Four months of football has led to this Sunday. The 2019 Super Bowl is almost here and even people who are, at best, occasional fans are likely to spend some time watching the New England Patriots take on the Los Angeles Rams.
All totaled, more than 100 million people tuned in to watch last year’s game (or, in some cases, the commercials in between the game). It is, annually, the biggest event on television in the United States. But if you’re just a casual fan of the NFL or looking to get some basic information as you plan your Super Bowl party, it helps to get up to speed.
We’re here to help. Here’s your FAQ (of sorts) for Super Bowl LIII.
What time does the 2019 Super Bowl start?
Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. E.T. on Sunday, Feb. 3. But pre-game programming on CBS will start at 11:30 a.m.
Who is playing in the 2019 Super Bowl?
The New England Patriots, who have been to the Super Bowl nine times since Tom Brady took over as quarterback, will face the Los Angeles Rams, who haven’t been to the game since 2000. Brady and coach Bill Belichick have won five big games so far and are eager to capture their sixth. Rams coach Sean McVay is looking to start a legacy of his own, though.
Where is the 2019 Super Bowl being held?
Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which is usually home to the Falcons, will host its first Super Bowl. Opened in 2017, the stadium has been widely praised for, of all things, its concession prices. Sodas (in refillable cups) cost $2. Beers are just $5. Pretzels, hot dogs and popcorn are $2. And a cheeseburger is just $5. (The stadium plans to keep that pricing, even during the big game.)
Who is doing the Super Bowl halftime show?
Maroon 5 will headline the mid-game entertainment, with Big Boi and Travis Scott joining them as guests. The band, which has sold more than 53 million albums and 48 million singles, has a huge catalog of hits, including “She Will Be Loved,” “Harder to Breathe,” “Moves Like Jagger,” and “Sugar.”
There was some controversy about the halftime performance, though. Officials tried to get Rihanna as the featured performer, but she turned them down to show support for Colin Kaepernick.
Atlanta native Gladys Knight, by the way, will sing the National Anthem.
Which team is favored to win the 2019 Super Bowl?
Odds makers are going with experience this year. The Patriots are currently 2.5-point favorites over the Rams. The over/under on the game is 56.5 points. (If you’re betting based on history, New England has won their five Super Bowls by an average margin of 3.8 points.)
Which team won the Madden 2019 Super Bowl simulation?
EA’s Madden NFL video game series has proven to be one of the most eerily accurate predictors of Super Bowl victors, picking the winner in 10 of the past 15 games. For Super Bowl 53, the game is predicting the Rams will squeeze out a 30-27 victory over the Patriots.
What are the most anticipated 2019 Super Bowl commercials?
Super Bowl commercials can quickly become pop culture touchstones. Think back to such classics as the E*trade baby or Budweiser’s Bud Bowl and “Whassup” campaigns, for example. This year’s advertisers include Bud (natch), Pepsi, Burger King (back for the first time since 2006), Planters Peanuts and the Bumble Dating app.
Recognizing that the competition is tough among the ads, many companies have “leaked” their Super Bowl commercials early. Here are some of the most entertaining:
Expect, also, for certain big summer films to debut their trailers during the game, though those are typically surprises.