The Super Bowl is many things to many people. It’s the culmination of a season’s worth of Thursdays, Sundays and Mondays for some. To others, it’s a social gathering or opportunity to catch a live concert at halftime. I’ve even been at parties where the commercials were the hottest topic of conversation. Whatever draws people in, the event is consistently the most-watched broadcast, hands-down. Of the 30 most-watched broadcasts of all time, 28 are Super Bowl games.
This year’s big game features the Cincinnati Bengals from the AFC and Los Angeles Rams from the NFC, as well as a boatload of storylines. At the top of the list, one head coach — Zac Taylor (Bengals) — is facing off against his old boss Sean McVay (Rams). Taylor was a Rams’ assistant coach during McVay’s first two seasons with the big whistle, then used their collective success as a springboard to the Bengals’ top job. Others under McVay have done the same and his coaching tree is growing with each hire.
“There’s a real movement here happening,” Colin Cowherd said on his daily FS1 show, “and Sean McVay is leading it. His guys are moving around the league. They’re verbal, they’re sharp, they’re into analytics and they get along with others.”
Both guys are still in their 30s, which is unheard of. It’s the youngest combined matchup in Super Bowl history and if McVay (36) wins, he’ll be the youngest to ever do so. On the other side, the proverbial student, Taylor (38), is looking to bring the first-ever Lombardi Trophy home to Cincinnati.
The quarterbacks, of course, are also a huge talking point. Neither have been in their positions long and that’s significant because it’s representative of another shift in the league. Good is no longer acceptable. Matthew Stafford is in his first season with the Rams, replacing a good-but-not-great Jared Goff. Joe Burrow is in his second season with Cincinnati, having been drafted to replace a good-but-not-great Andy Dalton. Your team could be close, but until they get the right guy at quarterback it’s extremely difficult to win.
Los Angeles, playing in their home stadium, is a 4.5-point favorite going into the showdown — though Cincinnati has proved to be a popular underdog. The Super Bowl is always a major holiday for sports bettors and this year more states have legalized the hobby than ever. Here in the DMV area there are plenty of options if you’re compelled to make the game a little more interesting, including the D.C. Lottery-sponsored GambetDC app or one of their many retail kiosks.
If you’ve never bet before, the Super Bowl is the perfect time to try. There are many prop bets offered, such as betting on the coin toss, national anthem or halftime show.
Speaking of the halftime show, this could very well be the best ever. Being in Los Angeles, they’re paying homage to hip-hop culture with legends Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Eminem and Mary J. Blige, as well as Kendrick Lamar, one of the genre’s current heavyweights. Odds are out for what will be the first song played, with the iconic “California Love” by Dre and Tupac being the favorite, per OddsChecker. I’m not sure what they’ll end up leading with — but I do know if Snoop Dogg lights up on stage at any point, I’ve got a winning ticket.
Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. ET on NBC on Sunday, February 13. For more information and streaming options, visit here.
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