Bowled over by the NFL? Don’t know your touchdowns from your tackles?
Not to worry.
The Breaker have compiled a guide to Sunday’s Super Bowl that’ll have you picking plays in no time…
Super Bowl LII (that’s 52) will take place in the U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota on Sunday 4 February 2018.
This year the two teams fighting it out for the Vince Lombardi Trophy are the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles.
Some background: the New England Patriots – led by the legendary quarterback Tom Brady – are favoured by the bookies. The Patriots are the defending champions and are chasing their third title in four years. Brady himself is playing in an unsurpassed eighth Super Bowl – not bad for the 199th pick in the 2000 NFL Draft.
Their opponents from Philadelphia are a significantly longer shot. However, pigs (or Eagles) could fly. The team from the City of Brotherly Love have defied expectations throughout their journey to the big show, so don’t be surprised if they put up a fight.
In fact, the Eagles have bought into their reputation as underdogs so much that they’ve started wearing canine masks…
— Lane Johnson (@Lanejohnson65) January 14, 2018
This might get complicated, so pay attention.
NFL (that’s National Football League) games are made up of four quarters of 15 minutes. The ultimate aim is to score more points than your opponent, which can be achieved by scoring touchdowns, conversions and field goals. Touchdowns are scored when a team carries the ball into the opposition’s end zone; conversions and field goals are scored by kicking the ball through the posts situated at either end of the field (conversions can also be scored by running the ball into the end zone, but that’s a bit technical).
Downs are the most important part of the game. The offensive team moves the ball forward in sections of at least 10 yards. They have four chances (or downs) to gain those 10 yards. Each time the ball is advanced at least 10 yards within their four chances another first down is earned, with four more chances to go a further 10 yards until you reach the end zone. If the offensive team fails to move 10 yards within four downs they have to give away possession. However, the ball is often kicked to the defending team on fourth down.
Each team is allocated three time-outs per half, which can be used tactically.
Squads are divided into offensive and defensive units. Within each unit are a variety of positions, with the quarterback being the most well known. However, there are also running backs, tailbacks (not like on the M25) and a whole host of others, so there’s lots to keep your eye on.
You can find out more below:
The Halftime Show:
From Beyonce to Bruno, the Super Bowl’s seen it all.
Halftime shows have become legendary, with each year bringing a new act trying to outdo the last.
This year sees the return of Justin Timberlake, who wrote his name into Super Bowl folklore when, in 2004, he caused Janet Jackson to have a wardrobe malfunction in front of a reported 144 million viewers.
— Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake) January 30, 2018
Previous years have seen all manner of artists performing, including Coldplay, Katy Perry and Prince to name a few.
How To Watch:
The Super Bowl kicks off at 11:30PM UK time on Sunday evening, and will be broadcast on BBC One and Sky Sports.
If you only want to see JT strut his stuff then halftime is usually at around 12:45AM, although this depends on the length of the first half.
Fun Fact: did you know that commercials (that’s adverts) during the Super Bowl are sold at a premium rate. It’s reported that any company wanting to showcase their brand during this year’s event will have to stump up $2.2 million for a 30-second spot.