The Super Bowl: one game, two teams, and millions of viewers eager to witness thrilling competition, star-studded halftime performances, slightly above-average advertisements, the list goes on. An integral part of the institution of professional sports, the Super Bowl is inextricably woven into the fabric of American culture. While some may don the colors of their favorite team and scream at the television for hours, others may simply look forward to the opportunity to gather with friends, and may truthfully be more concerned with the outcome of the Puppy Bowl. Regardless, this year our hometown heroes, the Philadelphia Eagles, will face off against 2020 Super Bowl champs, the Kansas City Chiefs, during Super Bowl LVII in Glendale, Arizona. For those who weren’t able to witness all the action leading up to the big game, here is a tl;dw (too long; didn’t watch) of all the pertinent information you need to know in order to convincingly pass as a diehard NFL fan for whichever Super Bowl party you attend.
As per usual, the NFL playoffs kicked off with a plethora of exciting wildcard games. In the American Football Conference (AFC), the Jacksonville Jaguars proved victorious in a 1-point (28-27) win over the Baltimore Ravens. Joe Burrow and the Bengals enjoyed a hearty W over the Baltimore Ravens, while the Miami Dolphins suffered a loss at the hooves of the Buffalo Bills. For the National Football Conference (NFC) wildcard games, the Cowboys of Dallas bested Brady’s Buccaneers as San Francisco stomped the Seattle Seahawks. Meanwhile, Minnesota was made into mincemeat by the New York Giants, thereby concluding the wildcard round of the NFL playoffs.
Unable to maintain the momentum from their Wildcard win, the Jaguars were outplayed by the #1 seed, the Kansas City Chiefs, in the first of two divisional AFC games. As for the other divisional AFC game, the Cincinnati Bengals defeated the Buffalo Bills 27-10 in inclement conditions. Philadelphia’s Eagles triumphed over the Giants of New York while San Francisco defeated Dallas in the divisional NFC games.
Just this past Sunday, we were privileged to witness two very exciting games in the Conference Championships. Our very own Eagles handily prevailed over the 49ers in the NFC, enjoying a sizable 31-7 victory. The Chiefs of Kansas City came out with a narrow win over the Bengals, establishing themselves as AFC champions and paving the way to Super Bowl LVII.
As for what to expect this coming Sunday, Super Bowl LVII will certainly feature strong contributions from the quarterbacks of both teams. Super Bowl LIV MVP Patrick Mahomes has been a reliable QB for Kansas City throughout the regular season as well as the playoffs. Meanwhile, Jalen Hurts, the Eagles’ quarterback, has played an integral role in the team’s breakout season and Super Bowl pursuit. In addition to Mahomes, Chiefs’ tight end Travis Kelce, and running back Isiah Pacheco are due for strong offensive performances during the big game. On the contrary, Philly fans should expect running back Boston Scott and wide receiver A.J. Brown to support Hurts on the offensive end. However, both teams are known for their formidable defenses as well and will likely attempt to apprehend the opposition’s advances at every opportunity.
Perhaps not the first word that’s traditionally associated with football, but viewers should prepare for a rather … awkward game. The Kelce brothers (Jason Kelce, Eagles’ center and Travis Kelce, Chiefs’ tight end) will be vying for a Super Bowl ring this coming Sunday, putting Donna and Ed Kelce, the parents of the brothers, between a rock and a hard place. If that isn’t uncomfortable enough, Andy Reid, former coach of the Eagles, will be in attendance at the Super Bowl … coaching the Kansas City Chiefs. Some Philly sports fans explain how this leaves them with a lingering, dissonant feeling, similar to an ex-lover-like animosity, as they recall rooting for the Philadelphia Eagles under Reid’s reign just a few years ago.
So there you have it, a hard and fast summary of the NFL playoffs thus far. Whether you plan on surrounding yourself with your closest friends and chanting “Fly Eagles fly!” from dusk till dawn or only tuning in for Rihanna’s halftime show, Super Bowl LVII may just be one for the ages.