Greetings, sports fans. It’s time to place your bets, wash your jersey, and locate your seven-layer dip recipe, because the year’s biggest day in American sports is nearly upon us.
This Sunday’s big game isn’t just another day of football: We’ve reached Super Bowl 50 — the first one labeled with Arabic rather than the usual Roman numerals, because “Super Bowl L” just doesn’t have quite the same ring to it — so this year’s game calls for extra pomp and circumstance. But don’t stress! We’ve got answers to all of your burning Super Bowl questions, so read on for a refresher of everything you need to know before tuning in this Sunday.
What time is the Super Bowl?
Super Bowl 50 will take place on Sunday, Feb. 7, in Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, CA — the home of the San Francisco 49ers — and kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. local time. You can watch the game live on CBS starting at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT.
The Denver Broncos (who won the American Football Conference championship) will take on the Carolina Panthers (the National Football Conference champs) in the big game. It will be Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning’s fourth Super Bowl appearance — and with retirement rumors swirling, possibly his last — and Panthers quarterback Cam Newton’s first.
What’s the prize?
First of all, the pride of a job well done and a Super Bowl well won. Second of all, the Vince Lombardi trophy, named for legendary football coach Vince Lombardi, goes to the victors, and each player from the winning side gets a Super Bowl ring. Third, in a special change in honor of half a century of Super Bowls, an 18-karat gold “50” trophy designed by Tiffany & Co. will go to the winning team.
Who’s performing at halftime?
Coldplay got the coveted spot, and rumor has it the band will be assisted by guest performers (and previous Super Bowl halftime headliners) Beyoncé and Bruno Mars. Lady Gaga will sing the National Anthem at the top of the game.
What will the commercials be?
As always, they will be in turns bizarre, uplifting, tear-jerking, thought-provoking, star-studded, and above all, expensive. Some of them have been released online already, while others have been teased, and others are shrouded in mystery still.
What about the Puppy Bowl?!
The cutest sporting event of the year is back, and you can watch the entire two-hour Puppy Bowl XII, in which the fearsomely cuddly Team Fluff takes on the brutally adorable defending champs Team Ruff, on Animal Planet at 3:00 p.m. Sunday.