- Associated Press - Sunday, February 5, 2012

Heads up!

For the first time in 15 Super Bowls, the AFC team has won the coin toss as the New York Giants‘ Zak DeOssie called “tails,” but it came up heads in the middle of the field at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The Patriots deferred, so Eli Manning and the Giants will get the ball first to start the Super Bowl.

Let’s kick this thing off!


Well, if the Super Bowl is based on the intro music, the New England Patriots are the clear winners.

Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train” _ a hard-rockin’ classic _ blared out of the speakers at Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium as the Patriots jogged onto the field.

The New York Giants? They came out to Tinie Tempah’s “Written in the Stars,” which was played over and over and, ugh, over again during television commericals for baseball’s playoffs.

Husband-and-wife country stars Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert did a nice job with a sweet, low-key rendition of “America the Beautiful.”

And, there were no national anthem miscues at this Super Bowl _ sorry, Christina Aguilera _ by Kelly Clarkson, who nailed it.


Imagine being New England defensive end Alex Silvestro.

One day, you’re on the Patriots‘ practice squad. The next, you’re active for the Super Bowl against the New York Giants.

Silvestro was promoted Saturday night when Bill Belichick decided to make the cruelest cut of all: releasing wide receiver Tiquan Underwood less than 24 hours before the big game. Whether Silvestro plays much remains to be seen _ he was active for only one game this season _ but he’ll always be able to say he was there.

Pretty cool for the rookie from Rutgers.

Underwood’s release means Chad Ochocinco is also active, set to play in his first Super Bowl in 11 NFL seasons after being inactive for the AFC championship game against the Baltimore Ravens. Tight end Rob Gronkowski, one of Tom Brady’s favorite targets, will start despite two weeks of speculation over whether he’d be able to go with a high left ankle sprain.

Inactive, though, is running back Kevin Faulk, who played in the Patriots‘ four previous Super Bowls under Belichick.


It’s time for football. Finally.

After nearly two weeks of hype, predictions and over-analysis _ Is Eli already elite? Will Rob Gronkowski’s sprained ankle be OK? Where’s Peyton playing next season? _ the New England Patriots and New York Giants are close to kicking off the Super Bowl in Indianapolis.

From all accounts, and there have been plenty, these teams appear to be pretty evenly matched. That has added to the buildup, with even President Barack Obama saying on Twitter that he’s “looking forward to catching some of the big game.” Yep, just like a few million other snacking fans watching from home right now.

It’s the fifth rematch in the big game’s history. These teams played four years ago when the Giants pulled off a 17-14 victory in Arizona, ending the Patriots‘ perfect season thanks in large part to an elusive Eli Manning connecting with David Tyree, who pinned the football against his helmet for one of the most memorable plays in NFL history.

Manning is trying to one-up big brother Peyton with his second Lombardi Trophy win, while Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are the first quarterback-head coach duo to play in the Super Bowl five times _ with three wins.



Click to Read More

Click to Hide