Super Bowl fever consumes Big Apple

Thu Jan 30, 2014 5:56pm EST
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By Julian Linden

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The first Super Bowl in the New York metropolitan area is days away and now everybody wants in on the action. Even Mother Nature has come to the Big Apple's party.

The National Football League (NFL) took a gamble when it went against convention and decided to stage the game at an outdoor stadium in nearby New Jersey during the winter.

Naysayers warned that the biggest sports event in the United States would be ruined by a snowstorm. But with weather forecasts for the game getting better by the day, America's biggest city is warming to the prospect of a classic encounter between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks.

As Peyton Manning, the Broncos quarterback whose deadpan delivery can be as sharp as his passes, dryly noted: "The Super Bowl is a big deal."

No player has been under more scrutiny in the build-up to Sunday's title game than Manning. Despite being one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time with one Super Bowl ring already on his hand from his time with the Indianapolis Colts, he is still under enormous pressure to win.

With a win, he would become the first starting quarterback to win Super Bowls with two different franchises. But a loss would raise more questions about his unflattering postseason record, with one title from 13 trips to the playoffs.

John Elway, the starting quarterback when the Broncos won their two previous Super Bowls, in the 1997 and 1998 seasons, thinks it is a mute point.

"I don't think this game, one way or the other, affects his legacy," argued Elway. "He's going to be one of the all-time greats no matter what."   Continued...

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning follows through as he passes during their practice session for the Super Bowl at the New York Jets Training Center in Florham Park, New Jersey January 30, 2014. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine