Jordin Sparks on Her Pick for Super Bowl MVP and Her Dad's NFL Past

J Carter Rinaldi/FilmMagic
Jordin Sparks attends NFL Inaugural Hall Of Fashion Launch Event at Pillars 37 on Sept. 16, 2014 in New York City.  

Among the 100 million viewers expected to tune in to Super Bowl 50 on Feb. 7, when Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers take on Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, will be one of music’s biggest football fans: Jordin Sparks. Though her favorite team, the Cardinals, is out of the running this season (she even sang the National Anthem at a recent game), she's got predictions for the big game and shared them them with Billboard.

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Who’s your team? How did you become a football fan?
My team in the Arizona Cardinals. Although, I do have an allegiance to the New York Giants because my dad, Phillippi Sparks, played for them from 92'-99'. That also how I became a fan. I grew up immersed in the game. Watching it, learning and understanding it and loving it.

Who do you think is going to win Super Bowl 50, and what do you think the score will be?
I think Peyton Manning is one of the greatest of all time but I do think the Carolina Panthers are going to win. Usually, it would be easy to predict a score but I'm not sure. I'll just say 35-17, Panthers.

Which player is your pick for Super Bowl MVP and why?
I would still say either quarterback. A Super Bowl win for either of them means so much. For Peyton he would solidify his place for GOAT. For Cam, he would silence those who still think its' a fluke and begin his legacy in the league!


Who do you think is going to look better at the big game: Denver’s defensive line, or Carolina’s offensive line?
I think Carolina's offensive line is going to be fantastic. After seeing how they handled the NFC Championship game, I think Denver is going to have a hard time penetrating the pocket and getting to Cam. It seemed like he had hours to figure out where to throw!

What do you think about the controversy surrounding Cam Newton’s dabbing?
Controversy? Because he celebrates with a dance in the end zone? I don't think there's 'controversy' in that. People are making a big deal out of something that is done all the time. I think it's great that he does that! Celebrate, Cam!

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What are your Super Bowl traditions?
For the past eight years, I've been in every Super Bowl city doing charity work for my campaign, I'm M.A.D. Are You?, during the week before all the parties. We go to a children's hospital and bring smiles and some of the Super Bowl spirit to the kids who can't be out to experience the fandom!

What was your favorite Super Bowl halftime show and why?
I really enjoyed Bruno Mars. He absolutely killed it!

Which song would tell your favorite team to play pregame and why?
You can't really go wrong with [Survivor's] "Eye of the Tiger."

Who has your favorite touchdown dance?
Ray Lewis' pre-game dance is a classic! Many players in the league today use it to celebrate their TDs!

What’s the best Super Bowl snack, in your opinion?
Chips and salsa. Hands down. You never have to take your eyes off the screen, so you don't miss a play!

A version of this story originally appeared in the Feb. 13 issue of Billboard.

Super Bowl 50