In September, a month after news broke that Maroon 5 would be the headliner, speculation abounded as to who might be the special guest or co-headliner. And just this week, Variety reports that upward of six acts, from Mary J. All, at this time, and citing various reasons, have turned it down. Regardless, though, having them headline the halftime show is another instance of the NFL picking white or non-urban artists when any number of as-successful black artists would fit. The situation reeks of a league that wants to appeal to its white fan base while ignoring the black fans who are dedicated to it — not to mention the majority of people who play in it.
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This is the same criticism the league has dealt with in relation to its handling of the Kaepernick protests and the ongoing refusal to rehire him after he kneeled during the national anthem to protest the police brutality and systemic inequality faced by people of color in the United States. The booking of Grammy-winning Maroon 5 for the Super Bowl is even more of a transgression given that majority-black Atlanta is an African-American cultural capital with a rich history of music that has dominated the American music scene for most of the 21st century.
One night will also feature Aerosmith, who headlined the Super Bowl in Unlike Tom Flores , who led the Oakland Raiders to two Super Bowl victories as head coach, Rivera has the blessing and curse of an extensive media blitz that scrutinizes his every gesture and word. The same holds for those of players and coaches on both the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers. Moreover, Ron Rivera was already a winner even before Super Bowl In , Rivera went on to make the defensive calls in Chicago as the defensive coordinator that helped spur the team to a second Super Bowl appearance.
The Super Bowl grants visibility and recognition unlike any other sporting event in the U. Every moment the camera focused on Ron Rivera, viewers everywhere were confronted with the unassailable fact that a Latino of Mexican and Puerto Rican heritage had led his team and organization to a meaningful moment in Super Bowl lore.
A Football Life
Rivera had quipped that the game would be a chess match against Manning. The star quarterback sings in insurance commercials and urges viewers to buy pizza; his wholesomeness sells. He is also widely seen as a player that embodies all of the sportsmanship and ideals of the NFL, notwithstanding the recent claim that he had human growth hormone shipped to his home. Because the media often casts Manning in the role of the babyface in professional wrestling terms , they have to find an adequate heel to complete the storytelling pair.
In the lead up to Super Bowl 50, the media attempted to position Cam Newton as the younger, blacker, and thus scarier counterpart to Manning. To his credit, Newton did not engage in such simplistic narrative role-playing. His offensive line must protect him for those to-1 odds to mean anything.
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If the Chargers played in Cleveland, they'd be deemed a cursed franchise. Despite the to-1 odds to win the Super Bowl, many are hesitant to crown Los Angeles a title contender. Star running back Melvin Gordon has missed the entire preseason over a contract dispute, and top-shelf strong safety and the team's leading tackler, Derwin James, will miss a chunk of the season after having foot surgery to repair a stress fracture. Aside from that duo, the Chargers return the bulk of their win roster that came two wins shy of an AFC championship.
Carson Wentz has missed eight games over the past two seasons due to injury. Wentz does have the best supporting cast of his career with the additions of running back Jordan Howard and wide receiver DeSean Jackson.
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Although it allowed the 12th-fewest points per game, Bend but do not break defenses eventually get torched. Second-year quarterback Baker Mayfield has the weight of the world on his shoulders right now, as he's tasked to lead a team two years removed from to the playoffs. Although there are some offensive line concerns, Cleveland's offense is loaded with Nick Chubb in the backfield and Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry in the passing game. How close the Browns come to an AFC North title and playoff spot will likely come down to Myles Garrett and if they can drastically improve their 30th-ranked defense that allowed The Bears are banking on their defense to lead them to Miami.
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Chicago allowed the fewest points per game last season and ranked first in rush defense and interceptions. However, to become a well-rounded Super Bowl threat, quarterback Mitch Trubisky must take that next step in his development.
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He's got two solid receivers in Allen Robinson and Anthony Miller on the outside and a hyped-up rookie running back in David Montgomery. If Trubisky breaks out and Montgomery lives up to the hype, Chicago is a steal at to-1 odds. Oddsmakers must believe Todd Gurley's nagging knee injury and subsequent absence during preseason play is no big deal.
It's the only way to justify the Rams' Super Bowl odds.
Though he missed time down the stretch, Gurley paced the Rams' third-ranked rush attack that averaged While quarterback Jared Goff and his fifth-ranked pass attack of a season ago should not be ignored, it's hard to imagine the Rams reaching the Super Bowl with a hobbled Gurley. The blown call heard 'round the world cost the New Orleans Saints a trip to last year's Super Bowl, but the past is the past. Here the Saints are at 8-to-1 odds looking at a bright future. Drew Brees returns to lead what has become a more balanced offensive attack where a dynamic running game is the priority.
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The Saints offense ranked seventh in rushing last year and returns Alvin Kamara with the addition of Latavius Murray to replace Mark Ingram. Brees and Michael Thomas will continue to carve up opposing secondaries, as the Saints hope to maintain their If they can shore up their 29th-ranked pass defense, the Saints are headed to Miami.
Despite losing Kareem Hunt's production, the top offense of a season ago should pick up where it left off. Led by Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs led the NFL in yards and points per game, and with Tyreek Hill dodging any sort of punishment from the league for off-the-field issues, Kansas City will be among the league leaders once again.
Defensively, the additions of Frank Clark and Tyrann Mathieu hope to improve the league's 31st-rank defense, one that allowed If anything was holding the Chiefs back from a Super Bowl title, it was their defense. In the days following the Patriots' sixth Super Bowl title this century, oddsmakers wasted no time and posted their favorites.
The dominant tight end called it quits in March. His absence leaves a big hole to fill within the Patriots offense this season. However, coach Belichick won't use it as an excuse, as his mantra always is "next man up" and "do your job.
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