The Broncos defeated the New England Patriots 20-18 in the AFC Championship Game Sunday at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, advancing to Super Bowl 50. The Carolina Panthers advanced to the Super Bowl with a 49-15 victory over Arizona in Sunday's NFC Championship Game at Bank of America Stadium.
Coach Ron Rivera plans to earn a spot in preparing for Super Bowl 50, the same which gave Coach Ditka in 1985 at the Chicago Bears, which will take place on Sunday, February 7 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, where they will take on the Denver Broncos.
"One of the things Coach Ditka emphasized to us was to enjoy the moment,'' said Rivera, a second-year linebacker for the '85 Bears team that beat the New England Patriots 46-10 in Super Bowl XX.
"It's not about getting there. It's not about being a part of it. It's about winning it. And that will be our main focus.''
Before kickoff of each home game, the Panthers have a #KeepPounding drum ceremony during which they roll a huge bass drum out onto the field. A guest of honor pounds on the drum, and the crowd gets fired up, chanting “Keep pounding, keep pounding, keep pounding…”
Throughout the season, Panthers Coach Ron Rivera has consistently emphasized attitude, preparation and effort. Panthers quarterback and MVP front-runner Cam Newton, paid homage to this leadership approach at the post-game press conference. He spoke about the team’s confident attitude, intense practice preparation, then said, “Coach Ron Rivera and everybody on his staff are not only great coaches and great role models,” he said. “When you’re out there competing and playing, and coaches are asking you to give them every single thing that you’ve got, it’s easy to give unbelievable effort to a person who cares about you. They care about your family. They care about your friends. They care about your kids. They care about your personal life. They care about every single thing outside of just completing a slant route, and Coach Ron Rivera has done an unbelievable job of creating that type of atmosphere.”
Rivera is the fifth Latino to be an NFL head coach, he was born in Fort Ord, California. His father was a Puerto Rican commissioned officer in the United States Army he met his wife in California, Rivera's mother, who is of Mexican heritage.
On January 11, 2011, Rivera was named the fourth head coach of the Carolina Panthers.