Superbowl LI: What to expect from one of sport’s biggest spectacles

Tom Brady of the New England Patriots (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

THERE is nothing quite like it in the world of sport.

It is the moment when sports, entertainment and showbiz come together and a whole nation stops. It can only be the Super Bowl.

Tomorrow will be the 51st staging of American Football’s showcase game, with all eyes on the NRG Stadium in Houston.

Last year, there was an average of 111 million viewers in the US, which peaked at 167 million. And there are countless millions watching around the world, too.

As there are so many people glued to their screens, even the commercials are a big deal. A 30-second ad can cost up to $5 million to broadcast.

And when the players have a rest, there is the famous Half-Time show.

It’s a 12-minute slot for one of the world’s biggest bands or artists to perform to the biggest audience they will ever have.

The Rolling Stones, U2, Bruce Springsteen and Madonna have all done it. This year, it’s Lady Gaga.

But it’s all part of the Super Bowl’s attraction. It’s what makes it such an unmissable event in the American calendar.

If you don’t like the game, you’ll enjoy the entertainment, and you want to know what the ads will be.

And it’s just a great excuse to get together with your friends or family, with your pizza, chicken wings, nachos and a few beers and take in this iconic event.

As for the game itself, the 2017 Super Bowl is a battle between old and new as New England Patriots take on Atlanta Falcons.

The Patriots will appear in a record ninth Super Bowl, with their record being four wins and four losses.

The Boston side also have the most-famous player in American Football in star quarterback Tom Brady.

The 39-year-old has been the inspiration behind the Patriots for nearly two decades.

He will appear in his seventh Super Bowl — the most by any quarter-back in NFL history.

In tandem with coach Bill Belichick, the Patriots have become the most-consistent franchise in the sport, with 14 play-off appearances in the last 16 seasons.

At 6ft 4ins, Brady cuts a classic figure on the field as he directs the play. Expect TV cameras to regularly drift into the crowd for shots of his supermodel wife, Gisele Bundchen, and their two children.

But he has not been without controversy. The Patriots man missed four games this season because of suspension for his role in “Deflate-gate”.

In the 2015 AFC Championship game, Brady was found guilty of knowingly using footballs which had been slightly deflated, making them easier to throw and catch.

It took more than 18 months to reach a conclusion before the quarterback was punished. While he has been welcomed back with open arms in Boston, the rest of America has not been so forgiving.

Atlanta Falcons reached the Super Bowl once before in 1999, when they lost to Denver Broncos, so they are looking to write a special chapter in their own history.

It will fall on their quarterback Matt Ryan to out-perform Brady to take the trophy back to Georgia.

Coverage in the UK is live on BBC2 and Sky, with the match getting under way around 11.30pm.

It lasts around four hours, even though there are only 60 minutes of playing time. but it’s a spectacle that is more than worth the red eyes the day after!

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