It's already being called the Cinderella Super Bowl, matching two teams without the national charisma associated with the likes of Dallas, Pittsburgh, Miami or San Diego.
Will the television ratings be as high as for most Super Bowls? Will fans be attracted by the freshness of a game between San Francisco and Cincinnati, teams that had losing records just last season?
But at least one thing is certain. As media, fans and the two participating teams converge on greater Detroit early this week, there will be one familiar angle missing from the pregame coverage.
That angle revolves around the veteran, Super Bowl-wise team against the upstart newcomers getting their first taste of big game hype.
It doesn't apply this week because this is the first time either San Francisco or Cincinnati has been to a Super Bowl. Both teams should undergo the same learning pains, the same anxieties and have the same second thoughts afterward about how they handled the crushing attention of the week-long publicity blitz leading up to next Sunday's 4 p.m. confrontation.
But there should be plenty of other stories to make up for this void.
Instead of Fouts and Dorsett and Winslow, the leading characters will be Anderson and Montana and Solomon and Dean and Reynolds and Collinsworth. These are young, interesting teams playing exciting, fan-pleasing football that produces lots of passing and little running. That, too, is a switch from most Super Bowls, which usually have featured powerful defenses and conservative offenses.
The most dominant figure should be Cincinnati owner Paul Brown, who spans four decades of pro football. His counterpart with San Francisco, Edward DeBartolo Jr., is a mere 34 and became an owner only five years ago.
Brown last had a team in a championship game in 1957, when, as coach, his Cleveland Browns lost to the Detroit Lions for the NFL title.
He went on to become a founder of the Cincinnati franchise, which played its first game in 1970. The Bengals had been in three playoff games, but never won one until this year, a hard fact to swallow for a man who won four NFL titles before the merger with the American Football League.
Brown's touch will be everywhere. Bill Walsh, the San Francisco coach, was a Bengal assistant under Brown for eight years and thought he should take over the head coaching job when Brown retired in 1975. Chuck Studley, the 49ers' outstanding defensive coordinator, also is an ex-Bengal assistant.
Brown's current coach knows what these games mean. Forrest Gregg was a star tackle on those Green Bay Packer powerhouses under Vince Lombardi. Walsh wasn't much as a player, nor has he been an assistant on any previous Super Bowl staff.
This is the first Super Bowl to be played outside a warm-weather city. The game will have ideal, 72-degree conditions inside the Silverdome, but Detroit this time of year can be brutally cold and snowy.
Michigan supporters, however, have spent months trying to put their best face forward for the incoming hordes. There will be assorted activities all week for visitors, including a snow festival.
The players will be shielded, best as possible, from this hoopla. San Francisco will work out in the morning and Cincinnati in the afternoon, beginning Tuesday. Both will use the Silverdome, a first for the Super Bowl, where teams usually practice away from the game site as much as possible.
Walsh, however, is trying to get the first jump. The 49ers will show up in Detroit today, 24 hours earlier than the usual arrival time. And he says he took his team to Los Angeles for three days prior to the NFC title game against Cincinnati in part "to get used to hotel rooms and the media blitz."
Now can he, and the Bengals, handle the one question they are sure to hear all week: "are the two best teams really playing in Super Bowl XVI?"