Proud Jerseyite Eli Manning: Bring on Bruce Springsteen

January 31, 2009 4:44 PM ET

Anticipation is rising in Tampa. The tension is becoming palpable. Speculation runs rampant, and everyone has an opinion, a theory or a prediction about what will happen on Sunday night.

Yeah, we're talking about Bruce Springsteen's halftime set at Super Bowl XLIII.

There's as much chatter and suspense on the ground around what Springsteen might have up his sleeve as there is for the game. NFL stars who're more likely to rock Biggie than Bruce are being grilled about it. So far, Springsteen has only hinted that he's putting together "a 12-minute party."

In these quarters, there's only one New Jersey resident with the same juice as Bruce — New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning. He brought his team to the Bowl a year ago and upset the allegedly invincible New England Patriots in one of the most dramatic contests the Super Bowl has ever produced. This year, he's watching with the rest of us. But like any proud Jersey resident, Manning is eager to see what Springsteen has planned.

"I'm just looking forward to getting the boss back onstage," he told us. "It's a great band and should be a great performance."

Follow our ongoing Super Bowl weekend coverage, and check out the best from our archives in our Super Bowl hub.

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Rolling Stone Accidentally Kills Off Bruce Springsteen Super Bowl Betting
Photos: U2, Prince, The Rolling Stones and More Memorable Super Bowl Halftime Performances
Video: A Short History of Rock Stars in Super Bowl Commercials

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