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CNN Special: Bleacher Report On Super Bowl Boulevard

Aired February 1, 2014 - 16:00   ET


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Fredricka Whitfield. Here is Bleacher Report on Super Bowl Boulevard next. Here's your host Rachel Nichols.

ANNOUNCER: Football fans rejoice. NFL's greatest tradition returns with Super Bowl XLVIII from Seattle to Denver, New York, New Jersey, new environment. Forget the cold. Nothing stops America's ultimate party. Two words, Peyton Manning, a legacy cemented? And loud and proud, the legion of boom! Super Bowl show stoppers today.

Time to get game ready with exclusive interviews by Rachel Nichols and expert analysis from NFL's Larry Fitzgerald, breaking down veteran versus youth. Number one offense facing number one defense and style against heart. Learn X's and O's of earning a championship ring. Live on super bowl boulevard next on CNN.

RACHEL NICHOLS, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to New York. Just over 24 hours to the biggest football game of the season in the shadow of the big apple in MetLife stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, all for the right to win this trophy.

We are here in Times Square which has been transformed into super bowl boulevard. We have football fans from everywhere. There are Broncos fans, we got Seahawks fans. They are all are here to celebrate what they hope is a championship.

This is Bleacher report on Super Bowl Boulevard, a CNN Special.

All right, guys, I'm Rachel Nichols. We are excited to be here. And I'm very excited to be joined by my co-host Larry Fitzgerald.

Thank you for joining me on this great set on Super Bowl with you.

LARRY FITZGERALD, CNN ANCHOR: I couldn't be more excited to be here. This is a big game. Two wonderful teams who are number one seeds, and you know, they are going to clash on Sunday. And I couldn't be more excited.

NICHOLS: Well, I'm happy to have an expert beside me to break it all down. And he is an expert, eight-time pro bowler, the Arizona cardinals franchise leader in receptions, leader in receiving yards, leader in touchdown cashes. I could go on and on. He's also the youngest receiver in NFL history to total 11,000 yards.

And by the way, you have nearly a Super Bowl champion. I'm sorry, I got to add that nearly in there. Let's go back to Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa. Just under three minutes left, you took Kurt Warner's pass, 64 yards to the end zone that give the cardinals a 23-20 lead. The Steelers, of course, went on to win, 27-23 on San Antonio home that tiptoe catches right at the end.

FITZGERALD: I'm off to speed right, Rachel.

NICHOLS: You want to rim them as your men, right? What was it like for you? Because after your touchdown, you got o think, all right, we got this, right? Then on your sidelines watching them march down the field.

FITZGERALD: It was a roller coaster of emotions, you know. You go from scoring a touchdown and you think is going to put your team at the Super Bowl championship and then just to have your heartbroken by (INAUDIBLE) in San Antonio home on a clutch play, it really just took the wind out of the sail.

NICHOLS: Yes. It is tough. And it could go that way for these teams here. They are so evenly matched. And I also want to talk to you about the nerves because you have night before the game. And I know, we have talked about your childhood. You have been training for that moment your whole life. When we get to what would be tonight for these players, when you are trying to go to bed, what's it like for you?

FITZGERALD: Well, you know what? I slept like a baby that night because I was mentally, I was physically, I was emotionally prepared to go out there and play at the best of my ability. I studied. I practiced hard. I have done everything that occurred. And got performed me, they told me I need to do the repair. I got down with my tickets. I had no worries. All right, I need is to focus on gone up there and I to do my best.

NICHOLS: Now, is that common or guys at this point so professionally trained that most guys are that way or did you talk to teammates who said they couldn't sleep a wink?

FITZGERALD: No. I know a lot of guys had trouble sleeping. And we were rest at the evening because, I mean, you're playing in front of millions of people. This is the dream of a lifetime to play in the bilge biggest game of your life. And I know a lot of guys were nervous, but I wasn't one of them.

NICHOLS: All right, let's talk about the matchup tomorrow. These guys are nervous. We have the Denver Broncos. They are the league's number one scoring team, top on total offense. They set on NFL record 606 points this season. That's the first team ever to score more than 600 points. And of course, they are going against the NFL's top defensive team in the Seattle Seahawks. This is going to be a rumble.

And let's not forget it was that Seattle defense that got us to this matchup. That outstanding play made by Richard Sherman in the NFC championship game. So later, I guess we're going to find out what wins, great offense, great defense, we will hear that routine defense wins championships. Is that going to be true in this game? FITZGERALD: Well, historically, if you look back at the games and the number one ranked defense against the number one offense, the defense usually comes out on top. It comes down to be able to control the line of scrimmage. The Seahawks does a great job of controlling both offense and defense of (INAUDIBLE). Peyton manning, obviously, be able to get those offense in the position with they be able to score points. I'm looking forward to the matchup. This is going to be one for the ages.


NICHOLS: Now, do you watch the receivers in the corners or you just sit back and watch everything?

FITZGERALD: No. I watch the receivers in the corners. I want to see the matchups. I want to see what just Sherman lined up playing press coverage against Denarius Thomas (ph). And those are the kinds of matchups as a receiver you look forward to.

NICHOLS: It is a game of (INAUDIBLE).


NICHOLS: And certainly no one is better than Peyton Manning. So, it's going to be interesting. And of course, the weather has been a huge story. I just want to point out. I have gloves I have a scarf. My Minnesota native friend will be in just a suit jacket when we do this for real. And don't let the fact that you play in Arizona, don't let that fool you. You are tough, right?

FITZGERALD: I try to be. I'm from Minnesota. Today is like a summer day back there.

NICHOLS: What do you think it is going to be like for these teams? Well, and you think the -- I mean, it's going to be kind of warm for winter in New York, but it's going to be a little windy. I mean, do you think anything from it affect the game?

FITZGERALD: Well, when you're playing, the one thing that really, really affects you is the wind. You look back earlier in the season, (INAUDIBLE) Broncos in Fox borough stadium, the one thing that really struggled with was the wind, you know, in one direction. And when you're playing in the meadowlands, I never played in MetLife stadium, but I played in the old meadowlands, it can be a lot of wind in there.

NICHOLS: Yes. They both have that swirling wind, so that will be interesting.

Well, let's check out what is going on with the weather across the Hudson River over to East Rutherford, New Jersey, more on the forecast.

Bob Van Dillen and is standing by outside of MetLife stadium.

And hey, Bob. You're a New Jersey native. So, give us the scoop. BOB VAN DILLEN, METEOROLOGIST: I got to tell you. I'm making a full circle right now, back in the swamps of New Jersey. It's felt like winter for the last couple weeks. We have had temperatures in the teens and single digits right out here in New Jersey over the last couple days, but by game time a little warmer.

But that wasn't so just a couple weeks ago. We talked about snow. And we got bombarded out here. We had about 13 inches of snow in the parking lot and that was just cleared away. And we still have remnants of that, all the salt, all the snow. The good news here is we're probably not going to see that.

But before I get to the forecast for tomorrow, let me show you the top four coldest super bowls ever played. Number one, Super Bowl Vi played in New Orleans. It was 39 degrees. Did you believe that? Super Bowl IX, that was also New Orleans. That was 46 degrees. And then Houston, Super Bowl VIII, 50 degrees. That's cold for them. And then Super Bowl XIX in Stanford, 53 degrees.

Well, what about our forecast? We have some scattered showers out there on Saturday evening and that Saturday night around New Jersey. It might carry over until Sunday, I think, in maybe Sunday morning, upper 30s by Sunday morning. Afternoon talk about lunchtime, 42 to 45 degrees, the daytime high around 47, clouds and maybe some scattered showers up until about early afternoon. But then by kickoff, 42-44, (INAUDIBLE), halftime, temperatures falling into the upper 30s or low 40s. End of game, 36 to 38. This might be the coldest Super Bowl ever played.

NICHOLS: It might be. The lesson might be if you want cold weather, go to New Orleans. Don't come to New York. We are going to have to see.

Before we let you go, Bob, give us prediction for us on the game?

VAN DILLEN: Yes, I do. I'm a Giants fan. And the starting quarterback seems to play out of his mind when he played with this brother, (INAUDIBLE). Remember, Eli in Minneapolis beat the Patriots. I'm thinking Peyton in Eli's house, they are going to take it. Broncos wins.

NICHOLS: All right, I love it.

We have Super Bowl Boulevard covered now. We are going to bring in our correspondents, Reese Waters from Bleacher Report, Nischelle Turner from CNN.

Reese, we are going to start with you? What do you have for me?

REESE WATERS, REPORTER, BLEACHER REPORT: Thanks so much, Rachel. I'm here with the thousands of fans of both teams. Now, these are going to actually seen a few confused Jets fans that think their team is playing on Sunday. But by far, the coolest thing I have seen since I left my mirror this morning has to be the Toboggan (ph) run. We are going to show you a piece a little bit later that can move up frat boy to tears. NICHOLS: Excellent! Well, we will definitely be looking forward to that.

Nischelle, tell us what's going on there? I don't think there is any Toboggan (ph) where you have been hanging out.

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: No, not at all. But you know what, the funny thing is I thought I heard you guys talking about the fact there's a game being played on Sunday. Because I just thought this was an excuse for people to come to New York for a weekend party. And that is exactly what folks have been doing.

We're going to take you to some of the celebrity spots around town this week. We are also going to tell you what goes into making New York Super Bowl week a huge party. Much more work than you probably think -- Rachel.

NICHOLS: Thanks, Nischelle.

We have plenty more to come here from Bleacher Report on Super Bowl Boulevard.

Up next, we have hall of famer and four-time Super Bowl champion quarterback, Joe Montana. He's going to join us to talk about the two signal callers in tomorrow's big game.




NICHOLS: Welcome back to Bleacher Report on Super Bowl Boulevard. Fans taking in all the sights and sounds track. I got a little super bowl history for you. The two teams playing tomorrow, we have the Broncos. They lost their first four appearances in the big game. Lost to Dallas in Super Bowl XXII, John Elway and Dan Reves (ph), we know they lost three Super Bowls in four years in the late 80s. However, Elway finished his career on the highest of notes winning back to back titles in '97 and '98.

Of course, on the other side, the Seahawks, just one prior super bowl appearance and lost that one, 21-10 in Super Bowl XL to the (INAUDIBLE). And now, we would like to welcome you to our set.

The man who is responsible for one of John Elway's super bowl losses, hall of famer Joe Montana.

Welcome here Joe. We love having you.

JOE MONTANA, NFL PLAYER: Thank you, Rachel. Always good to see this guy too.


(CROSSTALK) NICHOLS: Would you like to play with him? His eyes just got very wide there. The numbers, they were OK even without Larry Fitzgerald.

MONTANA: Guys like this are hard to find.

NICHOLS: Yes, I would imagine so.

He may actually kidnap Larry after the show. But look what he did even without Larry. Drafted 82nd overall, I think that would change on hindsight here, four-time Super Bowl champion, 11 touchdowns, no interceptions, perfect in his four super bowls. And of course, three- time super bowl MVP.

And Joe, when you think back on those games, four times, can you distill one moment that to you, just sort of that's your go-to moment, the most special?

MONTANA: As a quarterback, you know, and probably even as a receiver, we beat the Bengals on a last-second touchdown pass to win the super bowl. They got the ball back with a battle of 23 seconds, but you know, as a way to end your season, you can't think of any better than catching one or throwing one, you know. Just get it a thousand times in my backyard with my neighbor. I used to make him dive for it.

NICHOLS: Three-two-one and you made it, right? Everybody says that in their driveway.

FITZGERALD: So, I'm curious to find out. What did you do to calm the young players down? Everybody knows you are the coolest to ever play a game. I mean, you were never flustered any moment. What did you do to calm the young guys?

MONTANA: Well, I always tried to be myself. And being myself, I was always a little bit of a prankster and jokester. So, I was always joking around with somebody in the locker room, you know. No, you are being careful but hey, I tried to be myself as much as I could. And then when people see you acting like an idiot in the locker room, what is he doing? We are getting ready play a game. But that's the way I was all the time.

And I don't know. I mean, sometimes maybe it helps, but Bill Walsh was pretty good at it. He had a dry sense of humor and how to kind of calm things and put things into right perspective at the same time where our first super bowl, we show up and a guy started trying to take my bag as I get off the bus. And I'm going, no I'm good, I'm good and he yanks on it. Bill is dressed as a doorman trying to take my bag. So he knew how to do those little things.


FITZGERALD: So everybody heard about the John Candy story. It has kind of grown into a legend of itself. How true was that?

MONTANA: Well here is (INAUDIBLE). I didn't do it for the team as much as I did for Harris Burton (ph). Harris Burton (ph) was our starting tackle and he was a people person. So, you know, dinner time, you're free all the time. So next morning, he couldn't wait to tell you who he saw. And we were on a TV time-out, which is long. And I happen to see John Candy through two guys' shoulders. And I met john because he tried to get me to go to Toronto a few years prior to that after the (INAUDIBLE) like he owned them. And so, I said I remember Harris saying that. So I walked over and said, it's John Candy. And he looked at me like what's wrong with you? We're about to try to win a super bowl. He appreciates it today more than he did back then.

NICHOLS: In the moment maybe not quite so much. But it makes a good story, no doubt. On media day, Peyton Manning was asked about how he thinks that will remember the alongside the greats like Joe Montana.


PEYTON MANNING, NFL PLAYER: I have been asked about my legacy since I was about 25-years-old which I'm not sure you can have a legacy when you are 25 years old or even 37. I thought you had to be 70 to have a legacy. So, I'm not 100 percent sure what the word even means. I'm still in the middle of my career. Let me rephrase that. I'm in the home stretch of my career, but I'm still in it. It's not over yet. And so it's still playing out. And this has been the second chapter of my career and it's an exciting chapter. And I'm certainty excited to be back in the super bowl on behalf of the Denver Broncos.


NICHOLS: All guys. Well, it is safe to say, Peyton Manning's legacy, a pretty secure as one of the best quarterbacks to play in the NFL. Tomorrow is going to be his third super bowl appearance. And remember, Payton took home MVP honors when he was with the colts to their win over the Bears, in Super Bowl XLI.

Now, in this season, Manning has becoming the first player in NFL history to pass for at least 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns in the same season.

And Joe, the question has been, does he need this to cement his legacy or can we just sit back and enjoy that he's a great quarterback? He's won a super bowl already.

MONTANA: Yes. I think you're right. This is a game -- obviously, he's a very, very competitive guy and he wants to win, but if it doesn't go that way for some reason, he doesn't need this for his legacy. I mean, he's already proven himself. Coming back from injury, the type of injury he's had, taken this team, another team to the super bowl, I mean, just getting here is half the battle. It's not easy to get there.

FITZGERALD: No. It's not easy.

MONTANA: And so, just that fact alone, and the numbers he's thrown up. They say, OK, the rules have changed and it makes it easier. We say it's easier. You're talking about guys playing at a ridiculous level. And that makes it easier for those guys. It is not easy to do, in general, to do what he is doing. NICHOLS: If it was easy, everybody would be doing it.

FITZGERALD: Joe, you're known as the best quarterback to ever play the game. Where do you see Peyton Manning in that hierarchy?

MONTANA: Well, you know, I think you have to throw a group of guys in the category because it's so hard to compare people from different times that the games had made big dramatic changes. If you go back and look at we were just talking earlier. I will bring and won seven out ten championships and he won two before the super bowl started. And how do you put those guys, how do you compare them to when I played or today and vice versa? So hey, I say enjoy them all. Watch them, the great ones, until they are gone and then let everybody else talk about it and give somebody something to argue about.


NICHOLS: I got to know your secret, by the way. The secret is out in Peyton Manning. Omaha, Omaha, Omaha. We know his audible call. Did you have some like that?

MONTANA: We had Omaha. Yes. Our Omaha was just a little quick out. But his Omaha, I think I know what it means. But, I won't guess. But funny things happen to you when people start hearing it all the time. We used to play the raiders ever year in the preseason. Matt Millen was the middle linebacker. This was just a little quick blitz audible for us. Black 324 Omaha, and he went, Oh no, not 324 Omaha. And there's nothing you can do but laugh. So, it is fun. Everybody has their own things to go through.


NICHOLS: We'll find out that your Omaha was different, but maybe you had your secrets that are linked in there or something like that. So, everybody has something.

MONTANA: We had fun.

NICHOLS: On the other side of the field, a very different quarterback. Second year player Russell Wilson is only 5'10". He wasn't tagged to be a starter in the NFL. He uses his legs, nearly as well as his arms. And he's had to be creative to succeed. And recently, I sat down with Russell Wilson to talk about how that makes him such a perfect fit with the Seahawks, one of the league's most innovative organizations.


RUSSELL WILSON, NFL PLAYER: We're pretty innovative here at the Seahawks. It measures my sleep, it measures my awareness, it measures how focused I am, you know. We have been doing it all year.

NICHOLS: It measures how focused you are?

WILSON: Yes. To me, you know, I'm at a 90.9 right now. I am pretty locked in. Come game time, I'm usually right at 100. NICHOLS: So during this interview, my goal to get that covered. OK. In a 24-hour day during the season, how much time are you devoting to football?

WILSON: Man, that's a tough one. I probably say at least, you know, a good 14 hours, but maybe 16 sometimes. I want to focus on football and hopefully win a super bowl and multiple super bowls. And hopefully change this franchise in some way.


NICHOLS: Quite a resume for just a second-year NFL quarterback. 2012 rookie of the year, two-time pro bowl selection, 52 touchdown passes in his first two seasons. That is tied with Peyton Manning for the second most in NFL history.

If that is not enough, Wilson was drafted twice by major league baseball teams, once just recently. So if he wants to give up football, hey, you know, he could always play baseball.

I mean, last year we had Colin Kaepernick in the super bowl. Well, he keeps talking about the new school kind of quarterback. Is the Peyton Manning-style passer going to be a thing of the past pretty soon?

WILSON: Every time we turn this game on, there's always one in it. So, it is kind of hard to take away (INAUDIBLE). That is why I think some of the differences is with Russell, he's not that typical read option guy that, you know, get out and is going to beat you. He wants to throw the ball.

The other guys when you look at RG3 and you look at Colin, they came from that type of offense in politics so they fit in the read options. I have a lot of noise saying he needed to play in the pocket. Only they said he's a great quarterback where does he lack, well, he doesn't play from the pocket. And the decision making in there, not just for him, but for guys who have run that read option is different. It takes about -- you have to make decisions on the way back. You can't wait until you get to your back to make decisions and get of the people. And that's what I see. And I think Russell is not one of those. I think he's a mobile quarterback with great legs, but also he's going to play in the pocket. He came from Wisconsin. They are going to pound it at you like they are doing. They are going to this, couple days from now. And so he fits in there. But he keeps plays alive by calling it from a different aspect.

FITZGERALD: Joe, I'm curious. Do you remember how many rushing yards you had?

MONTANA: Not very many. I might have been negative.

NICHOLS: Well, we can count those up for you later.

MONTANA: It won't take long.

NICHOLS: Before we go, we have to get you to give us your prediction for tomorrow. You got a number for us? You have a winner? MONTANA: Well, I'm going to go -- being an offensive guy, I'm going to go with the offense. Although they say defense wins championships and the numbers prove it, I think Peyton is just at that point right now. He's just on fire and he's going to be too much for them down the stretch. I'm going to say 27-24, Denver. But I'm going to preface that by saying both picks I made last week, I lost.

NICHOLS: All right, so apparently, according to Joe Montana, you should kind of pick Denver, but really you should pick the Seahawks. So, I have to go from one legend to another here because we had Roger Staubach throwing passes earlier on our west today. We got two legends here. What did you think of his form?

FITZGERALD: Oh, yes. Go Roger.

NICHOLS: I love that.

NICHOLS: Thanks, Joe. I appreciate that.

FITZGERALD: I have seen you in those charity ball games before.

NICHOLS: All right, thanks. Well, guys, we will be back with more for the Bleacher Report special. Stay tuned.



NICHOLS: We are back with Bleacher Report on Super Bowl Boulevard. More fans enjoying the balmy, maybe not so balmy weather. It's a little chilly out here. You may have heard there is a 60-foot to -- Toboggan set up in the middle of Times Square this week will different from usual. And apparently that is where we find Bleacher reporter Reese Waters -- Reese.

WATERS: Thanks, Rachel. While the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks are on the verge of realizing a life-long dream, one fan was able to come down here to super bowl boulevard and realize his lifelong dream and prove why he's better than everybody else.


WATERS: You know, I'm feeling good. I'm feeling good. You know, I get up there, the sooner I go down, the sooner I'm indoors with my trophy. I'm the winner, Reese Waters from bleacher report.

I'm the best in the league. Will you put me next to a sorry guy like Andy Schultz, that is what going to happen. My prediction to his game and my game plan is to apologize to everybody beforehand for what is going to happen. I'm taking that home, man. They will know about is about to happen, you know. Their parents should have told them what was going to happen when they plays football. I know I like cold, but I'm actually just -- I'm nervous just to make sure I get my victory speech correct. It's good we're walking up here now because it will level the playing field and take some of the energy off. Had looks like glory. That's all right. You know what? They sabotage my equipment. You know, we're going to take this up with the commission. You can compare my times to the town of the greatest in history. You can't compare their towns because they didn't have the gortex (ph) and all that they got on, you know. They didn't have all that. I really don't think it's a fair fight. But that is OK because I do it the right way. And so, I'm the guy you can put on the cereal box.


WATERS: I was touched. There's been a lot of talk about winning, who is going to win the super bowl. Just remember, it's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game. I'm going to toss back to you, Rachel. I'm breaking down.

NICHOLS: We'll let you gather yourself there, Reese.

Coming up, the most talked about man in New York over the past two weeks. Yes, we are talking about Richard Sherman. We have Larry's thoughts, coming up next.




RACHEL NICHOLS, CNN HOST: All right. We welcome you back to BLEACHER REPORT on Super Bowl Boulevard. Our lovely set here, high above it all.

You know, surprisingly, Peyton Manning has not been the most talked about player leading up to the Super Bowl. That honor belongs to Seattle Seahawks corner Richard Sherman. Sherman's on-field outburst following his team's win over the 49ers, of course, became a hot topic all around the country. And last week, I sat down with Sherman to find out exactly what goes into that intense on-field demeanor.


RICHARD SHERMAN, SEATTLE SEAHAWKS: It takes a different kind of person to be able to turn that switch on and off, and be able to step into the ring or step on the field and be the intense, incredible, focused, and kind of -- you know, I guess angry human being that you have to be to be successful in those atmospheres.

NICHOLS: I mean, you're a prime example of that. How do you do it?

SHERMAN: You just -- you have to have that switch. You take it off. Your treatment is totally different. If you catch me in the moment when it's still in that zone, when I'm still as competitive as I can be, then it's not going to come out as articulate and smart. That's why sometimes it crashes and doesn't go all so well.

(END VIDEO CLIP) NICHOLS: Well, I got the ultimate insider sitting next to me into the Richard Sherman/Michael Crabtree feud, because it was at your charity event, Larry Fitzgerald, over the summer, that these guys got into the fight in the first place that Richard said he was going to go back at him because of.

So, what happened?

LARRY FITZGERALD, NFL PLAYER: Rachel, you know what? I wish I could give you more information, but I didn't know anything occurred, to be honest with you.

NICHOLS: Oh, come on. You're holding that.

FITZGERALD: That's an honest truth. I had no idea. Everybody was cordial.


Every time I saw the two of them talking, they were always exchanging pleasantries. And then after the NFC championship game, I hear about this. It was news.

NICHOLS: Yes. Well, things blew up after you saw them because they got into it and we saw the result on the field. Richard did tell me that you are the one guy that he does not talk trash to because wait for this, he said Larry is too nice. He said Larry will not talk trash back to him. And he said it actually starts to psych him out because he'll start talking to you. He'll be waiting for a response. You won't give it to him. So, he just gives up on the whole thing.

FITZGERALD: Well, you know what? I always remember, my coach always said let a sleeping dog lie. You know, he feeds off that energy. When guys start talking to him, it boosts his level to play.

He's the emotional leader on the defense. The guys feed off him. Why would you want to get him riled up? I just going back to the huddle, and focus on what my job is.

NICHOLS: He says that that bravado is such an important part of how he plays, he says. That he can psyche the other guy out, get confidence, because it's hard to get in between the quarterback and his receiver and get those interceptions.

How much is that mental game on the field a part of what actually ends up on the score board?

FITZGERALD: It's a huge mental approach. When you step out there and h he's out there playing against the number one receiver for the other team, he knows he has to be at his best to stop that guy because this quarterback and the receiver time, we have been working on that all year. So, he knows he has to be on his p's and q's. And if he can get you out of your game mentally, just for one play, that could be the deciding factor to win the Super Bowl. You never know.

NICHOLS: Yes. And, of course, it can play into his mentality too. Media day was crazy for Richard Sherman. He actually tweeted out this photo with all the cameras looking at him. And it was nuts and this whole week, there's going to be so much, you know, just Richard Sherman, Richard Sherman up until tomorrow's game.

Can that psych him out at all? Do you think that's going to take him out of his game?

FITZGERALD: I think we have seen over the course of his three year career that he's been able to shoulder the pressure and all the attention and all the eyes that focus on him. I think it's actually a good thing because the guy who has the most pressure on him, Russell Wilson has been gone under the radar. And I think that's really unique that you're the corner. Your team is able to take the pressure and put on his shoulder because he's used to dealing with it.

NICHOLS: He's a fifth round pick defensive player. Not usual that a guy like that is getting so many endorsements. So, I guess he's doing something right, right?

FITZGERALD: He definitely is. He's playing at an extremely high level. I can't wait to see the match up. it's going to be good.

NICHOLS: All right. Coming up next, we've got a little New York flavor for you. Larry and I are going to be joined by former Giant Amani Toomer and current Giant Justin Tuck. They are going to come on to set with us. We'll find out what it's like in the Big Apple for big time athletes.



NICHOLS: Welcome back to BLEACHER REPORT on Super Bowl Boulevard here in Times Square.

This is the heart of Manhattan. We've got the bands playing. There is nothing like it. And, of course, that trophy, the thing everybody wants.

And this area certainly seeing its fair share of historic sporting events. We have had all kinds of things happening here. Back on the day, in 1938, Joe Lewis and Max Schmeling. That was in Yankee Stadium. Ali-Frazier, fight of the century at the Garden.

And, of course, the Garden has seen a lot of hockey. Mark (INAUDIBLE) winning their four straight.

The Knicks at 1970 championship, and Reggie Miller liked the Garden, too, I think. Babe Ruth, New York Yankees. The Yankees had 27 World Series Championship. The Mets have won a couple courtesy of Bill Butner. Derek Jeter, he's got his own in the NFL championship at Yankee Stadium. They've had some great games there as well.

And I have a couple guys joining me now on this set along with Larry who know something about winning championships in New York.

Welcome to (INAUDIBLE) and Justin Tuck.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you for having us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thanks for having me.

NICHOLS: Yes. You guys know what it's like to play in this city. This is pretty much like playing nowhere else in the country. Educate Larry here. What's it like to be an athlete in New York.

AMANI TOOMER, FORMER NY GIANTS PLAYER: Well, it's great when you win. People love winners here.

When you lose, you hear it from the fans. They have a high level of expectation. They have a lot to do and if you're the team that's not the hot one, you get kind of lost in the shuffled around here.

JUSTIN TUCK, NY GIANTS: Yes, you're absolutely right. I kind of piggyback to you. That's exactly what it is. It it's the best place to win, it's the worst place to lose.

And, you know, luckily for us, we have had a lot of success. It's so many teams here. If you're not the hot one, just wait until next year.

NICHOLS: Yes. Well, they say more than after you. I have heard what the fans say.

FITZGERALD: The curious thing I thought about, being in Arizona, you get lost in the shuffle. But playing on the East Coast, you deal with so much media attention, so much scrutiny, so much of the good attention when things are going well. Was that ever a distraction for any guys in the locker room?

TOOMER: I mean, it could be a distraction. I mean, early on, when I was with the Giants, it was a distraction. People weren't focused on being the team. They were focused on being the next Broadway Joe.

We lost a lot of games because of it. There was some infighting. You know, once we got a good coach and a good group of guys, I think that's what really helps. I mean, regardless of where you are, if you have a good group of guys that kind of come together at the right time, it doesn't matter in the media because you come together in a sense you're always going to be relying on your teammates.

TUCK: Yes, same thing. I mean, the biggest thing in New York, it's New York. Everybody, there's so much temptation to go out to the city and be a part of this and be a part of that. And then all that stuff will come to you.

Like I said, it's the best place to win. When you win here, you're a winner for life. They will never forget it.

But, you know what I'm saying, you've got to do your due diligence, put in the work, waiting the time that's right to do it. Don't worry about -- all the young guys want to go, where's the hot spot? Because it's New York, there's so much things to do. But you've got to do your work, man.

That's what he's talking about. Once you have a group of guys that do work, everything else will take care of itself.

NICHOLS: All right. I've got to coat check, by the way. At the beginning of the show, Larry told me he was going to take his coat off as we went. That has not happened yet.

But Justin Tuck is without a coach. So he's, officially, the toughest one at the table for this moment.

TOOMER: And he's the one from Minnesota.


NICHOLS: It's not happening.

TUCK: I'm cold, but hey, I'm toughing it out.

TOOMER: You have to prepare. You have the hat.

TUCK: No sleeves and negative 26 in Green Bay.


TUCK: I'm good, because they didn't suppose to know that.

NICHOLS: These guys over here, they played in that 2007 NFC championship game where the windchill was minus 40, if you can tough out that. That has to be one of your highlight memories.

What is your highlight Super Bowl memory for you guys?

TOOMER: My highlight Super Bowl memory was just the David Tyree catch really. I mean, the fact that, you know, I was open and going across the middle and he didn't throw me, he threw to David Tyree. That's OK.

NICHOLS: Are you OK with that now?

TOOMER: Yes, but yes, no -- it was the whole game was a blur. It was such an exciting.


TOOMER: And to see our team come together, it was just uplifting.

NICHOS: What about you, Justin?

TUCK: Everybody's favorite was the catch. But for me personally, it had nothing to do with the game. I got lucky enough to win a second time. My son's second birthday was February 7th. And I got to MetLife Stadium to sing him happy birthday on February 7th. That was my favorite moment pr the Super Bowl run.

But that David Tyree's catch, man, that's the best play that ever happened in a Super Bowl. And we were a part of it. So, that's pretty good.

NICHOLS: That's right. You got everybody to sing at the Super Bowl celebration here in New York. And, of course, there's nothing like a celebration here in New York. Before we let you go, we have to get some predictions.

Give me some numbers here. Give me. What do you think?

TOOMER: Well, I don't think it's going to be that close. I think it's going to be the Broncos.

TUCK: Wow.

TOOMER: I'm a defensive guy. It's OK. Hold on. Usually defense wins championships, right? But the way the rules have changed, and the way you can't touch the quarterback in the pocket and the way the receivers are untouchable all across the middle, I think that's going to slow down the Seattle Seahawks, allow Peyton Manning to do what he needs to do.

Plus, this is a very stagnant defense. They're not going to be moving around giving him different looks. Peyton manning, knowing where he's going to throw the ball before the snap, I'm going Peyton Manning all the way.

NICHOLS: By the way, Larry, I just want to point out, the older receiver, he's like I had to walk uphill both ways to school in the snow. These receivers have it so easy these days. It was tougher when he played.

What about you, Justin?

TUCK: I'm going to go with something nobody seems to be talking about. When you go against a high-powered offense like the Broncos, you want to limit their touches. You don't want to give them the ball multiple times.

I think the fact that the Seahawks offense has been a balanced attack, if you look back at what we did against Brady, it was a balanced attack. Our defense pressured the quarterback. Didn't give him a lot of touches.

Beast mode is going to play a big role in this game this week. I think if they can get the game into third down and two type game, they can move the sticks and keep Peyton Manning on the sideline.

But I agree with you. If that doesn't happen, they are a stagnant defense. Peyton Manning is one of the best to ever do it. But I'm going to go with the Seahawks. It's going to be a mid-20s type game. But I'm going to say something like 21-27, Seahawks.

FITZGERALD: Justin, you know a lot about pass. Russell Wilson is able to scramble around. We saw that in the NFC championship game the play with Doug Baldwin. How key is it to get pressure on him and keep him in the pocket and get him on the ground? TUCK: That's everything when playing against a guy like Russell. You've got to keep him in the pocket. He's a shorter quarterback. We use the same kind of strategy against guys like Drew Brees.

Keep them in the pocket. Make them throw the tall lines. They might think they saw something and be a tad late and that's when you get turnover and get interceptions. But if you allow that guy to get outside the pocket, which I think Seattle is going to have a lot of things and playing to keep him booted out and get him outside, give him a dual threat.

But Denver has to keep him in the pocket. It gives him a great shot. This is an underrated D-line. They can get after it too. If he's in the pocket, they have a great. Chance of getting a lot of pressure on him.

Even when you don't sack him, just make him uncomfortable. You're not going to able to pinpoint throws when guys are uncomfortable.

TOOMER: You played against both teams. Which is the tougher team to prepare for offensively?

TUCK: Offensively, hands down is Denver. No question.

NICHOLS: He just blew up Russell Wilson's fun.

TUCK: Denver should hire me as a consultant for the day, man.

NICHOLS: Exactly. We have to thank you. Thank you guys for coming. Larry and I appreciate it.

We are going to have a lot more coming up. Nischelle Turner is going to give us the scoop on the party scene. I want to hear that. I know these guys, they've got it all checked.

We've got you covered, coming back soon.



NICHOLS: We are back here on Super Bowl Boulevard, throwing some footballs out to the fans. Some tunes from Bruno Mars this year going on here happening here. We'll see what happens.

Here's a list of this year's Super Bowl Sunday entertainers at MetLife Stadium. "America The Beautiful", it would be Queen Latifah. National anthem is being performed by opera star Renee Fleming. The halftime show, Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

All right. Let's go over to Nischelle Turner with more on the entertainment scene this weekend. How are you doing?

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Well, I'm still bobbing my head to Bruno Mars, Rachel. I love that song, "Treasure". And you know what? There was a treasure, kind of a treasure-trove of parties this week. They say New York is the city that never sleeps. Well, for Super Bowl week, it's also the city to see and be seen. And yes, we're talking about the party scene. It was definitely in full effect.

You know, we spent a little time at the Madden party this week. We caught up with Packers running back Eddie Lacy and we also caught up with Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green. Lots of celebrities were out.

I was looking for another man with good hands. Yes, I'm talking you, Larry Fitzgerald. But we didn't see Larry. He must have been at somebody else's party.

We also spoke with the folks from the NFL that put this Super Bowl party scene together and talked about what really goes into making a Super Bowl party event.

It's a lot. Take a listen.


TURNER: This is the day and then there's the night.


TURNER: The night is time to party.


TURNER: So, what's going on?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's lots of parties during Super Bowl week. Some that are NFL parties and some that are parties that just sort of happened and make the week more exciting for folks. I think the biggest and best party that at least we like to say because I work on it too selfishly is the tailgate party. That is the party that happens three hours before the game.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's for 10,000 people and really an unbelievable celebration of a wonderful season, every season and the Super Bowl.

TURNER: It is about the big game. It is about the game day. But it really has transformed into kind of like a Super Bowl week. When you have all of these e great events and every celebrity you can imagine in town.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. I think all the different types of parties, it makes it whatever you want to be. It can be just about a party or it can be about ten parties all week long and the game. So, that's sort of a nice thing.

(END VIDEOTAPE) TURNER: I tell you what. That Mary Pat has been busy. She said she's been so busy planning the party she hasn't time to go to any of the parties. That's not fair.

I know it's the day before the Super Bowl, but I might try to make something tonight. Rachel, Larry, you guys rolling with me or am I rolling with you? How are we going to do this?

NICHOLS: Well, I say we all follow Larry.

Larry, are you a party guy? Do you hang at this Super Bowl parties?

FITZGERALD: Yes, I enjoy it. It's fun o get out and see different people. Obviously other teammates and players around the league, it's a lot of fun.

Nischelle, I saw her at the party last night. She didn't show me any love. She were mad over Eddie Lacy.


It was crazy.

NICHOLS: See, she's after the new young thing. Larry, you're old news now. What can I tell you?

FITZGERALD: I know, what can we say?

NICHOLS: We're going to do a little pop quiz. We were talking about the anthem singer earlier. I always wonder about the players. Do you even notice who is singing or are you so locked in and that moment, is just goes by you?

FITZGERALD: No, I didn't -- I can't remember for a life of me --

NICHOLS: You can't say who sang the anthem on yours --

FITZGERALD: I usually sing along, but to be honest I was waiting for the fighter jets to come over here. I get so excited about those. I don't know why.

NICHOLS: That's the boy answer. That's the cool part.

By the way, it was Jennifer Hudson at his Super Bowl, but, hey, there were fighter jets. So, who is going to notice?

All right. When we come back, Larry is going to tell me who will win Super Bowl XLVIII. He's a fortune-teller. Will it be the Seahawks on the left, the Broncos on the right? We'll find out. Larry Fitzgerald knows all.


NICHOLS: We are back with BLEACHER REPORT on Super Bowl Boulevard.

And, Larry, we were talking predictions, although your first prediction before we started the show that you were so Minnesota and could so handle cold weather that you would take your coat off in the middle of the show. That has not happened. He still has a coat and scarf on. I just want to point out.

So, let's see if you're any better for predictions? What do you got?

FITZGERALD: Well, you know what? I love what Broncos and what they're going to do and accomplish offensively, setting records, throwing more touchdowns than anybody in the history of the game. But defense wins championships.


FITZGERALD: It proves that it's done it. You look back over all the games. When number ones match up, defense comes out on top most times. I'm going with the Seattle Seahawks. I know, I played against them. I know the caliber of players these guys have had.

I know the mentality of back against the wall. Me against the world. I think they are going to go out there and get it done on Sunday.

NICHOLS: You don't just play against them, you beat them, I'm going to say that. He's too nice to say.

You got a score?

FITZGERALD: I think it's going to be a low-scoring game. I would say 24-17.

NICHOLS: OK. All right. We'll see what happens. Thank you very much.

FITZGERALD: All right.

NICHOLS: And that's all from us and the BLEACHE REPORT on Super Bowl Boulevard. A big thanks to our production and technical crew.


And enjoy the Super Bowl XLVIII, everyone. Have fun.