bowl LI in Houston.

How much does an advert cost?
$NZD 7.5 million for 30-second ad spot.

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf05 at 10 Dec 2016 04:44:40 Processing Time: 800ms