Sunday brings Super sideshow - NBC Sports

Sunday brings Super sideshow
Ads, divas and deer-antler spray: What to watch while watching the Super Bowl
February 3, 2013, 9:02 am

More than 100 million people will watch Super Bowl XLVII on Sunday. Those not in New Orleans will be chowing down on pizza and wings (some from luxurious man caves that probably aren't in your neighbor's basement ), waiting to laugh at ads, gawk at the halftime show and maybe even catch some football.

So what, exactly, will you see on Sunday when the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens play for NFL bragging rights? Here's what:

1. All-day TV coverage
Kickoff isn't until 6:30 p.m. ET on CBS, but the pregame show starts at 2 p.m., featuring the requisite game analysis from ex-players, player features and even an interview with President Obama at 4:30 p.m.

Not early enough?

CBS airs "The Road to the Super Bowl" airs at 11 a.m. ET, the longest-running (43 years) annual sports special. This year's show was produced from more than 1.7 million feet of game footage culled with 400 hours of audio from coaches and players, all in the name of showing how the 49ers and Ravens got here. That's followed by a one-hour special on Super Bowl host city New Orleans (hosted by Wynton Marsalis).

Still not early enough? Turn to NFL Network. Its coverage begins at 9 a.m. ET and has Brett Favre in his first broadcasting venture .

(For those not around a TV, you can watch it online .)

2. Ads, ads, ads
Barring a miracle catch or a wardrobe malfunction , the costly commercials ($3.7 million on average for a 30-second spot this year) are almost always the most popular topic come Monday. Some already have been leaked on YouTube or elsewhere on the web in an effort to boost visibility.

The best stuff is yet to come. You'll find a sneak peak here , including the stars involved (Seth Rogen, Amy Poehler and The Rock among them) the companies paying those big bucks and some video clips.

And don't fret if the party gets too loud and you miss one. It'll be online by Monday morning.

left]]>3. Beyonce on the big stage
Beyonce Knowles lip-synced the national anthem at President Obama's second presidential inauguration last month. That won't be the case when she performs at halftime.

However, questions remain. Will she be performing alone or with her former group, Destiny's Child? What's the set list? And will the audience top the 111 million people who watched Madonna's 12-minute show during last year's game?

4. But wait, there's more!
Beyonce isn't the only singer slated to show off her chops. Alicia Keys will sing the national anthem, though she says it won't be a traditional performance, and she will perform it as a "brand new song." It will be her third time singing at the Super Bowl (she sang "America the Beautiful" in 2005 and was part of the pregame show in 2008), so one assumes she's ready for the public eye.

She might be upstaged by "America the Beautiful." Jennifer Hudson will sing with the Sandy Hook Elementary School chorus from Newtown, Conn.

5. A family affair
In case you avoided all Super Bowl news during the last two weeks, Jim and John Harbaugh are brothers. They're also the head coaches for the 49ers and Ravens, respectively. That's a first.

They've spent the last two weeks holding press conferences, answering questions about brotherly love and trying to prep their teams. By now, the most interesting thing about them is how long the postgame handshake between the two lasts (Vegas is taking bets).

Oddsmakers haven't given an over/under on how many times the brothers will be referenced during the broadcast. Our guess? Take the final score, then double it.

left]]>6. Ray Lewis, retirement and deer-antler spray
Sunday marks the end of the Ravens linebacker's NFL career. Lewis is two-time defensive player of the year and 10-time All-Pro who's a lock for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Yet he's been the center of attention this week for a different reason.

Lewis allegedly used a spray containing a banned extract derived from deer antlers to help recover from a torn triceps muscle suffered earlier this season. He denied the report, but it didn't help squash the news. That he's long been a figure of controversy because of his role during a 2000 double murder in Atlanta (he was indicted on murder and aggravated-assault charges but pled guilty to obstruction of justice in exchange for testimony against two other defendants) hasn't helped.

Did we mention he's also the heart of the Ravens' defense?

left7. He's a pistol
Get used to hearing the word "pistol" tossed around with San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick. It's because he is the vanguard of the NFL's hot new trend.

The second-year player is the reason why the 49ers can run a "pistol offense ," which basically entails him lining up in the shotgun, then deciding if he'll hand off the ball to his running backs or keep it himself. It creates pressure on the defense to focus on stopping the run or limiting his passing options and isn't something most NFL defenses are used to.

Know what? Just watch this .

8. Someone's gotta lose
The 49ers are 5-0 in Super Bowls. Their next victory would tie Pittsburgh for the most by one franchise. The Ravens won during their only Super Bowl appearance in 2001.

Expect to hear both facts mentioned more than once.

9. Where's the party?
The game's in New Orleans. Mardi Gras is Feb. 12. Consider this the start of festivities for a city that loves a good time.