Thousands of football fans descend on San Francisco bringing a party atmosphere to the Golden Gate City.
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (FEBRUARY 6, 2016) (REUTERS) – Thousands of fans from across the United States and beyond descended on the San Francisco Bay area ahead of Sunday’s (February 7) Super Bowl, bringing with them an atmosphere of fun and euphoria.
At the “Super Bowl City” in the Embarcadero district, football fans could not hide their excitement ahead of Sunday’s big game.
“I’m having a great time, I love all these people around me, all my folks, all my friends, all my families. We’re all just like one nation, you know what I’m saying. Just because we’ve got different teams, different colors on, you know, we still good,” said Damon, who drove over the bay from Oakland to join in the festivities.
The Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers are primed to provide a grand finish worthy of a landmark Super Bowl 50 and cap a season of celebration by the National Football League.
“You know I think the defense is going to just terminate the Carolina Panthers. Cam Newton is good, he’s fast, but he doesn’t know our kind of pass-rushers, that’s what we got. We got good pass-rushers, we got DeMarcus Ware, Von Miller, Jackson. It’s going to be a little trouble for them. But we’ve also got Peyton Manning, you know. It’s his last game. I’m pretty sure it’s his last game so I’m glad to see him in the Super Bowl 50. It’s where he belongs,” said Polo Ortiz, from Denver Colorado.
“The Broncos going to win for sure because Peyton Manning’s going to go out with a bang. He deserves that ring, it’s his last year. And when he gets that ring, he’s going to retire. He deserves it. He’s been in a team that wasn’t really playing with him, and that’s what it is. We have the number one defense, we’re 92 in the Super Bowl when it comes to number one defenses and we’re going to win that. That’s said and done, it’s going to happen. It’s going to happen,” added another Broncos supporter, Matthew, from Sacramento.
An estimated 190 million Americans and a worldwide TV audience are set to tune in for a game that has the hallmarks of an instant classic as Carolina’s top-ranked offence clashes with Denver’s number one defense in a Silicon Valley showdown for the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
The game will feature two generational talents on offense with Carolina quarterback Cam Newton on the cusp of greatness and five-time NFL Most Valuable Player Peyton Manning playing what could be his last game, but the victor will likely be determined by the play of the defenses.
The spotlight will not stray far from the two quarterbacks who bring contrasting styles and personalities to the championship game.
Newton, 26, is a flashy, brash imposing quarterbacking cyborg who can beat an opponent with his arm and his feet.
“I actually love both teams, Carolina and Denver. Both teams have great coaches. I’m a big Cam Newton fan, dabin’, but yeah, most definitely Carolina. Too bad, you know, no Super Bowl for your retirement party [Manning] but maybe don’t retire this year,” said Latrice, a Panthers fan from Oakland.
“Who do I think is going to win? That’s who I think is going to win, Carolina Panthers baby. They’ve got an explosive defense, you know I love [Luke] Kuechly, he’s a very good middle linebacker, man he’s going to disrupt the whole offensive game for Peyton Manning,” added Mape, a Panthers supporter from San Francisco,
With a victory on Sunday the Panthers would find themselves with an 18-1 record, a Super Bowl and in the discussion about the greatest NFL teams of all-time.
Manning, meanwhile, is a cerebral 39-year-old quarterbacking genius with an off-the-charts football IQ who operates primarily from the pocket.
A Denver defense that led the NFL in sacks can expect a long evening trying to contain Newton while Manning will engage in an intriguing chess match with a Panthers defence spearheaded by All-Pro linebacker Luke Kuechly that led the league in takeaways.
During the regular season, the Panthers were an offensive juggernaut averaging a league-high 31 points a game.
In the playoffs, they have been even more explosive in piling up 80 points in two routs, including a 49-15 blowout of the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC Championship game that sent them through to their second Super Bowl.