Column: This is a Super Bowl LI preview


A fan holds a sign during opening night for the NFL Super Bowl 51 football game between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons at Minute Maid Park Monday, Jan. 30, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

This Sunday, Super Bowl LI will pit the New England Patriots against the Atlanta Falcons in Houston to decide this season’s NFL champion. Here is an incomplete list of things that will happen on that day.

1. There will be a pregame show that lasts for many, many hours. You will learn more about New England receiver Chris Hogan’s life than you would ever care to know. Did you know that he once played lacrosse? You will know that he once played lacrosse.

2. The FOX analysts will compete pregame to see who can make the most incorrect predictions about the upcoming game, while saying the word “football” an excessive amount of times.

3. The Patriots and Falcons will enter the field through massively expensive inflatable gates.

4. Quarterbacks Matt Ryan and Tom Brady will make non-speaking appearances in pre-taped hype videos. Ryan will be tossing the ball up in the air and back to himself awkwardly while smiling politely into the camera. Brady will glare semi-aggressively with the ball gripped in one hand.

5. Luke Bryan will perform the national anthem while many Americans Google “Luke Bryan.”

6. Brady will compete his first three passes to open receivers.

7. The first commercial will be an advertisement for Bud Light. Like this article, the commercial will try way too hard to be funny.

8. New England safety Devin McCourty will intercept a Ryan deep ball.

9. Atlanta pass rusher Vic Beasley will draw a crucial holding penalty to stall a promising Patriots drive, leading to a lengthy Stephen Gostkowski field goal try. Either broadcaster Joe Buck or Troy Aikman, who are calling the game for FOX, will mention Gostkowski’s minor struggles this season, before he boots it right down the middle.

10. Speaking of those two, Buck will make at least one exciting play sound banal. Aikman will attempt no less than 17 insightful observations that dissolve into useless word salad.

11. FOX will air a corny graphic between Atlanta offensive plays that loosely compares various Falcons to popular Atlanta rappers. You will cringe at their “Bad and Boujee” pun.

12. Doritos will air a disgusting fan-submitted commercial as I eat Doritos.

13. Ryan will put together an impressive nine-play scoring drive right before the half.

14. Halftime act Lady Gaga will stay true to her word and perform without bringing out any surprise guests. Her performance will involve high-wire acrobatics and will receive inane FCC complaints to be eventually compiled in a BuzzFeed story.

15. Brady will complete a 16-yard touchdown pass to tight end Martellus Bennett on the Patriots’ first possession of the second half.

16. Bill Simmons will then somehow compare Bennett to a character from an ‘80s romantic comedy and Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas in the same tweet.

17. Atlanta wide receiver Julio Jones will make an incredibly athletic catch, prompting tens of thousands of fans to say, rightfully, that Jones is the best wide receiver in the NFL.

18. You will lose your score pool.

19. Atlanta head coach Dan Quinn will make an aggressive strategic decision early in the fourth quarter, which will be praised by statistics guys the day after, but the decision will be executed poorly. The Patriots, coached ruthlessly and efficiently by the greatest head coach in football history, will snuff out the play and come up with a big stop.

20. There will be commercials for “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” “Wonder Woman” and “Spider-Man: Homecoming.” Yes, they’re rebooting “Spider-Man” again.

21. New England cornerback Malcolm Butler’s interception from Super Bowl XLIX will be replayed from five different angles when returning from a fourth quarter commercial break, while knockoff Hollywood blockbuster music plays dramatically.

22. Brady will lead the Patriots on a quick scoring drive late in the game, putting New England up by six points with a few minutes left.

23. Ryan’s pass on 4th-and-9 from the Atlanta 45-yard line with 42 seconds left will fall incomplete, allowing New England to take a knee and run out the clock on their fifth Super Bowl victory.

24. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s presentation of the Lombardi trophy to Brady and New England owner Robert Kraft will not be nearly as uncomfortable as everyone made it out to be. Goodell will, however, leave the field promptly.

25. The city of Boston will sleep well again.

Tyler Keating is associate sports editor for The Daily Campus, covering football and men’s basketball. He can be reached via email at He tweets @tylerskeating.

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