Yes, it’s that time again. The biggest annual sporting event takes place tonight at the NRG Stadium in Houston. This year, the Conference champions decided are the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons. It promises to be a tight game. It also promises to be a big event.
I don’t need to go into the history of the Super Bowl this time around. I did that in last year’s Super Bowl blog. For those who want to read it, click here. Although this will be Super Bowl LI, its 50th anniversary was three weeks ago. But whatever. It’s time to get on with the show.
Stars of the Broadway musical Hamilton will sing America The Beautiful before the game. The Star Spangled Banner will be sung by country singer Luke Bryan. Former president and former first lady George H. W. Bush and Barbara Bush will do the coin toss and Lady Gaga will do the half-time show.
Of course there are those one-of-a-kind Super Bowl ads. Ads will cost $5 million for a 30-second airing. Snickers will present a live commercial during the game. Nintendo will introduce its Nintendo Switch video game console. However an ad Budweiser planned on showing during the Super Bowl garnered controversy. It showcased Adolphus Busch immigrating to the U. S. and partnering with Eberhart Anheuser. Many people, especially conservatives, suspected this ad was a pot shot to Donald Trump and his recent restrictive immigration policies.
Yes, the match. The NRG Stadium in Houston is expected to seat 80,000 for the game. The game is expected to be witnessed on television by billions worldwide and have 38 different cameras around the stadium highlighting the players’ plays. For all its hype, the match features two top contenders: the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons.
New England Patriots
The Patriots come in as the favorite for the Super Bowl. They had the best results in the whole of the NFL regular season with 14 wins and two losses. They also played excellently during the conference matches too. The Patriots are no strangers to the Super Bowl as they’ve won their AFC championship nine times including this year and won the Super Bowl four times before: the most recent being 2014.
This year the Patriots have shown a lot of consistency but it’s not without controversy. We all know about Tom Brady and ‘Deflategate.’ It would not surprise me if many want the Patriots to lose because of that. Tom Brady still ranks as one of the top quarterbacks of the NFL and he will be very tough for the Falcons and their defense to bring him down. However the Falcons have excelled in scoring so they will give the Patriots a good fight.
The Falcons are the underdogs. Not just because they don’t have the same win-loss stats as the Patriots but because previous games have exposed their weaknesses. They are the top team of the NFL in terms of scoring but they finished the regular season second in the NFC.
If there’s one thing, the Falcons really came back in the playoffs. They won their Divisional Final against the Seahawks whom they lost to in regular season and they played brilliantly in their Conference Final against the Green Bay Packers. The Super Bowl will prove to be an interesting rivalry as the Patriots have the better defense but the Falcons are the better team at scoring. Also New England may have Tom Brady but Atlanta has Matt Ryan. This year, Ryan set a Falcons single-game record for throwing 503 yards and four touchdowns while teammate Julio Jones caught a team-record 300 yards and a touchdown and a win against the Panthers. So the Falcons know how to arrive.
Okay, one team has been to the Super Bowl many times while this is the second time for the other. One team played the best in the NFL in regular season and continues its brilliance. The other didn’t compare to the other in regular season but has played better than ever in the playoffs. In fact both teams performed brilliantly in their Conference Final wins.
So I predict the win to go to the New England Patriots. I predict the score to be 30-27 and I expect the Falcons to lead temporarily.
So there you have it. There’s my preview of Super Bowl LI. Kickoff to start at 5:30pm Texas time.
NOTE (Added Jan. 18/2016): Thank you to all the visitors to this post. I didn’t know I’d get so many all of a sudden. To thank you all for hitting this blog, I published my preview of Super Bowl 50 sooner than planned and it’s ready for you here.
Yes, Sunday February 1st will be Super Bowl Sunday. The game that’s both a major event for football fans and a media hype will feature the Seattle Seahawks against the New England Patriots at the University of Phoenix Stadium. Here’s what’s expected:
The XLIX Super Bowl was originally planned to be held in Arrowhead Stadium, home of the Kansas City Chiefs. However this was reliant on the installation of a retractable roof dependent on two sales taxes up for vote. That became something the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and several civic and business groups voted against. It took until 2011 to decide the host site of the University of Phoenix Stadium with an expandable capacity of 72,000. Idina Menzel, or ‘Adela Nazim’ as John Travolta pronounced it, will sing the national anthem.
The halftime show was a bit of a struggle to assemble performers together. Their original choices for the show sponsored by Pepsi Cola were Coldplay, Katy Perry and Rihanna. However difficulties arose when league representatives asked their agent if they would provide financial compensation in the form of an up-front fee or a cut from their post-Super Bowl concert revenue. At least that’s what the wall Street Journal tells us, as was the ‘chilly’ response from those involved. And NFL spokeswoman denied this but Katy Perry was the only one of the three who has agreed to perform at the halftime show. She will be headlining the show along with special guests Lenny Kravitz and Missy Elliot.
AND NOW A WORD…
With the Super Bowl comes the tradition of their one-of-a-kind commercialfest. It’s been a buzz for three decades possibly starting with Apple’s 1984 ad. Airing a 30-second commercial will cost $4.5 million: $500,000 more than last year and the year before. Although it’s to be expected for auto advertisers to have much of the air time, there will be a lot more first-time Super Bowl advertisers like Skittles, Carnival Cruise Lines, Loctite, Morphie and Wix.com amongst the ten newbies. Movie previews will be another major advertising commodity as Paramount, Universal, Walt Disney, 20th Century Fox and Lionsgate will be showcasing trailers for movies like Terminator Genesys, Jurassic World, Minions, The Fantastic Four and Tomorrowland.
One team is the last to win back-to-back championships back in 2005. One appears poised to become the first team since. Here’s how they fared this season:
New England Patriots
The Patriots began their regular season with a loss and ended with a loss. In between was an excellent season consisting of a total of twelve wins and four losses. That put them on par with the Denver Broncos on game stats but came out on top of the AFC because of point differentials. However they didn’t have as many decisive wins as the Seahawks did. Their playoffs started with a close 35-31 win over the Baltimore Ravens but their AFC Championship was a very decisive 45-7: their most decisive victory all year. That was enough to send a message to the Seahawks that they could just block their path to being repeat Super Bowl champions.
The Hawks were last year’s winners with the most decisive win since 1993. As for 2014, like the Patriots, the Seahawks had twelve wins and four losses. So did two other teams in the NFC but the Hawks came out on top because of point differentials, just like the Patriots. Their wins in the regular season have had wider margins than that of the Patriots. However things were different for the Hawks during playoff games. They had a 31-17 win over the Carolina Panthers for the Divisional championships and a 28-22 win in overtime over the Packers for the NFC Championships. That could put the Seahawks consistency in question and have people wondering if their luck.
MY PREDICTION FOR THE WIN
I’ll admit this is hard. It’s not like the CFL where all the teams play each other at least twice during the regular season. This is the NFL that’s loaded with more teams and is most often the case that the two Super Bowl contenders never met during the season, just like this year.
This is often the case where I would have to do a lot of reading up to decide. One thing to take note of is that both teams have had some key losses of players. Seahawks have lost Percy Harvin to trades and both Brandon Mebane and Jordan Hill to injury. Their replacement players don’t have the same defensive tackle and that could hurt if the Patriots are strong in the offense. The Patriots lost Jerod Mayo and Stevan Ridley to injury but have backup players can fill their shoes. On top of it, LeGarrette Blount has returned to the Patriots, giving the team a much-needed boost. I will have to give the win to the New England Patriots but I believe it will be a tight game that could result in low scoring. I predict the score to be 15-12.
So there you have it. My thoughts on tomorrow’s Super Bowl. The champion will be decided tomorrow night. Stay toond.