You’ve been invited to a Super Bowl party, but you know nothing about football. Here’s the down-and-dirty summary to get you through the day.
First of all, the game is a championship match between the winners of the National Football League’s American Football Conference and National Football Conference and is hosted in a different city each year. This year, it’s at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
Second, the two teams playing in Super Bowl LVII are the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs. The Eagles are midnight green and silver; the Chiefs are red and gold.
This is the sink or swim moment…if you live here and don’t know this one, you could be relegated to cleaning the dishes. Jalen Hurts originally played for Alabama and was a superstar starter for two seasons but he was benched for backup quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in the middle of the 2017 National Title Game, obviously on national television. It would be like a famous musician being nominated for a Grammy and everyone thinks you’ll win, but the newcomer knocks you out of the running. Clemson won that year.
(Insert newcomer question: “But why do people in Pensacola, Florida care about Alabama? This area is known as Lower Alabama because it’s just a stone’s throw away. Lots of Alabama fans live here. We don’t make the rules, we just report them.)
Anyway, this is what’s so beautiful about sports: there are comeback tales and sentimental stories of redemption around every corner. If bench sitting was a contest, Jalen Hurts won it. He was the best backup quarterback he could be, offering support to the one who took his place. And it was just the thing that may have propelled him to the Super Bowl. He went on to finish his college football career at The University of Oklahoma, with an impressive vote of 2nd in the running for the Heisman Trophy.
In the 2020 draft, he was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles and three years later, he’s on the main stage. Lots of people around here will be cheering for Jalen and now you know why.
Patrick Mahomes, a former Texas Tech football AND baseball player, will quarterback for the Chiefs. At age 24, he became the youngest quarterback ever to win Most Valuable Player of the Super Bowl. And for 2023, he won the MVP for the entire NFL. Most everyone likes him, he has a ton of endorsements, and he already sports a Super Bowl ring from 2020.
The biggest conversation piece is the fact that three years ago, he signed a 10-year $450 million contract and some would say he’s undervalued. As a regular ole person, I don’t even know where to begin.
Third, here is a handy football dictionary that will help you understand a blitz and the line of scrimmage. You’ll also get an explanation of the difference between a shotgun and a wildcat formation.
Fourth, if all of that is too much, you’ve got three saving graces: the ads, the national anthem, and the halftime show. The very first blockbuster Super Bowl ad was a million-dollar production and run for the Apple Macintosh personal computer in 1984. Due to its large audience, Super Bowl ads are known for product launches, societal reflections, and being completely memorable.
The national anthem will be performed by 8-time Grammy award winner Chris Stapleton and the halftime show will be Rhianna, in her first performance in seven years. Although it is customary for halftime performers not to be paid, the artists have the enormous benefit of performing in front of a huge audience. Tomorrow’s viewers will be over 192 million.
The biggest thing to know about watching the Super Bowl is that you don’t have to have it all figured out just to have a good time. Pick a team, eat great food, and spend a fun night with people you like. In the end, that’s what it’s really all about.