A tearful address by Peyton Manning on the eve of the Super Bowl laid the foundation for Denver's upset victory over the Carolina Panthers, the veteran quarterback's Broncos team-mates revealed Sunday. Just hours before kick-off of Sunday's National Football League season showpiece, it emerged that Manning had choked back tears as he addressed the Broncos with veteran defensive star DeMarcus Ware on Saturday. Manning, 39, spoke to the team about their rollercoaster route to the Super Bowl, which saw him battle through injury and loss of form before finally securing a second Super Bowl triumph.
By Nick Mulvenney CAMPBELLTOWN, Australia (Reuters) - The numbers were modest and the hour a lot less sociable than in California but Australian NFL fans had themselves a proper Super Bowl party in the hometown of San Francisco 49ers punt returner Jarryd Hayne on Monday. Australia has traditionally had one of the highest viewing figures pro rata for the Super Bowl outside the United States with some 200,000 out of a population of 23 million tuning in for the 2014 showpiece. The NFL received huge exposure Down Under last year when Hayne made the audacious decision to cut short his career as one of the biggest stars in the country's National Rugby League (NRL) and head stateside to play for the 49ers.
By Deborah M. Todd SANTA CLARA, Calif. (Reuters) - After basking in the spotlight of a career season, the Carolina Panthers and quarterback Cam Newton fell flat under the glare of the world's biggest stage. The jovial squad known for a high-powered offense and upbeat victory dances was somber in the locker room as media arrived following the 24-10 loss to the Denver Broncos. "This can't turn into the 'what happened to Cam Newton' show.
By Steve Keating SANTA CLARA, Calif. (Reuters) - The Denver Broncos shocked the Carolina Panthers 24-10 as the Super Bowl closed out its first half-century on Sunday with an upset and a cliffhanger as Peyton Manning left everyone guessing about his future. As a glittering shower of golden confetti fell on Levi's Stadium, Manning appeared to have penned the fairytale ending to a Hall of Fame career ready to ride off into the sunset holding the Vince Lombardi trophy, the oldest quarterback to win a Super Bowl and the first to win championships for two franchises. "It's certainly been an emotional week for everybody," said Manning, amid the post-game celebrations.
By Larry Fine SANTA CLARA, Calif. (Reuters) - Peyton Manning crowned a brilliant NFL career on Sunday as he helped steer the Denver Broncos to a Super Bowl victory but put his retirement decision on hold. The 39-year-old Manning, who revolutionized the position while winning a record five NFL most valuable player awards, said he wanted some time to reflect after playing in what many expect to be the final game of his storied career. When he took his turn on the winner's podium to hoist the championship Vince Lombardi Trophy, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said: "I don't know if this is your last rodeo, but we all want to thank you for the ride." But Manning was in no mood to overshadow his team's victory celebration, saying instead that a former coach of his had advised him never to make an emotional decision.