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The Fun Facts of Super Bowl LII

Ian Wallace, Columnist

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A preview of the dynasties, underdogs, venues, and more at Sunday’s Super Bowl LII.  

Super Bowl LII on Sunday, February 4, 2018, will begin at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on NBC.  The game will feature the two best National Football League franchises in the country based on the results of a three-round playoff bracket.  The New England Patriots will play the Philadelphia Eagles at US. Bank stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota to fight for the Vince Lombardi Trophy, but the fun facts of Super Bowl LII extend beyond the game itself.

Last year, the television viewership for Super Bowl LI was 111.3 million people, nearly a third of the population of the United States.  These viewership numbers are thirteen times that of the Australian Football League Grand Final, but are amazingly less than one eighth of the FIFA World Cup Final viewers.

USA Today Sports
Bill Belichick, Coach of the New England Patriots

In terms of the competition, Super Bowl LII looks exciting on paper.  Both the Patriots and the Eagles were the number one seeds going into the playoffs.  However, the Eagles have overcome far greater odds to reach the super bowl.  They bounced back from a 7-9 record in 2016 to achieve a 13-3 regular season record.  Unfortunately, their star quarterback, Carson Wentz, suffered a torn ACL mid season leading to underdog status for two consecutive playoff games (both teams in the Super Bowl had first round byes).  As a result of the injury, for the first time ever in the NFL playoffs the number six seed Atlanta Falcons were favored to win the second round of the playoffs against the number one seeded Eagles.  Despite the odds, the Eagles were able to pull upset victories against the Falcons and against the Minnesota Vikings in a dominating fashion.  The New England Patriots on the other hand were favored to win both their playoff games with the same regular season of 13-3.  However, their most recent playoff win was closer than expected  The Patriots made up a deficit of ten points in the 4th quarter, but the close victory along with heavy betting for the Eagles has led the Westgate SuperBook to put the spread at only -4.5 points in favor of the Patriots.

Nick Foles, Eagles Quarterback

The venue, US Bank Stadium, will be beefed up for the special event.  The stadium is state-of-the-art, but it still requires upgrades to be able to broadcast the Super Bowl around the globe.  Temporary press boxes, an NBC football set, and most importantly a lighting fixture and temporary stage for the halftime show.  During the halftime show, Justin Timberlake and his crew will have six minutes to set up and take apart the stage.  In comparison, most stadium to concert transitions can take up to 24 hours to complete.  During the six minutes, NBC will air commercials that are expected to be priced at a whopping $5 million for 30 seconds.

So enjoy the consumerism, shout “Dilly Dilly!” during the $5 million Bud Light commercials, and enjoy the Super Bowl for the game, the halftime show, the commercials, the venue, and/or its intriguing statistics.

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