Hey, did you know that, at some point during Super Bowl XLVI, the New York Giants and the New England Patriots are going to play a game of football?
You're forgiven for overlooking that minor detail amid the swirling media frenzy that characterizes the NFL championship game. From commercials to live performances to movie trailers, there will be so much to watch come Sunday on NBC that you may already be starting to feel overwhelmed.
Here's a rundown of some of the key things to watch out for in-between all that football.
Kicking things off before the big game will be inaugural "American Idol" winner and newly-appointed guest "mentor" for season two of "The Voice," Kelly Clarkson. The 29-year-old will have the honor of singing our national anthem, and one can be reasonably assured that she'll be better prepared than fellow "Idol" star Steven Tyler.
The Texas-born singer has already knocked it out of the park before a football game once before, after all.
But the real focus will be on the halftime show, naturally, and this year's promises to be big. At 53 years old, pop icon Madonna will make her Super Bowl debut. Despite being one of the most popular and successful music acts of all time, the Material Girl admitted she was nervous about taking the field, describing the pressure on her to deliver "the greatest show on Earth, in the middle of the greatest show on Earth."
"First of all, it's the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl is kind of like the holiest of holy in America," she said. "I'm going to come in halfway between the church experience and I'm going to have to deliver a sermon that's going to have to be very impactful."
During an appearance on the Tonight Show, Madonna took a stab at the infamous Janet Jackson "wardrobe malfunction" from 2004, promising "For sure, no nipples. I wasn't going to go there. I don't like to repeat myself."
Rapper M.I.A. and Hip Hop/R&B star Nicki Minaj are confirmed to be joining Madonna onstage during the halftime show. The trio will likely perform the single "Gimme All Your Lovin', on which they all collaborated.
Madonna has also said we can "expect pom poms"...
U.S. & World
Get More: Music News
The only thing being more dissected and discussed Monday morning than the performances of Eli Manning and Tom Brady will be the epic commercials that saturate the game. This year promises the return of some big names (Bueller? Bueller?) and the long-awaited pairing of "Mean" Joe Greene and Amy Sedaris.
Jerry Seinfeld goes to great lengths to get a new Acura...
Audi sticks it to "Twilight"...
Sedaris v. Greene...
Some Coked-up Bears...
And, of course, America's favorite slacker...
You can also expect ads from Volkswagon ("The Bark Side"), Hulu (starring Will Arnett), Pepsi (with Regis Philben) and many more.
Although there are quite a few big movies that aren't 100% confirmed to be making a Super Bowl bow, at least two have not only been confirmed, they've actually released teasers of their teasers.
However, the most notable thing about this year's Super Bowl movie trailer line-up are the two massive absentees. Despite being, arguably, the most anticipated films of 2012, neither Warner Bros.' "The Dark Knight Rises" nor Sony's "The Amazing Spider-Man" will be dropping mid-game trailers.
Still, Sony is believed to be prepping first looks at Sasha Baron Cohen's "The Dictator" as well as the Dwayne Johnson/Bruce Willis super-soldier team-up "G.I. Joe: Retaliation."
Our sister company, Universal, plans on bringing out the aquatic alien spectacle "Battleship" as well as the Dr. Seuss animated adventure "The Lorax."
Among the confirmed are Relativity Media's Navy SEAL action thriller "Act of Valor," which will have a 30-second spot during the fourth quarter, as well as two more movies that are so hotly-anticipated that they put together teasers for their Super Bowl appearances.
First is Disney's "John Carter," based on the Edgar Rice Burroughs' science fiction pulps and starring "Friday Night Lights" star Taylor Kitsch…
…and the other is Marvel Studios' superhero team-up "The Avengers," which brings together Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), Black Widow (Scarlett Johannson) and The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo, taking the gamma-irradiated reigns from Edward Norton and Eric Bana).
Super Bowl XLVI airs live from Indianapolis, Indiana Sunday, February 5th on NBC.