The championship of professional American-style football, the Super Bowl, is set for Sunday in Houston, Texas.

The New England Patriots will meet the Carolina Panthers here in Super Bowl 38. New England was in the National Football League championship game two years ago and beat the favored St. Louis Rams.

This time New England is favored. Oddsmakers have the point spread at seven, or one touchdown.

Carolina is playing in its first Super Bowl in its nine-year franchise history. The Panthers' appearance is a surprise to most observers, as only two years ago Carolina was one of the worst teams in the league, with a record of one win and 15 losses.

But Carolina coach John Fox is not surprised.

"Each year anything's possible," he said. "I think it's been proven in history since free agency, so you have the ability to get better quickly. And I think that's what makes this game probably the most exciting game in the world today."

And it's the biggest one-day sporting event in the world, as close to one billion people will tune in to watch it on television.