Buccaneers and Chiefs brace for epic Super Bowl Battle shadowed by controversy
TAMPA -- Today is the final chapter in a season marred with the scars of an invisible opponent that took it's toll on the entire league as well as the entire world. To say that operating normally in the midst of the Covid-19 Pandemic would be the world's greatest understatement. Nonetheless, the NFL has played a full season, created a product that satisfied our appetite for football and allowed us to live again. So today as the teams made their way to Raymond James stadium to strap up for the final battle of the year, it fills our hearts with excitement as well as sadness.
When we wake up tomorrow there will only be the Monday morning grind absent of chatter about fantasy league predictions, the best beer to break out for your friends and who you're going to have to ask to leave because they rooted for the wrong team. But this week has been one hell of a week.
The Buccaneers concluded their on-field preparations for Super Bowl LV Saturday morning with a 35-minute practice in their indoor facility at the AventHealth Training Center - a carbon copy of their regular-season game schedule. "It's just another game,'' Arians said. "It is the biggest one. But the preparation is done so you just need to go play.''
The Chiefs, now overshadowed by controversy from a developing situation involving Assistant Coach Britt Reid, ended the week with a Saturday morning walk-through before boarding an afternoon flight to Tampa ahead of Sunday's game. The showdown against the Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV is the backdrop where Andy Reid looks to lead the Chiefs to back-to-back championships.
But they'll have to do it while trying to rebuild the energetic momentum they started the week with. "Good energy," Andy Reid said. "It's important to have that. This was just kind of a review day, so we go back through all the situations and make sure we have all those covered."
While Eric Fisher sits out due to a season ending Achilles injury the Chiefs will get Darwin Thompson and backup center Daniel Kilgore who returned from the reserve/COVID-19 list after clearing the league's mandatory safety protocols and got in some work back in the lineup.
On Saturday night, Steve Harvey hosted this year's NFL Honors which saw many fan favorites walk away with accolades including Seattle Seahawk quarterback Russell Wilson. Wilson captured this year's Walter Payton Man of the Year award - a fitting accomplishment for one of the games most eloquent representatives.
AP AWARDS WINNER TEAM
AP Most Valuable Player delivered by Pizza Hut Aaron Rodgers GB
AP Coach of the Year presented by Bose Kevin Stefanski CLE
AP Comeback Player of the Year presented by Visa Alex Smith WAS
AP Offensive Player of the Year Derrick Henry TEN
AP Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald LAR
AP Offensive Rookie of the Year by Microsoft Justin Herbert LAC
AP Defensive Rookie of the Year by Microsoft Chase Young WAS
AP Assistant Coach of the Year Brian Daboll BUF
NFL AWARDS WINNER TEAM
Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year by Nationwide Russell Wilson SEA
Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award Teddy Bridgewater CAR
Deacon Jones Award T.J. Watt PIT
Fan of the Year presented by Subway Brandon Galloway TEN
The highly anticipated Pepsi Super Bowl LV Halftime Show performance by The Weeknd has been one of the most talked about Super Bowl Halftime shows in the history of the game because he put in $7 million of his own money for production costs. So it is unclear who will be playing with the most pressure to succeed - Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes or the Weeknd. One bonus for the singer is that this may be one of the most watched Super Bowl games in history due to so many being confined due to Pandemic conditions around the globe.
But the artist did get a head start on the competition. To coincide with his upcoming Super Bowl halftime performance, The Weeknd teamed up with the NFL, Roc Nation and Bravado to create limited-edition Super Bowl-themed apparel which was released at 3pm on Saturday. He revealed multiple capsules that included a 4-piece apparel collection with designer Warren Lotas, two handcrafted Jeff Hamilton leather jackets, and a custom XO black leather Wilson football, the official ball of the NFL.
The assortment is available on NFLShop.com/TheWeeknd, shop.theweeknd.com, and Wilson.com. As part of the collaboration, Wilson is donating one XO Football signed by The Weeknd to be auctioned on NFLAuction.nfl.com today, February 6 at 3pm ET. The NFL Foundation will use all proceeds from the auction to support Feeding America and their mission to end child hunger.
So as we approach kickoff and break open the Blue Cheese, Ranch or whatever flavor dressing you like, remember that most of us have made it through the toughest season of our lives while battling through a Pandemic, trying to achieve a "New Normal". And remember that we have all been inspired to be great because we've been able to see our favorite players push past the limits of their abilities to give us a reason to cheer.
So cheer so loudly your favorite team can hear you in Tampa. Do your end zone dance so vibrantly that you become a viral sensation.
And let's also remember that there should be no Quiche served at Super Bowl parties.
The ADSN Pregame Report is available online to get you up to speed on the X and O part of the game. Former Colts Tight End and former Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Colin Cole break down every part of the match-up to help you get ready for kickoff. And ADSN will bring you up to the minute post game coverage as well.