Hi, everyone! You’re getting this ~super premium~ content because we like you and, well, you should be prepared to watch the Super Bowl. But if you become a TipOff member here you’ll get a preview email like this before every event mentioned in the “Coming Up” section, plus player profiles and team profiles, depending on the level you sign up at. Anyway: Super Bowl!
It’s Super Bowl day! You might be going to a Super Bowl party! With other people! Who know more about this stuff than you! Don’t worry, you’ll be fine -- just read these basics, and if anyone really starts grilling you just fill your mouth with enough cheese dip that you can’t possibly answer.
The New England Patriots are the favorites over the L.A. Rams, but only slightly. There have been million-dollar-plus bets placed on each team in the last few days, because that is how you invest wisely.
There hasn’t been that much hype about this Super Bowl. That’s because there hasn’t been much new to talk about. The Patriots, including quarterback Tom Brady and coach Bill Belichick, are in the Super Bowl for the third straight year (they won two years ago, and lost to the Eagles last year), and for the ninth time since 2002, so we know their deal. The Rams, who, like many an aspiring actor, just moved to L.A. two years ago, don’t yet have much of a fan base.
Everyone outside New England wants the Rams to win. If you’re not from New England, hating the Patriots is just a thing you do. It’s part pure jealous hateration -- no NFL franchise has ever had a run like what the Pats have been on for the last 17 years. But it’s part justified -- over the years, the Pats have been caught cheating several times, with colorfully named scandals including Spygate (where they were caught illegally videotaping opposing coaches during games) and Deflategate (where they were maybe caught deflating footballs to make them easier to catch -- that one’s actually a bit murky).
- The stars! You should know the stars. For the Pats, it’s 41-year-old legend Tom Brady and then a huge drop-off. But you should also be aware of the once-great, now-declining-but-still-good party-monster known as “Gronk,” aka Rob Gronkowski. He’s been known to catch a clutch pass just when the announcers are saying how much worse he’s gotten.
For the Rams, it’s 24-year-old quarterback and NorCal dudebro Jared Goff, tackle machine Aaron Donald (named this year's Defensive Player of the Year just last night!), and known dirty player and fellow tackle machine Ndamukong Suh. Also there was a weird thing last game where star running back Todd Gurley barely played at all, even though he was healthy. TBD what’ll happen with him today.
Oh, and the coach matchup is interesting. The Pats’ Bill Belichick is a certified evil genius trying to become the oldest coach to ever win the Super Bowl, while the Rams’ wundercoach Sean McVay is trying to become the youngest (he’s 33).