Super Bowl 50: Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins on throwing a Super Bowl party, Peyton Manning, contract talks and growth of the NFL in the UK

 
Joe Hall
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Dallas Cowboys v Washington Redskins
Kirk Cousins emerged as a starting quarterback for the Redskins this season

We take it you'll be watching the Super Bowl on Sunday - even in spite of the disappointment of losing in the playoffs?

"I’ll be watching. I’ve watched all the playoff games and I’ll definitely be watching Super Bowl. I’ve watched it every year I’ve played. In America, it’s hard to not watch the Super Bowl. Everybody’s having watch parties and everybody’s getting together, even people who watch very little football throughout the year, they’re usually tuning into the Super Bowl.

"It’s an event like none other. It’ll be fun to see this year, it’s two really good teams, really the two teams that I think belong there and have played the best all season long. So I’m excited to sit down and watch."

Who's your pick for a winner?

"My heart says to with the [Denver] Broncos just because I want to see Peyton Manning finish on top. My head says to go with the [Carolina] Panthers who have been the best team all season long.

"Ultimately, with how good the two defences are, I’m going to predict a low scoring game. I do think the Panthers will probably come out on top although I’ll be sitting rooting for the Broncos."

Read more: These are the best Super Bowl ads of all time

Manning will be making a remarkable fourth Super Bowl appearance at the age of 39? Would you like to still be playing at that age?

"That’s a dream. I say to guys who have played 10,12,15 years when I see them on the field: ‘You know, when I go to bed at night and I say my prayers, I pray that I play as long as you have.'

"So it’s a dream of mine to be able to play as long as some of these guys. 15 years, it’s hard for me to even get my mind around that but that’s the dream, certainly."


Peyton Manning is aiming to win his second Super Bowl in San Francisco on Sunday (Source: Getty)

So, explain what makes the best Super Bowl watching experience for any new UK fans...

"Have some fun with it and have some good food. It’s no fun to watch football and be hungry. You’ve gotta get some chips and salsa, the queso dip.

"The key is you definitely want to get together with people to enjoy watching the game but you’ve also got to be careful because I know I’ve been at Super Bowl parties with people who don’t really care about the game and they’re distracting me!

"I want to watch it and I’ve got people who are making noise and making it hard to watch. So you’ve got to watch it with some people who actually want to watch it."

Read more: The potential hurdles in the way of a London NFL franchise

Your team, the Washington Redskins, are due to come and play in London later this year. But first, you need to agree on a new contract. What's the situation there?

"I think the ball’s in their court. The Redskins can show how much they want me by giving me a contract that’s fair and fits the market value.

"We’ll see what they want to do but they definitely have the ability to make the decision and make the move and I’ll react accordingly, but I feel like it’s more their choice to make than mine."

Are you daunted or put off at all by the prospect of a lengthy journey and change in time zones that come with a game in London? Foresee any problems in your preparation as an athlete?

"We’ll be ok. If you look at our schedule when we play in San Francisco or the Los Angeles Rams we’ll have to travel on a five-hour flight.

"There’s a major time change to the West Coast and we leave a day early. That happens every year without much of an issue and, in fact, some guys really look forward to a travel like that and an extra day in the city so going to London is the same thing it’s just the other direction.

"There’ll be a time change, there’ll be a longer flight but I think it’s a cool opportunity and it’s pretty neat that our jobs enable us to be able to have an experience like this so I’m looking forward to it."

Are you keen to see a franchise set up here? Would you play for one?

"I don’t believe this league needs to be restricted to the United States. I think if anything we want to grow this game, grow this league. What’s good for the league is good for the players. I think it’s great to envision just what it could look like to play here, have a team here and as opposed to saying why we can’t I think it’s always good to say why we can and try to push through any obstacles so I fully support that pursuit and we’ll see where it leads.

"Hopefully, I’m still playing by the time a team comes over here, that’ll mean I’ve had a long career but we’ll see how everything pans out."

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