SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The Peyton Manning-Cam Newton quarterback generation gap was on graphic display at San Jose airport as the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers arrived on Sunday to begin final preparations for Super Bowl 50.
Manning, the 18-year veteran and future Hall of Famer who may be playing his last game in the Feb. 7 clash at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, wore a conservative blue suit and orange tie representing the Broncos’ team colors for the trip.
Newton, the irrepressible, buoyant spirit of the upstart Panthers, rocked a pair of zebra-print trousers and a black leather hoodie as he disembarked the team plane that landed about an hour after Denver’s.
The 26-year-old Newton has vowed he will remain the same flamboyant quarterback that led Carolina to the NFL’s best regular season record at 15-1 with his exuberant brand of passing and rushing as the league’s top dual-threat.
While Denver is the league’s top defensive team, the Panthers are the league’s highest scoring offense.
Manning, 39, the longtime face of the National Football League and one of its most marketable stars, has battled injuries and diminished skills and now strives to play mistake-free to give the team’s vaunted defense a chance to control the game.
Both teams were given rousing send-offs by their fans before making the trek to the Bay Area for next Sunday’s Super Bowl.
Oddsmakers have made the Panthers a six-point favorite in the early betting.
Other than Newton’s bold fashion statement and colorful trousers, described by the team’s website as “Versace Yellow Barocco Zebraprint pants”, most of the players on both teams arrived on the breezy sun-kissed day in dress suits.
“Once we get on the bus, the trip starts,” Broncos’ linebacker Shaquil Barrett told his team’s web reporter before the team left for their plane ride.
“It’s business from there. We going to have today, maybe, to have a little fun but it’s a business trip. It’s not no vacation. We’re ready to work to get the job done.”
The Panthers and Broncos both largely put their game-plans together in practice back home, leaving just some fine tuning ahead of the big game.
Denver, playing in their record-tying eighth Super Bowl game, are going for their third Lombardi Trophy.
Carolina are aiming for their first championship in their second appearance in the Super Bowl.
Editing by Andrew Both