Yes, we know that 41-year-old Tom Brady and 66-year-old Bill Belichick are the greatest quarterback/coach combination in NFL history and are appearing in their third straight Super Bowl and ninth overall.

How many more times we will have to hear that Brady and Jared Goff (24) of the LA Rams have the biggest age spread of starting quarterbacks in Super Bowl history?

In addition, the rumours won’t stop that Patriots Tight End Rob Gronkowski is preparing to play what might be his last NFL game.

Of course, New Orleans Saints fans won’t let anyone forget that their team and not the Rams should be in Atlanta to represent the NFC (if not for one of the worst non-calls in playoff history).

But enough is enough!

Can we just ignore Super Bowl Hype and get on with THE GAME.

After two weeks of hoopla, Super Bowl 53 kicks off on Sunday (3:30PM PST) from Atlanta.

On this day, millions of North Americans will be partying, eating food, sitting in front of large screen TV’s, and of course, enjoying the most anticipated football game of the year.

Whether one lives in Prince George, B.C., Victoria, B.C., Victoria, Ontario, Victoria, Texas, or any other city, this four hour spectacle (including the lengthy half time show) has evolved into a North American tradition.

Indeed, this is a time when fans and non-fans alike will tune in and try to experience the excitement of the biggest extravaganza in North American sports.

Other leagues shut down because of a game that will be seen by a bigger audience than any other event.

Last year’s Super Bowl drew 103.4 million viewers on NBC Sports TV and another 4.45 million viewers on the Canadian networks that carried the game.

When the NFL championship game for the Vince Lombardi Trophy is taking place, there will be no action in the NBA, NHL, WHL, or BCHL to name a few.

(The NBA, NHL and BCHL games on Sunday are scheduled to be completed before kickoff)

It is nearly impossible for this New England-LA Rams match-up to live up to its advanced billing.

Although it may turn out to be a great game, I can not imagine it will match the drama and intrigue of the Conference Championship games that both went into overtime.

Double-digit outcomes have decided 30 of the 52 Super Bowls, however when New England is involved, down to the wire games have become the norm.

The Patriots have won five Super Bowls, with the biggest margin of victory six points, and that was in 2017, the unforgettable 34-28 overtime decision over the Atlanta Falcons.

As strange as it may seem, New England has not scored a first quarter touchdown in the eight Super Bowls in the Brady/Belichick era.

The Patriots bring out passion unlike any other NFL team with the possible exception of the Dallas Cowboys.

You love them or hate them; there is very little in between.

The Rams may not be the most popular team (even in L.A.)  but more casual fans will be cheering for them, because they are an under-dog (two-and-a-half points) and there are many anti-Patriots fans.

Most of the pundits are suggesting this will be an outstanding game decided in the final minute.

Hearing all this makes one believe there is a better chance of a lopsided game, or perhaps one similar to 2016 when Denver whipped Carolina 24-10.

There is a common belief that the Rams have more talent, but is that enough to overcome the experience that the
Patriots bring?

For the fan looking to consume much more, here are 53 things to-know about the Rams and Patriots Super Bowl.

Many non-football fans will join the party but not necessarily to intently watch the teams.

SUPER BOWL SUNDAY SURVEY  (pollfish.com)

ONLY ONE IN FIVE AMERICANS (1/5) WATCH THE SUPER BOWL FOR THE FOOTBALL:

While 59% of Americans are interested in both the game and the commercials, only 21% tune in for the game alone. 15% are in it just for the commercials, and another six percent are forced to suffer through the Super Bowl against their will.

AMERICA’S TOP 10 FAVORITE SUPER BOWL FOODS:

(Based on the percentage of Americans who eat certain foods during the game)

#1: Chicken wings (33%)
#2: Pizza (22%)
#3: Chips & Dip (17%)
#4: Nachos (14%)
#5: Chili (6%)
#6: Hot dogs (4%)
#7: Sliders (3%)
#8: Cupcakes (1%)
#9: Macaroni & Cheese (1%)
#10: Cookies (1%)

Here are some more “out of the ordinary” Super Bowl facts:

  • The average number of people at a Super Bowl party is 17
  • 35% of people who attend the game write it off as a corporate expense
  • 80% of all Super Bowl tickets sold go to corporate sponsors of the NFL and of the Super Bowl
  • Super Bowl Sunday is second in food consumption behind only Thanksgiving Day
  • The amount of food consumed includes an estimated one billion number of chicken wings and 28 million pounds of potato chips
  • On the Monday following the Super Bowl, an average of six percent of the workforce calls in sick
  • On the same Monday, antacid sales show a 20% increase
  • More drivers are involved in alcohol-related accidents on Super Bowl Sunday than any other day of the year (except St. Patrick’s Day)
  • Of the top 10 most watched television programs of all time, nine of them are Super Bowls
  • Over 700,000 footballs are produced annually for official NFL use, 72 of them are used for the Super Bowl

SOURCE:

http://www.yumsugar.com/Super-Bowl-Fun-Facts-125068

There’s still time to dissect, analyze, scrutinize, study, evaluate and examine every little detail about ‘THE GAME,’ but I’m sure you will agree that kickoff cannot come soon enough.

THE PICK: New England to win by 4.

#

This is Week 18 of ‘Hartley’s Cat Scan.’

The podcast, introduced in September, predominately features the Prince George Cougars.

My guest this week is Cariboo Cougars head coach and former PG Cougar Tyler Brough.

You can also find this podcast on iTunes, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, and TuneIn.

FROM THE QUOTE RACK:

Donald Trump called his buddy Robert Kraft and congratulated him and The Patriots for making it to The Super Bowl. He did not do the same for the Rams. So make that two non-calls involving the Rams.

*Comedy writer Tony Chong

Congratulations to the Los Angeles Rams and the New England Patriots. One of these lucky teams is just one win away from Big Macs, Wendy’s and Whoppers in the White House.

*Comedy writer Alex Kaseberg

The NBA-champion Golden State Warriors paid a visit to former President Barack Obama in D.C.
during their trip to play the Washington Wizards. Apparently it was such a last-minute deal that there wasn’t even time to have hamburgers and pizza delivered.”

*Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times http://www.seattletimes.com/author/dwight-perry/

Saints coach Sean Payton says after losing the NFC Championship he sat in his room two or three days watching Netflix and eating ice cream. Or as most Americans call that, a weekend.

*Comedy writer Jim Barach http://jokesbyjim.blogspot.ca/

At the Pro Bowl trophy presentation, TV commentator Jason Whitten broke the Pro Bowl Trophy—-he must have thought it was the Stanley Cup.

*Contributor Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, California

Tom Brady says there is zero chance he will retire after this season. Translation – Giselle doesn’t want him around the house.

*Comedy writer Janice Hough of Palo Alto, California www.leftcoastsportsbabe.com

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

My three favourite Super Bowl post-game analysts:
3. Steve Young;
2. Tony Dungy;
1. Gisele Bundchen.

*Canadian comedy writer RJ Currie www.Sportsdeke.com

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Hartley Miller is the sports director and morning news anchor for 94.3 the GOAT.
He also is the 94.3 radio colour commentator for P.G. Cougars home games.
His column appears Fridays on myprincegeorgenow.com.
Send along a quote, note, or anecdote to hmiller@thegoatrocks.ca.
Follow him on Twitter: @Hartley_Miller
Listen to him on his weekly podcast: Hartley’s Cat Scan.