Today is Super Bowl Sunday, the day of the national championship for American football. This year the New England Patriots will play the Los Angeles Rams in Atlanta for the National Football League’s (NFL) Vince Lombardi Trophy.
This will be the 11th time the Patriots compete in the Super Bowl, and the third straight year they’ve contended for the title. They lost last year’s game to the Philadelphia Eagles.
It’s the fourth appearance for the Rams, who last played in the Super Bowl in 2002 when they were defeated by the Patriots. At that time the Rams were based in St. Louis, Missouri.
The Super Bowl is one of the most-watched television events each year, as many Americans host or attend parties to watch the game. For many, the commercials shown during breaks in the action on the field are a bigger draw than the game itself. Many companies roll out new television ads created especially for the big game, and they pay big money to get those ads in front of viewers. This year a 30-second advertising spot will cost more than $5 million, according to AdWeek.
The halftime show is also another big draw for many people. This year the NFL had some difficulty finding big-name performers for the show. Several performers, including Jay-Z, Cardi B and Rihanna, spurned the league’s offer to appear at the event as a show of solidarity with Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick is a black player who accused the NFL of conspiring to keep teams from signing him because of his protests of racism and police brutality during the national anthem played before games.
Rappers Travis Scott and Big Boi, as well as the pop group Maroon 5, eventually signed on to perform, but Scott and Maroon 5 agreed to appear only after the league agreed to make contributions to various charities.