America will come to a standstill on Sunday as the San Francisco 49ers take on the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV at the Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens.
The 49ers defeated the Green Bay Packers 37-20 to win the NFC Championship and secure their first Super Bowl appearance since 2013, when they lost 34-31 to the Baltimore Ravens.
San Francisco have won the trophy five times but their last success came all of 25 years ago when they beat the San Diego Chargers in Super Bowl XXIX, also held in Miami.
The Chiefs beat the Tennessee Titans 35-24 in the AFC Championship game to secure a first Super Bowl ticket in 50 years – the biggest appearance gap in Super Bowl history. Kansas City appeared in the first Super Bowl, back in 1967, but last took part in the big game in 1970.
This will be the sixth Super Bowl hosted in Miami Gardens, the last being 10 years ago.
When and where it’s on
SuperBowl LIV kicks off at 11:30pm UK time and will be broadcast live, including halftime show, on Sky Sports and BBC One.
The early betting favours the Kansas City Chiefs and a high-scoring contest. Trying to orchestrate an upset for San Francisco will be 40-year-old coach Kyle Shanahan, whose father Mike won consecutive Super Bowls in 1997 and ’98 when head coach of the Denver Broncos.
Four years ago, when Kyle was the newly appointed, young offensive coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons, he helped to steer his team to the Super Bowl and into a 28-3 lead over the New England Patriots.
However, Shanahan was criticised for being too aggressive late in the game, which resulted in the Falcons losing 34-28 in overtime.
In contrast, in the opposite dug-out will be 61-year-old veteran Andy Reid, who won the Super Bowl as an assistant coach with the Green Bay Packers in 1996 but lost his only one as head coach when with Philadelphia Eagles in 2004.
Reid will be trying to cap off an epic career with the Super Bowl victory he deserves.
Unusually, this is a Super Bowl between two teams nobody really hates! Most years there’s a team of “Big-time Charlies” who most armchair fans love to root against – like Tom Brady’s Patriots in recent years and Dallas in the 1990s – but neither the Chiefs nor the 49ers stoke that kind of passion.
However, both sides love to play attacking football so it’s unlikely it will be trench warfare.
Stars to look out for on the 49ers team are quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who has a huge non-football following because of his striking good looks and colourful dating background, and bone-rattling tight end George Kittle.
On the other side of the field, there’s quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the son of a Major League Baseball pitcher, who’s already one of the faces of the league, and 30-year-old Travis Kelce, the most consistent tight end in the business.
Now, the important stuff. Who’s doing the half-time show?
Some 12 months ago Rihanna refused to perform in protest against the treatment of Colin Kaepernick, a former 49ers quarterback who sparked a storm when he protested by kneeling for the national anthem and is currently without a team.
She was replaced by Maroon 5, Travis Scott and Big Boi, and the performances were widely panned.
This year the organisers have engaged Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, both of whom have the Latin American heritage that is so prevalent in Miami and both of whom are eye-catching mainstream performers.
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