After two weeks, the hype has built to a deafening crescendo. But now the talk is over and it’s time to hit the (frozen) turf at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, for what most outlets have to legally refer to as “the big game.”
Yes, Super Bowl XLVIII will pit the best offense in the league against the best defense, but the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks are just part of the pop culture orgy that will unfold on Fox today.
There are a ton of moving parts, so here’s your cheat sheet for everything you’re going to need to know about the big broadcast.
We’re not sure if Lorde will be watching , but if she is, the game is slated to start at 6:30 p.m. (3:30 p.m. on the West Coast) and wrap-up sometime around 10 p.m.
The day begins well before kick-off, though, with the “Road to the Super Bowl” special on Fox, which starts at 12 p.m. ET (all times listed are ET). That begins six hours of pre-game festivities, including the actual pre-game show, which goes from 2 p.m. until kick-off.
If you hang around, there’s a half-hour post-game show, then new episodes of “New Girl” and Golden Globe-winning Andy Samberg sitcom “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” in the cushy 10:30-11:30 p.m. slot.
Before the game you’ll get sets from Phillip Phillips and the Band Perry, before the Syracuse and Rutgers University bands take the turf at the stadium. Then it’s up to Queen Latifah to get the party started with “America the Beautiful,” followed by opera diva Renee Fleming singing the National Anthem.
Around 6:25 two football legends, Super Bowl XXI MVP quarterback Phil Simms of the New York Giants and Super Bowl III MVP quarterback Joe Namath of the New York Jets will oversee the coin toss and then it’s time to play ball!
The dynamic duo will have to contend with temperatures predicted to be in the 30s by halftime, a prospect Hawiian native Mars said this week will provide him with some unique challenges .
I Hate Football. What Else Is On?
Not everyone is into the game, so other networks have some clever counter-programming.
AMC – “The Walking Dead” marathon.
FX — A “Twilight” movies marathon on Fox’s sister network.
TBS — “Shrek” movie marathon.
Animal Planet — “Puppy Bowl X”
Hallmark Channel — The inaugural edition of the “Kitten Bowl.”
ABC Family — “Harry Potter” movie marathon.
Oxygen — Back-to-back episodes of wives gone crazy series “Snapped.”
OWN — Back-to-back episodes of the personal empowerment series “Super Soul Sunday.”
Bravo — All the “Real Housewives of Atlanta” you can stand.
E! — Seven hours of “Sex and the City.”
Spike TV — Nothin’ but “Cops!”
NBC Sports — Winter Olympic trials.
Palladia — Just divas, with live shows from Kylie Minogue, Beyoncé and Pink.