‘‘Neither would be in this game if they weren’t excellent coaches and no matter what happens tomorrow night, they’re still excellent coaches. That’s just a matter of fact,’’ Peyton Manning said.
— Nekesa Mumbi Moody and Nancy Armour — http://twitter.com/nekesamumbi and http://twitter.com/nancyarmour
AWARDS OVER, TIME TO PARTY
Now that the NFL awards have ben doled out, it’s time to bring on the celebrity-studded parties on Super Bowl eve.
Here are the headliners for Saturday night in New Orleans:
— Singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder headlines outdoor concert near Wyndham Riverfront Hotel that will also feature Texas guitarist Gary Clark Jr. Wonder’s opening act: Grammy-nominated R&B and soul artist Janelle Monae. The closer: French electronic DJ Martin Solveig.
— Justin Timberlake takes stage for his first concert in more than four years during ‘‘DIRECTV Super Saturday Night.’’ It’s invitation only.
— Chevel Johnson
Many of the millions of Americans who play fantasy football will be watching Sunday’s Super Bowl with an eye toward next season’s drafts.
But as one fantasy expert warns, don’t put too much stock into what you see in the game — good or bad.
Matthew Berry, an ESPN fantasy analyst nicknamed ‘‘The Talented Mr. Roto,’’ said there will be some interesting players on the field from a fantasy perspective, including 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, Baltimore wide receiver Torrey Smith and San Francisco wide receiver Michael Crabtree.
But barring major injury, fantasy owners shouldn’t get caught up in how they perform in New Orleans, Berry said.
‘‘I think fantasy owners are smart enough and savvy enough to know that the postseason is something different and it’s a very small sample size,’’ Berry says.
Simply put, it takes more games than a Super Bowl to judge whether someone’s fantasy worthy.
But if you thought you could be sneaky and nab Kaepernick or Crabtree with a late draft pick next season, think again. The duo’s performance throughout the last half of the regular season and the postseason mean they'll go in higher rounds, Berry says.
— Oskar Garcia — http://twitter.com/oskargarcia
QUICKQUOTE: AP'S MVP SPEECH
Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson thanked God, his parents, teammates and coaches for propelling him to the Associated Press 2012 NFL Most Valuable Player award.
And he wants to win the hardware again.
‘‘God willing, next year I'll be accepting this award again. Trying to get two or three like Peyton (Manning). Trying to get to your level ... But I won’t be there to accept it because I'll be winning with my coach, the most important award, the team award, the Super Bowl.’’
— Nancy Armour — http://twitter.com/nrarmour
STAT OF THE DAY: HALF DON'T CARE WHO WINS
This Super Bowl stat of the day comes by way of Jennifer Agiesta, AP’s director of polling: A Seton Hall poll shows 53 percent of Americans don’t care who wins on Sunday.
The Seton Hall Sports Poll, conducted Jan. 28-30, shows 26 percent of people rooting for the San Francisco 49ers and 21 percent rooting for the Baltimore Ravens.
One-third of Americans plan to skip Sunday’s game.
The poll of 894 randomly selected adults has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 percentage points.
— Jennifer Agiesta — http://twitter.com/jennagiesta
AP TOPS PEYTON FOR MVP
Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson is the NFL’s Most Valuable Player as selected by an Associated Press vote.
The running back coming back from major knee surgery beat out Denver quarterback Peyton Manning on Saturday night.
It’s Peterson’s second award of the night after winning Offensive Player of the Year.
Peterson led the Vikings from a 3-13 mark to 10-6 and a wild-card playoff berth. He is the first running back to win MVP since LaDainian Tomlinson in 2006.
NFL fans everywhere wondered if Peyton Manning could come back from four neck surgeries after 13 years in Indianapolis without missing a game.
Now he’s AP’s 2012 NFL Comeback Player of the Year.
Manning sat out 2011, then made Denver one of the league’s top teams, guiding the Broncos to the AFC’s best record at 13-3.
Manning received 31½ votes Saturday from a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the league. He easily beat Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who got 17½ votes.
— Barry Wilner
One year in the NFL and Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III is already an award winner.
He took home AP’s NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors on Saturday night and promptly warned the league he plans to improve.Continued...