Super Bowl 53 is underway in Atlanta, with the New England Patriots once again trying to become American football champions and the Los Angeles Rams looking to stop them.

This is the third straight Super Bowl for the Patriots and the 11th time overall the team has played for the coveted Vince Lombardi Trophy. They lost last year’s game to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Many football fans say the Rams should not be playing. The team made it to the championship game after beating the New Orleans Saints two weeks ago in one of the most controversial playoff games in NFL history. If a referee had made a proper penalty call against the Rams late in that game, the Saints would likely be playing the Patriots today.

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.

The Super Bowl is one of the most-watched television events each year, as many Americans host or attend parties to watch the game.

President Donald Trump is no exception. He said he expects as many as 700 people at his Super Bowl party at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. The president is forecasting a Patriots win, saying the team has “great chemistry.”

For many, the commercials shown during breaks in the action 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 over 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.

 


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