How big is the Big Game?

Published 11:41 am Saturday, February 6, 2016

So big that last year more than 120,000,000 people in the United States tuned in to watch the Super Bowl, making it the most watched broadcast in American history.

So big that of all the televisions that were in use during the time period in which last year’s game was taking place, half of them were showing the images of the Patriots defeating the Seahawks by virtue of a crazy, last minute defensive play.

So big that even those who still don’t know which two teams are facing off this year (we will refrain from outing the staff member of this newspaper who falls into that category) will likely be watching for the commercials and halftime entertainment.

This year the Super Bowl is being played for the 50th time, and the matchup between the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers is a contest worthy of the grand game’s golden anniversary. While football is undoubtedly the ultimate team game in all of sport, all eyes this year will likely be focused on two players: the Panther’s brilliant and explosive young quarterback, Cam Newton, and the Broncos’ legendary Peyton Manning, one of the greatest quarterbacks in football history and who is probably playing his final game. The contrast of their opposite playing styles and personalities, and the fact that one is just now hitting his stride while the other is preparing to ride off into the sunset, should make this game one for the ages. Even those merely glimpsing the action between commercials will bear witness to history.

Smart money is on Newton and the near-perfect Panthers. Manning and the Broncos will spend three hours tugging at heartstrings. This game should redefine big, and we can’t wait for the opening kickoff.