It is Sunday, February 3. The New England Patriots are playing the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII. Game on. While fans of the New Orleans Saints and Kansas City Chiefs wish they were in rain-soaked Atlanta, they are instead focusing on the NFL draft in Nashville. For everyone else, it is the biggest game of the year.
As we get ready for the greatest spectacle in professional sports, three big questions surround the matchup:
- 1. Will the Officials Play a Major Role in the Outcome of the Game? As we all know, there were some very controversial calls in both conference games and the Zebras definitely changed the outcome of both games. John Parry, in his 12th season as a referee, will lead the officiating crew for the game. Instant replay has been a debate ever since they started televising games back in the 1940s. but is a welcome addition in Atlanta as we watch to see if Parry and crew can get it right.
- 2. How Important Will the Running Game Be? Everyone is talking about the QBs, but it is interesting to consider the role of the running game. We all know the Patriots lit up the Chiefs with their ground game. Likewise, the Rams also has been rock solid on the ground with C.J. Anderson and the elite Todd Gurley. The Pats will look to keep Goff off the field just as they did with Mahomes. Will the running game and TOP be the unheralded post-game topic? Will it be the “last team with the ball” wins?
- 3. Who has the Better Storyline: the Upstart Rams or the iconic Pats? The Patriots are the team that everyone in New England expects to win and the rest of the country is rooting against from the sound of the gun. At the same time, the Rams are a new franchise with limited roots in LA and mixed familiarity for most fans. In addition, they are plagued by a set of players like Marcus Peters that represent the kind of loudmouth posturing that many fans detest. It is hard, therefore, to easily pick one storyline over the other. In the end, I think you have to give a slight edge to the G.O.A.T. You can love him or hate him, but it is hard to disrespect one of the greatest player in the history of the NFL (if not any professional sport). Can he add another Super Bowl ring?
I am still reeling from the Chiefs defeat at the hands of Belichick and Brady. But this one may well be a game for the ages. It is must-see TV and I am betting that there will be hundreds of millions tuning in to see if B&B can do it again.