Panther Tracks

Seen and heard around Super Bowl 50

The walls of the Carolina Panthers' entrance to the field are decorated during a tour on Tuesday, February 2, 2016 of Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA, site of Super Bowl 50.
The walls of the Carolina Panthers' entrance to the field are decorated during a tour on Tuesday, February 2, 2016 of Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA, site of Super Bowl 50. dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

Celebrity picks

John Isner: The No. 1 male tennis player in America and a Greensboro native picks the Panthers to win 30-13. “Cam solid as always with 2 TDs and plenty of sustained drives,” Isner said. “Another huge Kuechly defensive play will be the momentum-swinging play.”

Mark Price: The Charlotte 49ers’ basketball coach goes with the Panthers 24-17. “Two great defenses going at it,” Price said. “Will come down to Cam Newton taking the game over.”

Observations

▪  The temperate climate and big-city crowds in San Francisco lead to a high number of homeless on the streets. Impossible to help all of them.

▪  In Bay Area traffic, there is no substitute for a police escort. Media spend a lot of times on buses at Super Bowl 50, but it’s at high speeds most of the time.

▪  Panthers’ fullback Mike Tolbert said quarterback Cam Newton has team get-togethers often. Food of choice is hot wings and pizza. “We do takeout a lot,” said Tolbert.

▪  Panthers defensive end Jared Allen still embraces the cowboy lifestyle in which he grew up in the Bay Area. That was apparent in the cowboy boots he wore to Tuesday’s media interviews.

Worth mentioning

▪ For the third straight season, this Super Bowl will feature the two teams who were seeded No. 1 in their respective conferences.

▪ Luke Kuechly is the only player in NFL history to have a "pick-six" interception in consecutive games in a single postseason.

▪ Ron Rivera's 1985 Chicago Bears were the last NFL team to win at least 15 regular-season games and also win the Super Bowl in the same season.

They said it

“You always want to go to the Super Bowl. I’ve never been on a team where we start the year and say, ‘Let’s go 8-8.’ ” -- Allen.

“We don’t play against each other, but it’s a great matchup.” -- Denver quarterback Peyton Manning on going against the Panthers’ Cam Newton.

“A lot of compliments to throw out there.” – Manning, on the Panthers linebackers.

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