Super Bowl LVI crash course

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Even if you know nothing about sports, you’ve probably seen the Super Bowl. It’s a great excuse to get together with friends and family, eat junk food and oh yeah, watch football. Whether you want to impress your friends at a Super Bowl party or are content to watch Twitter’s halftime highlights, here is everything you need to know about the 56th Super Bowl. 

First off, the basics: This Sunday, Feb. 13, the Cincinnati Bengals will face off against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi. Surprisingly, there is no big controversy surrounding the game this year — probably because most fans expected to watch completely different teams. This should make for an enjoyable night of football, food and fun. 

So, who’s going to win? The Rams are the stronger team on paper. With such great players, it’s not much of a surprise they made it to the Super Bowl. This is not their first rodeo — they have been to the Super Bowl multiple times, although the last two times they went, they lost to Tom Brady. They did, however, win the Super Bowl in 1999 against the Titans. 

Another important note: the game will take place at SoFi, the Rams’ brand-new home stadium. This is only the second time an NFL team has played at its home stadium in the Super Bowl. The first time was just last year in Tampa when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Kansas City Chiefs. This year, the Rams will be in the comfort of their own city and fans, giving them yet another bit of an edge. 

The Bengals shocked many football fans — and probably the players themselves — by making it this far in the season. Often referred to as the “Bungles” — “bungle,” as in “to act clumsy and incompetent” — the team has a much less impressive track record than the Rams. They have only been to the Super Bowl twice, the last time being a long 34 years ago in 1988, and they have never won the game. Fun fact: they were ranked as the second-to-last team to win according to betting odds at the beginning of the season. They truly proved their worth when they made arguably the biggest comeback of the season against the Chiefs. The Bengals were losing 21-3 in the first half, yet they managed to push the game into overtime and secure the win. A true underdog, they have the potential to pull through and surprise us yet again this weekend. One thing’s for sure: Nothing is for certain until the clock hits 00:00. 

Let’s compare the backbones of the team: the quarterbacks. Both quarterbacks are new to their respective teams. Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford is in his first year with the Rams. He was formerly the quarterback for the inferior Detroit Lions. Many fans are rooting for Stafford, as although he’s been stuck on limiting teams, he’s a great player. Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow is new to the team this season. In the game that determined the Bengals’ Super Bowl eligibility, Burrow impressively took down Patrick Mahomes of the Chiefs, proving himself to be a real threat to watch out for. 

Enough about football: What would a Super Bowl be without its iconic halftime show and commercials? This year you can expect to see a variety of hip-hop talent including Dr. Dre, Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, Eminem and Mary J. Blige. Charlie Puth teased a surprise guest, so keep an eye out for an addition to the lineup. Next up is commercials: Although they are called commercial “breaks,” you won’t want to miss out. The commercials are arguably one of the most entertaining parts of the night. An Uber Eats commercial will star celebrities eating bizarre items, including Gwyneth Paltrow with her “This Smells Like My Vagina” candle. The Super Bowl commercials are nothing short of crazy, so if you’re looking for a wild ride, you’ll find it here. 

Now that you’ve had a Super Bowl crash course, you’re sure to impress your friends and roommates with your football knowledge. As neither team was the favorite going into this year, there’s no clear team to root for. The Rams may be more likely to win, but the Bengals are the classic underdog, so take your pick. If you forget all the details, just know you can spot the Bengals in black and orange and the Rams in blue and yellow. Cheer for whoever’s scoring the touchdowns, and you’ll be good to go! 

There are still tickets available, so if you’re feeling impulsive, you can fly to LA and watch the game for the small price of $3,850. Luckily, there’s also the much cheaper option of viewing it live on NBC or Peacock with a free trial or subscription. You can tune in to watch the Bengals v. Rams in Superbowl LVI this Sunday, Feb. 13, 2022 at 6:30 p.m. Enjoy the game! 

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