By Ryan Croke
Every year, the National Football League hosts the largest television event in the United States in the first week of February: the Super Bowl. The NFL championship draws millions upon millions of fans every year, and it is a gold mine for revenue. The amount of people that watch the big game each year is enough that 30-second commercials during last year’s broadcast cost 5.6 million dollars, which is more than most NFL players make on a year’s salary. Why do so many people watch it? The answer, of course, is because of the game. Football is, by far, the most popular sport in America and the game is simply entertaining to watch. People across the nation tune in to see an entertaining football game on the biggest stage imaginable. What could be better than that?
This year’s matchup is particularly interesting, and with many people stuck in their own home with nothing to do in quarantine, the NFL should be expecting a spike in viewership compared to last year. The two teams competing for the Lombardi Trophy in Super Bowl LV are the reigning champion Kansas City Chiefs out of the AFC, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers out of the NFC. While the Chiefs are returning to the Super Bowl after winning it last year, the Buccaneers are looking for their first championship since 2003. The Chiefs, led by a dominant offensive unit, have steamrolled their opponents all season long, and have continued to do so during the playoffs. Tampa Bay struggled a bit during the regular season, but have come together as a powerhouse at just the right time. Their offense is packed with firepower from top to bottom, but their defense has been the reason for their playoff success. They have dominated every matchup so far, but now they face the best offense in football. The Chiefs are the favorites to win back to back titles, and their dominant offense is surely the reason for this. However, I am going to pick Tampa Bay to win their second Super Bowl in franchise history. The game will surely be entertaining, and there are also many different storylines in this year’s installment , only adding to the appeal.
Tampa Bay shocked the world this offseason by signing the greatest to ever do it, the now 43-year-old Tom Brady, to be their new quarterback after his 20 season tenure leading a dynasty with the New England Patriots. They added even more weapons to an already stacked offensive unit, and their investments have paid off, as they went from a 7-9 team the previous year to NFC champions playing for a Lombardi Trophy. Brady was able to win a record 6 super bowls in New England, the most ever by a single player. He searches for a 7th ring this year in Tampa Bay to achieve ultimate greatness. On the other side of the spectrum are the Kansas City Chiefs, led by Patrick Mahomes, who after only three years as a starter has been called the most talented player to ever throw a football. He has done nothing but surprise and impress in his short career so far, and he is hoping to add back-to-back Super Bowl champion to his already impressive resumé. In fact, the last player to win two championship games in a row was Brady, back in 2004 and 2005. In Mahomes’ quest to catch the greatest of all time, back-to-back championships would certainly propel him closer to reaching Brady’s level. However, some have called this a must-win game for Mahomes, and losing to a 43-year-old Brady near the end of his storied career would even eliminate any shot he had at surpassing the Buccaneers quarterback as the best to ever do it.
Regardless of the outcome, this year’s Super Bowl will be an entertaining one as always, and will most certainly draw the biggest viewership of any program this year. The storylines surrounding this game, the strength of the two teams competing for ultimate glory, and The Weeknd performing at halftime all add up to what should culminate in an incredible few hours of television, and I am certainly looking forward to the big game on Sunday.