The Super Bowl era is now a half century old, a big celebration for the National Football League. One player dominated the media day storylines though: Could this be Peyton Manning's last game?
The matchup between Carolina's full-throttle offense against Denver's top-notch defense was on everyone's lips. However, the biggest story of all is Peyton Manning's potential retirement from the game after his fourth Super Bowl appearance.
As for what the future hall of famer will do after Sunday's matchup, Manning wouldn't say. "I haven't made my mind up and I don't see myself knowing about that until after the season," he said.
Peyton Manning will match up against Cam Newton, a man notorious for the indulgent touchdown celebration.
Denver Broncos general manager John Elway, a Hall of Fame quarterback for the Denver Broncos from the 1980's and 1990's, supported his quarterback. "The season isn't over. He doesn't have to worry about thinking about retirement now," he said.
If this is Manning's last game, he will have the best defense in the league behind him, even if they feel slighted by the underdog-tag. "We beat the champs twice," said Broncos cornerback Chris Harris on beating the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots twice this year. "Nobody cared, I guess. I do feel like we deserve more credit."
Can't stop the movement
The NFC champion Carolina Panthers come in as the odds-on favorite, but they're still looking for their first Lombardi Trophy. The Panthers are a jubulent team who are known most for their touchdown dances – which have rubbed many football fans the wrong way – and their star quarterback Cam Newton insists that is not going to change.
"I guess you're going to have to get used to it, because I don't plan on changing," said Newton.