On Feb. 2, MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., will be the site of Super Bowl XLVIII. The game pits the AFC’s Denver Broncos vs. the NFC’s Seattle Seahawks. While the action on the field promises to be exciting, some off field activity surrounding the game also demands our attention. Here’s what we’ve got our eye on during Super Bowl week.
Roman numeral translation: This is Super Bowl 48
What time does it start? The actual kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
Halftime entertainment: Singer Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers
When is media day? Tuesday, Jan. 28, is the annual carnival known as media day. Countless media pull outrageous publicity stunts as teams are required to have their players attend. Fans can attend, too, for $28.50.
How much do the players get? Winning team members get $92,000 each. The losers get $46,000.
Brace yourself for animal predictions
Zoos across the country are waiting to hit send on press releases in which omniscient elephants, octopi, and sloths predict the outcome of the big game. On a sad note, Princess (pictured), a Bactrian camel famous for her ability to correctly predict the winner of football games, was euthanized on Jan. 14 after arthritis made it impossible for the 26-year-old animal to stand.
Princess correctly picked the Baltimore Ravens in last year’s Super Bowl. Her best run came in the 2008 season, when she picked 17 of 22 games correctly, including the Pittsburgh Steelers to win Super Bowl XLIII.
Five names you really need to know
Richard Sherman (pictured): A defensive back for the Seahawks who loves to trash-talk and once beat the rap on a performance-enhancing drug suspension. Expect to hear a lot about him and from him.
Peyton Manning: The Broncos quarterback who is making a massive comeback from neck surgery that once threatened his career.
Pete Carroll: A former Patriots coach who got his career back on track at the University of Southern Cal, then left before the NCAA hit the school with sanctions for rules violations while he was coach.
Wes Welker: Another former Patriot currently on the rotten list in New England, both for leaving for Denver last year and for taking out the Patriots’ best defensive back in the AFC title game.
Russell Wilson: The Seahawks quarterback was also a pretty good baseball player way back when.
Three stories we guarantee you’ll see before the Super Bowl
Everyone’s buying TVs!!!!! Without fail, intrepid business reporters do this one every year, trooping down to the local Best Buy to interview the manager about how television sets are flying off the shelves because – news flash!!! – the Super Bowl happens to be on TV.
The big flush: Chalk this one up to astute investigative journalism and/or big data, but it’s an absolute certainty some news hound is going to get the civic works director on the record about how the city’s sewer system gets ravaged every year at halftime.
Where the footballs are made: It’s not even that interesting.
Hotel prices are outrageous
Going to the game? You better know somebody with a free couch. According to a story from Reuters,a queen room at a no-frills Best Western in Orange, N.J., that typically sells for around $100 per night will go for around ten times that in the days surrounding the Super Bowl. The NFL estimates an additional 400,000 people will descend on New York and northern New Jersey for the game.
Guy Fieri is all over it
In the least surprising development surrounding the game, Food Network star and restaurateur Guy Fieri has stuck his frosted tips right in the middle of this thing. In an effort to become the face of Super Bowl eating in New York City, Fieri took an Associated Press writer and comedian Judy Gold on a tour of food stops he’d recommend for visitors coming in for the game.
The first stop was, predictably, Guy’s American Kitchen and Bar in midtown, followed by three more stops where the goal was to eat too much. Gold went home and threw up. Sounds about right.
It’s supposed to be cold
Maybe you’ve heard. The NFL got quite a bit of attention when it named a cold-weather city with an outdoor stadium the host of its marquee event. The average mean temperature for New York City in February is 34 degrees. It’s too early to forecast the weather for gameday, but it could snow. That would be pretty cool.
It will be star-studded
No, Beyonce won’t be performing the halftime show this year, but you can bet that she and Brooklyn-based husband Jay Z will be in attendance. One major question: how will the cold weather affect the outfits?
The commercials are crazy expensive
Fox is charging around $4 million for 30 seconds of air time during the game. Anheuser-Busch purchased 3 1/2 minutes worth of time, partially to promote the company’s new “cool twist’’ bottles, which cost $150 million to design. That’s a lot of scratch.
You can buy a luxury package
It’s in New Jersey
New York City will be where much of the action surrounding the game is, but with the actual game in New Jersey, it may be time to brush up on your knowledge of “The Sopranos’’. This photo shows the exterior of Satin Dolls, in Lodi, N.J., the location for the Bada Bing Club on the hit HBO series.
It’s being billed as the first “public transportation’’ Super Bowl
Jonathan Tisch, co-chairman of the Super Bowl Host Committee (pictured), and other organizers are calling February’s Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium the first “public transportation” Super Bowl. New Jersey Transit is offering a special pass for event-goers. A $50 “Super Pass’’ is good for unlimited access to all New Jersey transit for the week of Jan. 27 to Feb. 3.
Wes Welker has never won one
It seems hard to believe with all the success that Patriots had when he was there, but current Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker has yet to win a Super Bowl. This is his chance.
The Puppy Bowl starts at 3
Before the game, tune into “Puppy Bowl IX’’, airing on Animal Planet at 3 p.m. Check your local listings.
“Super Bowl Hell Boat’’ docked in midtown
Budweiser has co-opted the cruise ship Norwegian Breakaway and berthed it on the westside of Manhattan. Soon, the boat will be filled with bros and comped corporate jerks chugging watery beer and watching crappy live music. Deadspin headlined it best: “Budweiser To Terrorize Hell’s Kitchen With Super Bowl Hell Boat’’
There’s a “Super Bowl Boulevard’’
A 14-block “Super Bowl Boulevard’’ will run along Broadway from 34th St. to 47th St. Fans can snap photos with the current Vince Lombardi Trophy and race down a seven-story toboggan run.
Who will win?
It’s the question that will be debated for two weeks leading up to the game. Will Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning add to his legacy or will the brash and arrogant Seahawks, known for their defense, keep him from football’s biggest prize
Here’s your chance to weigh in on the outcome.