SAN FRANCISCO » They’re here.
The Denver Broncos arrived in the Bay Area today for Northern California’s first Super Bowl since 1985, followed soon after by the Carolina Panthers.
Denver’s flight into San Jose, California, was delayed by an hour. The team flew in a customized United Airlines jet with a Broncos logo over the door. Someone in the cockpit waved a Broncos flag out of a window as the plane taxied along the tarmac.
Former Broncos running back Terrell Davis, the Super Bowl MVP in 1998, met the players as they exited the jet.
Panthers All-Pro quarterback Cam Newton emerged from the team plane wearing gold, black and white zebra pants, along with a dark V-neck sweater with a shirt and tie underneath his hooded leather coat. It’s not all that unusual an outfit for him considering Newton has been seen wearing loafers without socks with his suit at postgame interviews.
Still, the pants were striking and set social media ablaze.
“Dang, Cam wore the exact same outfit as me today,” right tackle Mike Remmers joked on Twitter.
Defensive tackle Dwan Edwards flashed the peace sign to the waiting crowd.
Carolina’s de-boarding process wasn’t easy at first as the wind caused the steps to the tarmac to wobble significantly. At one point, with several players on the stairs, everyone stopped moving in deference to the gusts. Some even put away their cellphones as they traversed the swaying stairs.
Then again, it’s San Francisco.
The players were in a frivolous mood, and who could blame them? They’re at the Super Bowl.
Many jumped into each other’s photos and ruined others’ selfies.
The Broncos are in their second Super Bowl in three years; they lost 43-8 to Seattle in 2014 in New Jersey. Carolina has been to one, losing to New England in 2004.
Both teams brought their practice squad players and guys on injured reserve.
Panthers cornerback Charles Tillman, who recently had knee surgery, slowly climbed the stairs to the plane in Charlotte, helped by a crutch. Thomas Davis, Carolina’s All-Pro linebacker who broke his right forearm in the NFC title game win against Arizona, strapped a video camera to his chest, according to the Panthers’ website.
Davis had surgery last Monday and expects to play in the Super Bowl.
The first big event this week is media day on Monday — actually, it’s at night this year.
Broncos cornerback Chris Harris Jr. said he was hoping all his teammates “stay under the radar,” although he’s pretty sure Von Miller won’t be able to.
“No telling with Von, he might come in with one of those crazy hats,” Harris said. “He’s going to do something crazy.”
Miller joked that he might pull a Marshawn Lynch and not answer any questions at all.
Fat chance: Miller loves holding court.
AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Stapleton and Sports Writer Steve Reed contributed to this report.