It's the biggest day in American sport and for that country a timely respite, brief though it may be, from

The Apprentice - Presidential Edition

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Today dreams become reality; hearts will be broken, and arteries are clogged at an extraordinary rate.

Super Bowl 51 takes place in Houston with the offensive machine that is the Atlanta Falcons bidding for the franchises' first Super Bowl title.

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In their way stands the dynasty that is the New England Patriots, led by the Greatest Quarterback ever to play the game and one of the Greatest Coaches ever to pick up a clipboard in the history of the NFL.

nzherald.co.nz will have live updates of Super Bowl 51 from 12pm.

Following the Conference Championship a fortnight ago, here are the Rhombus Cup standings:

1) Marc Peard (MP) - Super Bowl pick - Falcons v Steelers - 9 of 10
2) Kent Johns (KJ) - Super Bowl pick - Falcons v Patriots -8 of 10
3) Nate Rarare (NR) - Super Bowl pick - Falcons v Patriots 7 of 10
4) Nigel Yalden (NY) - Super Bowl pick - Packers v Steelers - 6 of 10

So set against the backdrop of that scoreboard and the season finale, we've asked our fan boys to answer three key questions about Super Bowl 51 before they make their most significant prediction of the 2016/17 NFL season ... umm ... where the heck is Nate and what are Capybaras anyway?

Which quarterback is under more pressure - Tom Brady (NE) or Matt Ryan (ATL)?

MP: Brady
He's expected to win this game while Ryan is simply chuffed he's made the Super Bowl. Ryan and the rest of the Falcons will enter this game with the energy and enthusiasm of young kids on Christmas morning. They won't need any speeches to get them up. But for Tom, well the pressure of knowing is all on him.

KJ: Ryan
Ryan will be under pressure literally from the New England pass rush (I actually don't know if that'll be the case but it sure sounds smart). I don't think Brady really feels pressure, he's seen it all and this is Ryan's first trip to the big dance.

NY: Ryan
A lot of seasoned NFL observers are picking Atlanta to pull out the upset. And as each of those pundits makes that prediction, the needle on the Ryan pressure gauge edges closer to the red. The man known as "Matty Ice" needs to be just that cos you know the evil genius (Patriots coach Bill Belichick) has something special in store for him.

Which player (quarterbacks excluded) will have the most influence in the outcome of Super Bowl 51?

MP: Mohamed Sanu (Wide Receiver - Atlanta Falcons)
The Patriots don't have "players" they have game plans that the well drilled coaching staff insert average to good players into. No one player on that team matters. If you mess up they have many other game plans or players to move forward without you. The Falcons need all cylinders on offence to be firing as they won't stop the Patriots on defence. They need [running backs] Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman to keep the running game usable to give [wide receivers] Julio Jones, Taylor Gabriel and most importantly Sanu a chance against the Patriots secondary. Why Sanu? Because the slot threat will keep the secondary honest and create opportunities for not only the running game but less attention on Julio Jones who will be the home run threat.

KL: New England's offensive line protecting Brady
They will give him enough time to be dominant and from there any number of no-name receivers could blossom in front of millions of people.

NY: Vic Beasley (outside linebacker - Atlanta Falcons)
I read a great article this week detailing the losses the Patriots have had in the playoffs during the Tom Brady era. The authors point of commonality in those losses was consistent defensive blitzing to pressure disrupt and/or hit Tom Brady. If the Falcons want to have any chance of limiting the Golden Boys' influence, they will need to blitz often and if they do that, Vic Beasley will be leading the charge.

Which kicker would you have more faith in to kick a Super Bowl winning field goal - Stephen Gostkowski (NE) or Matt Bryant (ATL)?

MP: Stephen Gostkowski (NE)
He's been there, done that, got the rings to prove it.

KJ: Stephen Gostkowski (NE)
Matt Bryant was the best kicker in the NFL this season and his record from distance was marginally better than Gostowski. The Patriots kicker wasn't as sharp as usual but is 5/5 in the playoffs, has kicked the big ones before and there is no substitute for having passed the big game pressure test.

NY: Stephen Gostkowski (NE)
it's not just the kicker who has been clutch in big moment before; it's the entire Patriots kicking unit. That said, he's the bloke whose got to knock them over, which he usually does during "winning time".

And finally, the biggest question of any Super Bowl week...

Who wins and why?

MP: Two weeks of preparation for Bill Belichick and the Patriots coaching staff is more than enough to work out ways to slow down the Falcons offence. Remember the Patriots decimated a very good Steelers team that was expected to run and pass all over them in the AFC championship game. Clinical game planning from the Patriots will be the winner of Super Bowl 51.
Prediction: I expect the Patriots to win and suffocate the Atlanta offence into mistakes.

KJ: Ultimately New England just knows how to figure out their opposition and can put up enough points of their own. This is a team destined to win it all and throw it back in the face of the commissioner who erroneously suspended their golden boy.
Prediction: The Patriots win a close game

NY: This is all about who scores the first touchdown. If Atlanta can get into the end zone first, its game on. If the Evil Empire grabs six early, the contest will end up being the Super Bowl equivalent of Bane breaking Batman's back in The Dark Knight Rises.
Prediction: Anyone but New England ... please