The Seattle Seahawks take on the Denver Broncos in New Jersey. All times are AEDT.
The game kicks off at 10.30am (AEDT) and marks the end of a campaign that started in September.
The Seahawks finished the regular season with 13 wins and three losses, finishing first in the NFC West. In the play-offs they beat the New Orleans Saints 23-15 and then the San Francisco 49ers 23-17.
But don’t rule out the Seahawks, who sealed their place in only their second Super Bowl (they lost in 2006 to the Pittsburgh Steelers) through an end zone interception by Malcolm Smith with only 22 seconds remaining of their match against the 49ers.
Richard Sherman tipped 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s pass to Smith for the steal, and my word, was he fired up at the end. You’ve got to see it to believe it. Rant-tastic.
For those of you who don’t watch much American football, here is a basic beginner’s guide.
After a devastating 38-35 loss in overtime to eventual Super Bowl winners the Baltimore Ravens in last season’s AFC divisional play-off, the Broncos have made it two steps further this time around.
After beating the Chargers, they suffocated the Patriots and their star quarterback Tom Brady to reach today’s match.
This is how they did it:
This is the Broncos’ seventh Super Bowl and first since the 1998/99 campaign. They have won two - but have the ignominious record of suffering the worst ever defeat in the game’s showpiece finale.
Here they are on the receiving end of a 55-10 shellacking from the 49ers on January 28, 1990 in Super Bowl XXIV.
John Elway played in that match (and the winning two). The Broncos struggled for years to replace the legendary quarterback, but it was Elway himself - in his capacity as the Broncos’ de facto general manager - who helped turn the tide.
He traded the US’s most famous virgin, Tim Tebow, and persuaded the super-experienced Peyton Manning to join the Colorado franchise in 2012 after being released by the Indianapolis Colts.
Been wondering where Tebow is now? Well, while he might not be having sex, he’s been very active in other ways.
If you’re judging it on Super Bowl wins though, Manning isn’t even the best quarterback in his family, with baby brother Eli claiming two titles to Peyton’s one.
If you ask me what I think, which you haven’t, but I’m going to tell you anyway, Peyton is comfortably the best of the two.
But when it comes to acting ability, well, make up your own minds:
Eli plays for the New York Giants and today’s match will be played at their stadium in New Jersey (go figure).
The MetLife Stadium has a capacity of just over 82,500 and at $US1.6 billion, it’s the most expensive stadium ever built.
It’s the first time a stadium without a roof in a cold weather city has hosted a Super Bowl.
It’s currently a chilly eight degrees Celsius in New Jersey, but with no snow expected to fall during the game, the weather isn’t expected to have any influence on the result.
The match has been billed as the best match-up in NFL history, with the Broncos, the NFL’s number one offence, taking on the team with the best defence.
As pointed out here by Paolo Bandini, the Broncos scored more points (a remarkable 37.9 per game) and generated more yards on offence (457.3 per game) than anyone else in the NFL this season.
Mirroring that achievement, the Seahawks gave up the fewest points (14.4 per game) and yards (273.6 per game).
Key for the Seahawks will be Sherman (check the clip in the second entry of this blog if you’re just joining us), safety Earl Thomas, quarterback Russell Wilson, who is in just his second season as a pro, and running back Marshawn Lynch.
Nicknamed ‘Beast Mode’ (watch the video and you'll understand why), he’s even had a super powerful type of weed named after him in Washington state.
Some advertisers are forking out an incredible $US4 million for 30 seconds coverage during the most-watched US television event of the year. Here is a different kind of footballer, David Beckham, in a specially made ad for H&M.
Both teams have run out onto the pitch. The Broncos had a woman on a white horse swinging her arm around in the air leading them out. Only at the Super Bowl.
The noise is deafening.
Lyric soprano Renee Fleming has just sung the US national anthem. It seemed pretty good to someone tone deaf like me.
Well, it couldn't have been as bad as Christina Aguilera:
Manning, 37, was voted the NFL’s most valuable player yesterday for a record fifth time (two more than anyone else). He has set season records for touchdown passes - 55 - and passing yards - 5477.
The Broncos have scored a record 606 points, 161 more than the next best.
Manning was at the Colts for 14 seasons, but after just two years in Denver, he has helped the Broncos to their first Super Bowl appearance in 15 years.
There are so many places on the field where this game could be won or lost.
And we're off. Trindon Holliday brought the ball back from the end zone and was brought down on the Broncos 14 yard line.
Wow! What a start. On the Broncos' first play, there was a miscommunication. Manning wasn't ready when the ball was snapped, it went past his right hand and into the end zone.
The Broncos got to it first and touched it down for a safety. That's the fastest score in Super Bowl history.
Seahawks 2 Broncos 0
Wilson has his first chance to throw. He has Zach Miller free but overthrows it. Sign of early nerves? Apparently not. On third down and nine, Wilson picks out Jermaine Kearse for a first down. It's all the Seahawks at the moment.
It's the first advert break.
Here is Audi's Super Bowl commercial – Doberhuahua. It's all about a hybrid dog.
Seattle have failed with their first challenge after questioning whether Wilson had made a fourth down.
But all is not lost, with Steven Hauschka slotting a 31-yard field goal.
Seahawks 5 Broncos 0
Seahawks are three from four converting third downs. Wilson picks out Doug Baldwin. First down. Seahawks 5 Broncos 0
Wilson is on fire. That's another third down converted. And again it's Doug Baldwin on the receiving end. That's a 37-yard completion. First and goal.
Broncos coach John Fox is challenging if the ball went forward or back.
That means it's ad time again. Check out this one starring Stephen Colbert.
It's a quick three and out for the Denver offence. The Seahawks show their defensive strength and the Broncos are forced to punt. Seattle will have the ball on their 25-yard line. Seahawks 5 Broncos 0
Excellent play by the Broncos' Nate Irving. Jermaine Kearse had the ball caught in the end zone but Irving knocked it out of his grasp. A minor victory for the Broncos.
But the field goal is good. That's two from two for Hauschka. Seahawks 8-0 Broncos
Manning throws on third down and seven, but misses his target and Kam Chancellor plucks it out of the air for the Seahawks. It's Seattle's ball.
The Broncos have had three drives and faltered on all three.
Seahawks 8 Broncos 0
That's the end of the first quarter. The Broncos have only managed 11 yards on offence. That is their worst performance of the season.
It's just like watching their guest appearance on The Simpsons all over again.
It's the coin toss. The Seahawks have won it and the Broncos will receive.
The Broncos will be hoping things can only get better. Here is Knowshon Moreno recovering the ball in the end zone for the early safety.
So far it's been all Seattle. The only thing the Broncos have won has been the entrance onto the pitch. Gotta love the Super Bowl.
The challenge has been lost.
To recap, the Seahawks lead 5-0. Seattle scored with a safety on the Broncos' first drive after the ball was snapped when quarterback Peyton Manning wasn't ready.
The second quarter has begun with the Seahawks now camped near the Broncos line.
A pass interference call is made as Wilson tries to pick out Golden Tate in the end zone. It's first and goal.
'Beast Mode' Marshawn Lynch runs the into the end zone from two yards.
And the conversion is good too. Seahawks 15 Broncos 0
Finally, the Broncos are getting going. That's two first downs now on this drive. It's first down at the 40 for Denver.
Some Broncos fans might need a drink, the way this match has gone so far.
But they don't come cheap at the stadium:
The Broncos have had three conversions on third down and one on this drive. They are slowly playing their way into this game.
It's now first down for the Broncos on the 37-yard line.
Seahawks 15 Broncos 0
Wow. Interception by Michael Smith and touchdown Seattle.
That was a huge defensive play by the Seahawks.
Cliff Avril managed to clip Manning's arm and the ball flopped in the air for Smith, the hero from the Seahawks' victory over the 49ers.
He sped away and had a free run into the end zone.
Seahawks 22 Broncos 0
It could now be getting even worse.
Trindon Holliday has fumbled the ball on the punt return and it looks like it will be Seattle's ball.
The footage is being reviewed.
That's a lucky break for the Broncos. The ruling of fumble on the field has been overruled and Denver have it on their own 33-yard line. Seahawks 22 Broncos 0
There are just two minutes 30 seconds left in the first half.
Bruno Mars and The Red Hot Chilli Peppers will be on stage providing the entertainment.
But they have a hard act to follow after Beyonce "rocked it" with Destiny's Child last year.
The benchmark is still Madonna, who in 2012 had more Americans - 114m - tuning in for her half-time show with M.I.A. than the actual match itself - 11.7m (the Giants beat the Patriots by the way).
The Broncos are desperate here and running it on fourth down.
And that's incomplete. The ball will go back to the Seahawks with just under a minute left of the first half.
It looks like the Broncos will be scoreless going into half-time. Seahawks 22 Broncos 0
Close-up footage shows Chris Clemons got a fingertip to that fourth-down throw from Manning.
The Seahawks have been supreme in defence.
And that's half-time. Seahawks 22 Broncos 0
Seattle offense: 13 Seattle defense: 9 Denver: 0 — David Leonhardt (@DLeonhardt) February 3, 2014
Music expert George Palathingal will be joining me for the half-time show.
Here are some of his initial thoughts:
Sorry to bring boxing metaphors to the Superbowl but ... In the pop corner, with a touch of rock and soul, the super-lightweight Bruno Mars. In the rock corner, but prone to flexing their funk muscles, the heavyweight Red Hot Chili Peppers. Who will triumph? Will they play together? Will they sing one of Mars', one of RHCP's or perhaps someone else's? The Chili Peppers famously covered Stevie Wonder's Higher Ground, a song that'll definitely be up Mars' street ...
There have been some absolute shockers over the years. Here are NKOTB performing in 1991 with some kids dressed as Mounties in front of a big white castle. Make up your own mind.
This game is going from bad to worse for Manning. If you're just joining us, here is a reminder of what happened on the Broncos' first drive, with the ball flying over the quarterback's shoulder and into the end zone for a safety and the quickest ever score in the Super Bowl.
The story Live Super Bowl XLVIII: Seattle Seahawks v Denver Broncos first appeared on WA Today.