Athletes Get Loose at Super Bowl Opening Night
The SAP center in San Jose was absolutely packed Monday. No game was being played, but it is a game of sorts and they refer to it as the NFL's opening night. In the past it was called media day. Basically, if there is a media member covering the Super Bowl, they were on the floor talking to the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers.
One story line that has again jumped to the forefront is the possible impending retirement of Peyton Manning. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported Monday that Manning has told close friends that his last game will be Super Bowl 50.
We haven't gotten confirmation from Manning or from his teammate and Badgers product Owen Daniels, who says he does not know the answer, "I haven't asked him about it. That's obviously a very serious personal decision that he's going to have to make it some point. Could be his last game, maybe it's not. I just hope he goes out the way he wants to go out."
Daniels of course, the former Badger who caught two touchdowns in the AFC championship game.
When the Broncos left the SAP Center, the Carolina Panthers triumphantly filed into the room to the cheers of their faithful. And then they faced the media.
Wisconsin ties have helped build the successes of both teams. AJ Klein is a linebacker for the Panthers from Appleton. A Kimberly High School product who has helped put the Panthers defense become among the NFC's best. And yes, AJ has been recruiting a few Green Bay faithful to the other side.
"People don't know how important sports are to the state of Wisconsin. Football especially. People when they think of the state of Wisconsin they don't think a football, but we have a lot of diehard fans and I know Green Bay takes a pretty good chunk of that, but I've got some of those Green Bay fans to Panthers fans from my hometown, which is good to see. I'm going to have a lot of fans back home that will be wearing Panthers black and blue on game day," said Klein.