To download cover: http://bit.ly/20qDrTp
ESPN The Magazine’s Super Bowl 50 Issue, on newsstands Friday, focuses on the Super Bowl as a cultural phenomenon. Editor-in-chief Chad Millman notes, “As the Super Bowl turns 50, ESPN The Magazine looks at how the game went from ‘good idea’ to ‘unofficial national holiday.’” The issue features Bryan Curtis on the NFL’s success in branding more than just the big game in “All That Glitters.” Danyel Smith writes about how Whitney Houston soothed a nation on the 25th anniversary of her national anthem performance, and David Fleming plays detective, piecing together the best Super Bowl party of all time in “Joey Fatone, Miss February 1999 and One Epic Chocolate Fountain.” This all leads up to the Super Bowl preview, anchored by Tim Keown’s examination of why Cam Newton continues to be a lightning rod of controversy, as well as breakdowns of whether the Panthers or Broncos hold the competitive edge, from blitz schemes and passing when pressured to red zone success and players to watch.
ON THE COVER: Cam Newton and the Panthers look to silence the haters once and for all.
Super Bowl 50 Preview: The Joy of Cam Newton
As the Panthers battle the Broncos, Carolina quarterback Cam Newton looks to prove that great football can still be fun. The Mag dedicates 10 pages to Tim Keown’s comprehensive feature on the QB that just won’t quit: http://es.pn/1P0J0Gh.
Plus, we break down the Panthers-Broncos match-up with stats, analysis and a Super Bowl winner prediction here: http://es.pn/1Jwj6I9.
Super Bowl 50 Issue Features and Highlights:
The league has gone all in on making this game a celebration of everything NFL, but how does that square with the league’s recent troubles? And what does it mean that the Super Bowl is more popular than ever and is only growing as a spectacle? On the cusp of the game’s 50th anniversary, how do we grapple with the fanfare and the current state of the NFL? This essay will assess the Super Bowl at 50 and its place in the culture right now. By Bryan Curtis
Culture Shift: Whitney Houston’s National Anthem
Whitney Houston’s version of “The Star-Spangled Banner” unintentionally changed the entire culture of the Super Bowl. In a piece marking the 25th anniversary of that performance, the development of the anthem is retraced, from its unorthodox arrangement and its unexpected success on the charts to, of course, her red, white and blue tracksuit. By Danyel Smith
The Best Super Bowl Party of All Time
The Playboy party for the Super Bowl in Houston might have been the best Super Bowl party ever. More important, it’s a way in to discussing what has become a crucial part of the past 50 years of Super Bowls: corporate America’s wining and dining of clients and the commercialization of the event. By David Fleming
What About the Grass?
How does the natural field at indoor Super Bowl stadiums look so perfect? It’s grown elsewhere and transported in. OK, great. But this year, this process takes on greater significance—the most technologically advanced stadium in the country, and the home of Super Bowl 50, can’t effectively grow grass. Remember how Justin Tucker’s foot hit a mysterious sinkhole playing in San Francisco? We do. We’ll track the growing of this year’s Super Bowl grass from seed to transport to on-field beaut. Yes, we’re really going to watch grass grow. By Tommy Tomlinson
Commercials Data Dive
The cost of a 30-second commercial in Super Bowl I was $42,000. In Super Bowl XLIX? $4.5 million. We’ll show the impact and progression of the Super Bowl commercial through the numbers.
Super Bowl Confidential
From the team that will play in the most Super Bowls over the next 10 years to the current player you most want on your squad in the game, we ask athletes around the league our best Super Bowl-centric questions.
Also in this issue:
Head coaches get all the attention, but according to a comprehensive new study, the NFL’s true coaching diversity crisis lies below the surface: Researchers found that white assistant coaches are more than twice as likely to be promoted to coordinator as black coaches. By Mina Kimes
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