Chicken Wings, Check. Beer, Check. It's Super Bowl!

Super Bowl Sunday is here, and the New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts are facing off in Miami for the NFL Championship. Is there an underdog upset in store? Guest host Audie Cornish chats with NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman about the Super Bowl and other big upcoming sports events.

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AUDIE CORNISH, host:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

Time now for sports.

(Soundbite of music)

CORNISH: Tomorrow is Super Bowl Sunday. The New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts face off in Miami for the NFL championship. Is there an underdog upset in store?

Joining us now is NPR's sports correspondent Tom Goldman. Hello, Tom.

TOM GOLDMAN: Hi, Audie. How are you?

CORNISH: Good. So the big question I'm hearing going in to the Super Bowl is whether the up to now unstoppable Colts quarter back Peyton Manning, can he be stopped? What can the New Orleans defense possibly do?

GOLDMAN: The $64,000 question, okay. Well, here is what happens. We know a conventional defense can't stop Manning and the Colts right now. The best defense in the NFL, the New York Jets, stopped Indianapolis for a half in the AFC championship game. And then Manning figured them out and the game was over. So Gregg Williams, the Saints fine, fine defensive coordinator, has to think outside the box, and here, Audie, is my suggestion. When Manning takes the snap from center, the New Orleans defensive linemen need to break into a very stylized square dance...

CORNISH: Okay.

(Soundbite of laughter)

GOLDMAN: ...bowing to each other, they've got to do the dozy-doze, the whole deal. Manning will be laughing so hard that he'll throw and miss his wide receivers. His offensive line will doubled over laughing themselves. And that will allow the New Orleans linebackers to run in, blast Manning and possibly force a fumble. And you know what? You throw a variety of dances at them, have the lineman do a waltz or a tango other times; you got to keep Peyton Manning guessing and laughing. It's the only way, Audie.

CORNISH: So I've heard your suggestion. What's your prediction for tomorrow's game?

GOLDMAN: Oh, right, other than a dancing New Orleans defense? I tend to agree with former Colts head coach Tony Dungy - in the end, don't think it's going to be close. New Orleans could stay with the Colts for a while, because the Saints have a powerful high scoring offense. But the Colts will score more and they're favored by five. Coach Dungy thinks it could be a double digit victory, and I tend to agree.

CORNISH: And you're not the only one with an opinion on who is going to walk away with the trophy; even some people we wouldn't normally expect to be talking about football are talking about this game.

GOLDMAN: You know, the Scripps Howard News Service like it does every year, surveyed people from all walks of life, well known people, about their Super Bowl predictions. Some are my favorites - poet and author Maya Angelou sees an Indianapolis 28-16 victory. Sadly, she says, I must inform the New Orleans Saints that I will not be in their number. I plan to be with the other team when the Colts go marching in. Michael Hayden, the CIA director from 2006 to 2009, says retired from the CIA and I'm now separated from the clandestine sources and methods that once sustained me.

(Soundbite of laughter)

GOLDMAN: I hesitate to project any confident choice. But what the heck? A race track for both teams for perhaps the first half, but then reality sinks in -Indy 38-24. Now, we do have some Saints supporters. Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir sees a New Orleans victory, as does author Malcolm Gladwell.

CORNISH: And the other thing people are going to be watching for, I have to know, the halftime show - who's on the lineup this year?

GOLDMAN: Oh, yeah, more geezers.

(Soundbite of laughter)

GOLDMAN: It's The Who, and it's the latest in a string of middle-aged rockers doing the Super Bowl halftime. You know, in recent years we have seen the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney. And the NFL doesn't seem worried about alienating the younger demographic. Spokesman says the league wants performers with songs that are familiar and widely popular. And also sounding a bit a tongue in cheek, he said the NFL prefers an act that's not overexposed. Reference, it seems, to the 2004 halftime act when Janet Jackson's breast made a surprise appearance in what was famously blamed on a wardrobe malfunction.

CORNISH: And quickly, I want to sneak in here a little bit about race car driving and golden girl Danica Patrick of Indy Racing Leagues. Seems like she could become a NASCAR star? What's going on there?

GOLDMAN: Yeah, well, she's still a ways from becoming a star, but after achieving some success and lots of publicity racing the Indy car circuit, she is dipping her toe in the waters of stock car racing. She is making her debut today in an ARCA event. That's a lesser known racing series, but it's similar to NASCAR. It's the kind of the minor, minor leagues. Her performance today will reveal if she has the potential to move up, maybe even to the top level, the Sprint Cup Series. She is generating a tremendous amount of attention now. You know, and that should help generate some interest, new interest in NASCAR, which has seen its TV ratings declining in recent years.

CORNISH: And lastly, in the time we have left here, packing to go cover the Winter Olympics next week, but it sounds like there's more snow here in D.C.

(Soundbite of laughter)

GOLDMAN: Yeah, that's right. I'm packing my shorts. My colleague up in Vancouver, Howard Burkes, reported just yesterday that it was warm and wet in Vancouver. They will have snow, but they'll have to truck it in probably. You know, despite the weather, everyone is looking for an early jolt of excitement when Canada finally wins its first gold medal on its home turf - never happened before. In the '76 Montr´┐Żal Games, the '88 Calgary Games, no Canadian gold. That could happen fast, on the first day.

And I'm just hoping I'm there. It'll be a very exciting thing to see.

CORNISH: NPR's sports correspondent Tom Goldman. Thanks, Tom.

GOLDMAN: You're welcome, Audie.

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