Who knows who'll win the Super Bowl tomorrow, but history will be made before the coin toss.
Renee Fleming will sing the national anthem at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. She is the first opera star to be asked, and it seems so utterly fitting, both for the first Super Bowl to be played within view of the towers of New York, and in the 200th anniversary year of the national anthem.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Lynn Neary. Time now for sports.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
NEARY: And then there were four. Tomorrow is the Sunday before the Sunday before the Super Bowl. And that means New England takes on Denver and San Francisco goes up against Seattle to see who's headed to the big game. NPR's Tom Goldman, who's caught in the middle of that San Fran-Seattle crossfire, joins us on the line from Portland. Good morning, Tom.
TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: I'm ducking here. Hiya, Lynn.
University of Texas president Bill Powers (left) and athletic director Steve Patterson (right) introduce new Longhorns head football coach Charlie Strong during a press conference January 6, 2014 at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas.
Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 7:57 pm
The University of Texas introduced Charlie Strong as the school's new head football coach Monday, hoping to usher in a new winning era by hiring a man known for strong recruiting and stubborn defenses.
As he moves from Louisville to Austin, Strong becomes the first black coach of a men's team at Texas. For some, his hiring brings to mind how things have changed at a school that, during the 1960s, fielded teams made up of only white players.