ชัยชนะ Super Bowl LV ของแทมปาเบย์เป็นสิ่งที่เจ้ามือรับแทงต้องการ

เงินง่ายใช่มั้ย? เราเป็นครอบครัวที่แตกแยกที่นี่ใน Poker News Daily สำหรับฉันในฐานะแฟนของ Green Bay Packers สองสัปดาห์ที่ผ่านมาของกีฬานี้แย่มาก สำหรับเพื่อนและเพื่อนร่วมงานของฉันเอิร์ลเบอร์ตันชีวิตเป็นเรื่องที่น่ายินดีเนื่องจากแทมปาเบย์ไฮเวย์ของเขาเพิ่งคว้าแชมป์ซูเปอร์โบวล์เป็นครั้งแรกในรอบเกือบสองทศวรรษ คุณรู้หรือไม่ว่าแทมปาชนะใครอีกบ้าง? พนันกีฬา. เมื่อพูดถึง Super Bowls นักพนันมักจะทุ่มเงินให้กับรายการโปรดและมากกว่า ในกรณีนี้ทั้งคู่เป็นการเดิมพันที่สมเหตุสมผล แคนซัสซิตีจบเป็น 3 จุดโปรดเส้นเล็กพอสมควร พวกเขาเป็นฝ่ายป้องกันแชมป์การรุกของพวกเขาดูเหมือนจะผ่านพ้นไม่ได้มาเกือบทั้งฤดูกาลพวกเขาอาจมีกองหลังที่ดีที่สุดของเกมพวกเขาจบเกมที่แน่นที่สุดใน NFL และพวกเขาเป็นหนึ่งในมือปราบที่ดีที่สุดในลีก สูง / ต่ำประมาณ 55 คะแนนให้หรือรับ ทั้งสองทีมอยู่ในหกอันดับแรกในการทำคะแนนโดยเฉลี่ยมากกว่า 60 คะแนนต่อเกมรวมกัน กองหลังแทมปาเบย์คือทอมเบรดี้และพวกเขามีกองเรือตั้งรับ ดังนั้นมากกว่าไม่ใช่เดิมพันที่ไม่ดี ไม่เร็วนักเพื่อนของฉัน แต่ไฮเวย์ชนะการแข่งขันด้วยการแพ้ 31-9 ซึ่งหมายความว่าฝ่ายแพ้ชนะทันทีและตีต่ำกว่า การแปล: ผู้ชมแพ้และการพนันกีฬาชนะ “ เกมกำลังจะจบลง [the total] และแทมปา [covering the spread] มันเป็นผลลัพธ์ที่ชื่นชอบ “รองผู้อำนวยการฝ่ายการค้าของ William Hill US Adam Pullen กล่าวกับ ESPN” ไม่มีเหตุการณ์บ้าๆมากมายที่ประชาชนชอบเดิมพันซึ่งดีสำหรับเรา “สิ่งต่าง ๆ ดูดีเป็นพิเศษสำหรับ เรานิวเจอร์ซีย์การเดิมพันกีฬา Garden State ทำรายได้ 11.3 ล้านเหรียญสหรัฐใน Super Bowl จากการจัดการ 117.4 ล้านเหรียญสหรัฐ (หมายเลขอ้างอิงคือคำศัพท์สำหรับการเดิมพันของลูกค้าทั้งหมดรายได้คือสิ่งที่หนังสือได้ทำหลังจากจ่ายเงินให้กับผู้ชนะ) จาก Super Bowl เมื่อปีที่แล้วเมื่อการพนันกีฬาของรัฐทำรายได้ 54.3 ล้านดอลลาร์ แต่จ่ายเงิน 58.6 ล้านดอลลาร์สำหรับการสูญเสีย 4 ดอลลาร์ 3 ล้านข่าวดีข่าวร้ายสำหรับเนวาดาเนวาดาเป็นรัฐอันดับต้น ๆ ในแง่ของการดำเนินงานและรายได้ 136.1 ล้านดอลลาร์และ 12.6 ล้านดอลลาร์ตามลำดับซึ่งแตกต่างจากนิวเจอร์ซีย์อย่างไรก็ตามตัวเลขทั้งสองต่ำกว่านั้นมาก ถึงปีที่แล้ว สำหรับซูเปอร์โบวล์ปี 2020 การพนันกีฬาของเนวาดาดึงดูดเงินจำนวน 154.7 ล้านดอลลาร์สหรัฐและรายได้ 18.8 ล้านดอลลาร์ คนวงในของรัฐตำหนิการระบาดของโรคที่ล้มการพนันในเนวาดา “ในเนวาดาผู้บริหาร Super Bowl ได้รับคำแนะนำจากการเยี่ยมชมและลาสเวกัสรวมถึงพื้นที่อื่น ๆ ของรัฐเป็นตลาดเป้าหมายสำหรับลูกค้าที่ต้องการเดิมพันในเกม” นักวิเคราะห์การวิจัยอาวุโสกล่าวกับ Las Vegas Review โดย NGCB Michael Lawton – นิตยสาร. แน่นอนว่าด้วยข้อ จำกัด ด้านความจุและผู้คนโดยทั่วไปไม่เต็มใจที่จะไปหาเจ้ามือรับแทงในขณะที่ COVID-19 ยังคงโหมกระหน่ำสถานที่ที่เหมือนจุดหมายปลายทางอย่างลาสเวกัสคงไม่ได้ทำในช่วงสุดสัปดาห์ที่ผ่านมาเช่นเดียวกับในอดีต Super . ชาม. อย่างไรก็ตามลอว์ตันกล่าวเพิ่มเติมว่าเนวาดายังทำได้ค่อนข้างดีโดยรวม จำนวนด้ามจับแม้จะลดลง แต่ก็มากเป็นอันดับ 5 ที่รัฐเคยมีมา

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The Crowd, the Quiet, the Cutouts: A Strange Year at the Super Bowl


Times Insider explains who we are and what we do, and delivers behind-the-scenes insights into how our journalism comes together.On Sunday, Benjamin Hoffman was at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., covering his 12th Super Bowl for The New York Times. His first, in 2009, was also in Tampa, But that might be where the similarities stop. Attendance for the game, a lopsided 31-9 win by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers over the Kansas City Chiefs, was limited to a third of the stadium’s capacity, and the normal week of mega events was minimized to avoid the spread of the coronavirus. In a series of emails, Mr. Hoffman, a senior editor on the Sports desk, shared what the game was like from up close. Here is that edited exchange.You’ve covered previous Super Bowls. Those were usually preceded by days of events that gave the game its oversize feeling. What was it like when you arrived in Tampa this year?The entire week felt considerably different. Instead of spending Monday through Friday in hotel conference rooms with players, we were at home talking to them on Zoom. I arrived in Tampa on Friday — typically when a Super Bowl city has reached a fever pitch — and found it to have the feel of much earlier in the week. The various signs of a Super Bowl being in town — the blocked-off streets, the pop-up vendors, the N.F.L. gear being worn everywhere — were there, but the crowds seemed much smaller, and the media gatherings were nonexistent.Did you miss having face-to-face interviews with players and coaches?I think they did the best they could with the Zoom access to players, but nothing can really replicate the middle of a Super Bowl week when some of the media has cleared out and you find yourself in a room of players who would love to talk about the game rather than the off-the-wall questions they’ve spent the first few days of the week answering. The remote access also limited our ability to bounce around between players. A lot of the organic reporting that happens at Super Bowls just by being around people and events was impossible.How was it inside a Super Bowl with limited attendance? Did your senses pick up on anything in a less-than-packed stadium?The second I walked in I could tell just how few people were going to be there because the stands were already full of the corrugated plastic cutouts of fans. The people who were allowed in were spaced out.At first, the regulations about masks and distancing were followed closely, but that waned as the game started. By the second quarter, fans were milling around, many of them maskless, and they were treating the game like a tailgate party, which was pretty heavily influenced by it being the home team playing.The way The Times covers big sporting events has evolved. Online, a live briefing is updated constantly. How has the way a journalist works during the game changed?The live coverage has made everything more immediate, moving up the timeline on everything we do. Dave Anderson, the legendary Times sports columnist, had a famous line when an editor called him mid-game to ask what he was writing about. He said something along the lines of “it hasn’t happened yet.” We can’t work with a strategy like that anymore. We were writing everything as it happened and doing our best to make sense of all of it. In some ways it’s a lot easier — you’re largely writing about what’s in front of you — but the most difficult thing is the nagging feeling that there is a more pulled-back analysis that you’d like to be able to do but you just don’t have the time. Ben Shpigel largely detached to do that analysis, allowing others to do the more immediate stuff.As you mentioned, the Buccaneers won playing in their stadium, the first time that ever happened. Did it feel like a home game?Right up until game time I would have insisted the crowd was around 50-50, as Chiefs fans were being plenty vocal and the teams’ color schemes are fairly similar. But once they started playing it was apparent that it was a Buccaneers crowd. Their touchdowns were greeted with thunderous cheers, and in moments of surprising silence — a stadium that is two-thirds empty can really get quiet — you could hear fans shouting insults at [Chiefs quarterback] Patrick Mahomes. It had to be strangest for the players, because it was the Super Bowl, but in many ways it felt almost like a preseason game.Maybe the N.F.L. had timing and a structural advantage on its side. There are fewer games and less travel, for example. But are you surprised the league was able to play its entire season?The league got in all 256 regular season games and every playoff game, but there were some major compromises along the way that I’m not sure other leagues would have been willing to make. The most extreme was Denver having to play a game with a practice squad wide receiver at quarterback, but there were other issues, like the Browns playing the Jets with no wide receivers and the Saints playing a game with just one running back. The Steelers, thanks to an outbreak on the Tennessee Titans, essentially played the entire season without a bye week. So while I’ll absolutely credit the N.F.L. with working hard to make the season happen, I think they have perhaps overstated how smoothly the whole thing went.

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Britt Reid, Son of Chiefs Coach, Drank Alcohol Ahead of Car Crash


Britt Reid, the outside linebackers coach for the Kansas City Chiefs and a son of the head coach, Andy Reid, told police officers he had “two or three drinks” before he was involved in an automobile crash Thursday night that left a child with life-threatening injuries, according to a search warrant filed in Jackson County, Mo., circuit court.The crash occurred just days before the Super Bowl in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday, when the Chiefs, the reigning N.F.L. champions, played the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Chiefs flew to Tampa on Saturday, but Britt Reid, 35, did not make the trip.According to the search warrant, an officer could smell “a moderate odor of alcoholic beverages” on Reid after the crash. The search warrant said the police sought to draw Reid’s blood and test it for alcohol and other controlled substances.On Friday, in a statement, the team confirmed that Reid had been involved in a crash, but provided no details. “We are in the process of gathering information, and we will have no further comment at this time,” the statement said.In response to an inquiry about a possible accident involving Britt Reid, a spokesman for the police department in Kansas City, Mo., said that a crash had occurred on Interstate 435, not far from the Chiefs’ training facility.The spokesman would not provide more details or identify anyone who was involved in the crash, citing a Missouri law that prohibits the police from releasing the names of people who have not been charged with a crime. But the details in the police incident report, such as the make and model of the cars involved and the description of what happened, matched the search warrant, which does name Reid.According to the police, a vehicle ran out of gas on a freeway entrance ramp less than a mile from Arrowhead Stadium. The driver stopped with his flashers on and called his cousins for help. When they arrived, the cousins parked in front of the disabled car and left their lights on, as the battery was dying in the disabled car.Reid entered the on-ramp driving a Ram pickup truck and hit the left front of the stranded car, according to the police incident report. The driver was sitting in the car and was not injured.Reid’s pickup then slammed into the rear of the cousins’ car. The driver and an adult in the front passenger seat were not injured. But a 4-year-old and a 5-year-old sitting in the back were both injured and taken to the hospital, the 5-year-old with life-threatening injuries.The 5-year-old was still in critical condition on Monday morning, according to a police spokesman.After the Super Bowl, which the Chiefs lost, 31-9, Andy Reid addressed his son’s accident for the first time.“My heart goes out to all those that were involved in the accident, in particular the family with the little girl who’s fighting for her life,” Andy Reid said, adding that his “heart bleeds.”Britt Reid had non-life-threatening injuries, the police said, but complained of stomach pain and was also taken to a hospital after the accident.Reid has been a Chiefs coach since his father was hired as head coach eight years ago, and has spent the last two seasons as the outside linebackers coach. Before joining the Chiefs’ coaching staff, he spent three seasons at Temple University as a graduate assistant working with the offense.He was also an intern for his father with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2009.Britt Reid has been in legal trouble previously. In 2007, Reid, then 22, pleaded guilty to gun and drug charges stemming from a road rage dispute. He brandished a handgun at another driver in suburban Philadelphia on the same day his brother Garrett was arrested after a drug-related traffic crash. Andy Reid took a five-week leave of absence from the Eagles after his sons were arrested.Britt Reid also pleaded guilty to simple assault, possession of an instrument of crime and drug possession in the case. While out on bail before the case was decided, he was arrested after driving into a shopping cart in a parking lot and eventually pleaded guilty to driving under the influence.In 2012, Garrett Reid was found dead of an accidental overdose in his dormitory room at the Eagles’ training site in Bethlehem, Pa. He was 29.

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A Painful Lesson for the Chiefs: It’s Hard to Repeat as Champions


If the Kansas City Chiefs needed a reminder of how difficult it is to repeat as Super Bowl champions, they needed only glance across the field at Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady.Brady won a record seventh Super Bowl on Sunday night as the Buccaneers dominated Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs on their way to a 31-9 victory in Tampa, Fla.He has appeared in 10 of the last 20 Super Bowls. But he has won two in a row just once, in the 2003 and 2004 seasons. Like the New England Patriots in the 2017 season and the Seattle Seahawks in the 2014 season, the 2020 Chiefs failed in their bid to win a second straight title.“I think what makes it such a challenge is it is hard to win one Super Bowl,” Brady told reporters last week. “You cannot go buy a football team. You have to develop players.”The Buccaneers, coached by Bruce Arians, had a lot of young talent, but their roster was largely constructed in the off-season when they signed Brady, tight end Rob Gronkowski, running back Leonard Fournette and others.The Chiefs, though, seemed destined to repeat. They finished the regular season with an N.F.L.-best 14-2 record and were favorites heading into the Super Bowl. Their offense looked unstoppable with quarterback Mahomes, last year’s Super Bowl most valuable player, playing well.But before the game, Mahomes acknowledged that parity in the N.F.L. made it difficult for teams to repeat as champions.“I mean, literally, you could be the worst team in the league one year and work all the way up to the Super Bowl the next,” he said.The salary cap, which limits how much money teams can spend on player contracts, is a big reason for that parity. That wasn’t the case decades ago. The Green Bay Packers won the first two Super Bowls in the 1960s, and the Miami Dolphins and the Pittsburgh Steelers pulled repeat wins in the 1970s. (The Steelers did it twice.)Quarterback Joe Montana led the San Francisco 49ers to consecutive titles in the 1980s, and the Dallas Cowboys were repeat champions in the early 1990s. But since the N.F.L. introduced a salary cap in 1994, only the Patriots and John Elway’s Denver Broncos have repeated.As is often the case in the N.F.L., injuries can derail teams in an instant. The Chiefs struggled on Sunday, in part, because they were missing their two starting offensive tackles, including Eric Fisher, one of the best tackles in the game, who missed the Super Bowl after tearing an Achilles’ tendon two weeks ago.Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, an offensive guard who has a medical degree, opted out of the 2020 season to work in his native Canada to help combat the coronavirus. Tackle Mitchell Schwartz played only the first six weeks of the season before injuring his back.The Chiefs also faced a last-minute coaching change. Their outside linebackers coach, Britt Reid — the son of the head coach, Andy Reid — missed Sunday’s game after being involved in a car crash in Kansas City, Mo., on Thursday night.The Buccaneers took advantage. They sacked Mahomes three times and pressured him on 29 of his 56 drop backs, according to ESPN Stats & Info, the most in Super Bowl history. Mahomes spent most of the game scrambling from defenders behind the line of scrimmage. He threw two interceptions, no touchdowns, and needed 49 passes to accumulate just 270 yards, most of them late in the game.Retaining a roster that has made it to three consecutive A.F.C. championship games will be difficult. The Chiefs are almost $18 million over next year’s salary cap, according to Over the Cap, an independent site that tracks N.F.L. contracts and salaries. A number of key players are free agents, among them receivers Sammy Watkins and Demarcus Robinson, center Austin Reiter and defensive backs Daniel Sorensen and Bashaud Breeland.The Chiefs will face another hurdle: The salary cap, which is based on the league’s total revenue, was about $198 million this season. It could fall to as low as $175 million next season because the league lost billions of dollars in ticket sales during the pandemic.For their part, the Buccaneers will have an estimated $28.9 million in cap space, which will give them room to re-sign players and attract free agents.The Chiefs will, however, retain Mahomes, a transcendent quarterback who signed a 10-year contract last summer worth up to $500 million. At only 25, he has many years ahead — barring injury — to match Brady, Elway, Montana, Troy Aikman, Terry Bradshaw, Bob Griese and Bart Starr as quarterbacks who have won back-to-back Super Bowls.After the game, a downtrodden Mahomes acknowledged the difficulty of winning in the N.F.L. “When we joined together we knew it wasn’t going to always be successful and we weren’t going to be able to win a thousand championships in a row,” he said. “We knew we would go through times like this, through adversity.”

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Tampa’s Super Bowl Celebrations Bring Super Spreader Concerns


The streets of Tampa, Fla., teemed with boozy revelers into the wee hours of Monday, many of them ignoring pleas by medical experts to social distance and wear masks, after the Buccaneers crushed the Kansas City Chiefs in Sunday’s Super Bowl. A few scrums broke out.In one of the more bizarre episodes, a man in a red T-shirt and shorts climbed a small tree in the city’s South Howard district, known as SoHo, and rocked back and forth as hundreds of fans egged him on, a video taken by Juan Carlos Chavez, a reporter for The Tampa Bay Times, showed.The man later appeared to be taken into custody by the police after people in the crowd started shoving each other, a subsequent video showed. At least one police officer appeared to get knocked to the ground.It was not immediately clear how many people were arrested after the game, which ended just after 10 p.m. local time, or whether the police issued any citations for violations of a temporary ordinance requiring people to wear masks at several popular outdoor spots in the city.The Tampa Police Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Monday morning.About two hours after the scuffle near South Howard Avenue, a convoy of police cars moved through the street in an apparent attempt to disperse the crowd. Smoke could be seen billowing in another video taken by a local reporter.In Ybor City, another part of Tampa known for its nightlife, a sea of people partied late into the night. In videos, few were wearing masks and it was not immediately clear whether any efforts had been made to disperse the crowd. A television reporter characterized the scene as “one massive dance floor.”The scene of thousands of fans tightly packed into the city’s streets and outside Raymond James Stadium represented an alternate universe from the steady warnings by the nation’s top health officials about the risks of the Super Bowl becoming a super spreader event. It also came amid growing concerns that variants of the coronavirus, including one first found in Britain, have become more transmissible.Inside the stadium, the home field of the Buccaneers that typically holds about 66,000 people, capacity had been limited to 22,000 spectators for the game. The empty seats had been filled with cardboard cutouts of fans who could not attend the Super Bowl, but paid $100 to have their photos present.Outside the stadium, there appeared to be far less of an emphasis on social distancing and wearing masks. Maskless fans in jerseys tailgated, waving Buccaneers flags and listening to music.After the game, which Tampa won 31-9 over the Chiefs, last year’s champions, a group of fans surrounded a Kansas City team bus. Many of those in that crowd also did not appear to wearing masks. Officers on motorcycles cleared the crowd for the bus to be on its way.Benjamin Hoffman and Elena Bergeron contributed reporting.

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Super Bowl LV crowns a champ after lopsided game


Super Bowl LV is now in the books and, with it, a number of firsts. The Big Game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offered an amazing matchup that had football fans and gamblers pacing with anticipation, but definitely did not go the way most people expected. With the NFL season having survived COVID-19, it’s now time to look ahead and try to get ready for a new era of football that will see much greater sports gambling.The Chiefs were viewed as the favorites to win, but were only given three points by oddsmakers. That should have indicated a tight competition and a battle between two of the best quarterbacks in the league, Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady. However, what looks good on paper doesn’t always work when put into play, and Brady and the Bucs had no problem rolling over Mahomes and the Chiefs, completely controlling the game on both offense and defense. The Chiefs only managed to score a field goal in each of the first three quarters as Mahomes was repeatedly forced out of the pocket and made to scramble. However, he showed why he deserved to be in the Super Bowl, handling the pressure like a long-time veteran. Despite continued problems, Mahomes still managed to put up more passing yards than Brady, throwing for 243 yards against his rival’s 201.It wasn’t good enough, though. The Bucs, the first team to ever play in a Super Bowl in its own stadium, dominated from start to finish. Brady became the first quarterback to pick up seven Super Bowl titles and the first to win a fifth MVP award (the only player with five) as he led his Bucs to their first Super Bowl win since the 2002 season. It was also the first Super Bowl in which the NFL had seen the presence of a female referee, with Sarah Thomas on the field as the down judge. In a couple more firsts for the NFL, Maral Javadifar and Lori Locust became the first female coaches to win a Super Bowl title – Javadifar as the Bucs’ assistant strength and conditioning coach and Locust is the team’s defensive line assistant. A peculiar stat presented prior to the game showed that Brady has a history of not stepping up in the first quarter of Super Bowls. He brought that to an end yesterday as he marched down the field to give the Bucs a first-quarter touchdown (his first first-quarter Super Bowl TD) in response to a Chiefs field goal. From there, the Bucs were on a mission and nothing could stand in the way. Rob Gronkowski and Leonard Fournette were favorite targets for Brady as they worked their magic, rolling over defenders and punching through lines every chance they got. The Bucs would go on to put up 14 points in the second quarter, countered by only a field goal, and another ten in the third quarter, with just another Chiefs field goal in response. By this point, the Chiefs had been beaten into submission, down 31-9, and the only thing they could do was hang on until the clock ran out. Both teams seemed to understand that the game was pretty much over, and neither put any points on the board in the last quarter. The underdog Bucs had defied the odds and won the Super Bowl, keeping the Chiefs from claiming their second consecutive victory. It was a sweet victory for Brady and Tampa Bay and a sign that, maybe, Bill Belichick was a little too premature in letting the GOAT leave the New England Patriots last year. Sports gamblers appreciate the decision, though, with a few who risked big money on the Bucs taking home nice paydays. According to what sportsbooks have reported, more than 80% of the money went to the Chiefs, but several gamblers put up big money on the Bucs. One was the all-too-famous Mattress Mack, the Texas entrepreneur known for making huge bets. He has lost several million dollars on sports bets over the past couple of years, but found some redemption yesterday. Mattress Mack, whose real name is Jim McIngvale, put up $3.46 million on the Bucs to cover the spread and, after a lopsided game that clearly favored Tampa Bay, recuperated his investment and padded it by another $2.72 million. 

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A Key to Brady’s Super Bowl Success? Gronkowski of Course


In an amusing television commercial for T-Mobile that aired in the days before the Super Bowl, Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski spoofed how they both ended up playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this season.The ad pretends to go back in time a year, with Brady calling Gronkowski for advice on whether to retire. Gronkowski recommends retirement, but because of a bad wireless connection, Brady hears the opposite — and also thinks that Gronkowski wants to return to football and play with him in Florida. So that is what happens.It was funny for everybody except the Kansas City Chiefs, who certainly were not laughing Sunday when Brady and Gronkowski seemed to turn back the clock not one year but a decade. Their honed, or cosmic, connection was the headlining collaboration that buried the Chiefs in the Buccaneers’ 31-9 victory in their home stadium.Afterward, even Gronkowski was awed by the turn of events in roughly 12 months.“It’s unreal, surreal, man,” he said. “It has to be one of the greatest accomplishments in sports history.”Brady threw two touchdowns to Gronkowski in the first half as the Buccaneers took a commanding 15-point lead at halftime. They were the 13th and 14th touchdowns for the duo in the postseason, an N.F.L. record.At the start of the third quarter, after Kansas City cut its deficit by three points, there was Gronkowski poking the defending Super Bowl champions in the eye again. He slyly slipped into the middle of the field uncovered so he could snag another Brady pass and rumble through defenders for a 25-yard gain that set up another Buccaneers touchdown, crushing the Chiefs’ hopes.In the end, it was another example of what Brady brought with him when he left the New England Patriots behind in March and surprised the pro football world by alighting in Tampa, where playoff success was an 18-year-old memory — a Super Bowl win after the 2002 season. Brady was brilliant and precise Sunday, completing 21 of 29 throws with three touchdown passes and winning the Super Bowl’s Most Valuable Player Award for a fifth time, and it is now that much clearer how he can lift an entire franchise with his determination, talent and consequential presence.But Brady can also apparently revive careers other than his own. At the end of the 2018 season when Gronkowski retired at age 29, he said: “Football was bringing me down, and I didn’t like it. I was losing that joy in life.”Roughly a month after Brady signed with the Buccaneers, Gronkowski helped engineer a trade from the Patriots to Tampa Bay. According to Buccaneers Coach Bruce Arians, Brady was adamant about wanting Gronkowski, his former tight end from New England, on his new team. Sunday, Gronkowski said he and Brady had several talks in that period.“So I came down to Tampa Bay and it’s just been an unbelievable story,” Gronkowski said.At first, their reunion was treated like an amusing sideshow, especially because the likeliness that Brady would succeed after relocating was treated with skepticism as well. The cynicism began to have a mocking tone when Tampa Bay won only three of its first five games and Gronkowski had just 12 catches for 140 yards. Even Brady looked subpar and confused by his new role.All that was irrelevant late Sunday evening after Brady led the Buccaneers on an unforeseen eight-game winning streak — four victories to end the regular season and four in the postseason. Along the way, there was Gronkowski, finishing the regular season with 45 catches for 623 yards receiving and seven touchdown catches.As the Buccaneers advanced through the playoffs, there had been talk that Brady, 43, had found the long rumored fountain of youth in Florida. Apparently, he let his favorite tight end have a few sips, too, because on Sunday Gronkowski, 31, looked like he was 22 again.A little more than four minutes into Sunday’s game, with Tampa Bay driving, Brady turned to his left and saw Gronkowski open in the flat. The pass hit its target in stride and Gronkowski, who is 6-foot-6 and 265 pounds, accelerated away from two defenders to dash into the end zone untouched. The 8-yard score put the Buccaneers ahead 7-3, a lead they never relinquished.About halfway through the second quarter, Gronkowski worked free near the back of the end zone and Brady fired a bullet, a rising pass that can be hard to corral in traffic. But Brady and Gronkowski have executed on that connection countless times in practices and games. With practiced ease, Gronkowski leapt and secured the catch for a 17-yard touchdown.Gronkowski said the play originally called for him to go to the right corner of the end zone but he darted left to find more open space. “Tom saw that and put the ball where I could go get it,” Gronkowski said. “Something like that goes back to the chemistry we’ve built over the years.”The Buccaneers have a wealth of top young wide receivers, but perhaps it was not surprising that in the final, most important game of the season, Brady looked for his old reliable friend most often, throwing in Gronkowski’s direction seven times. Six of those passes were caught as Gronkowski racked up a team-high 67 yards.On the sideline late in Sunday’s game, Brady and Gronkowski, teammates both old and anew, embraced repeatedly as the final seconds wound down.“We did it,” Gronkowski yelled.Brady smiled and slapped Gronkowski’s back as the two hugged yet again.It would have made a good scene for a television commercial.

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Tom Brady’s Super Bowl Win Is a Familiar End to an Odd Season


Mahomes had won 16 of 17 starts this season, but he and his team collapsed amid a deluge of penalties, drops and pressure from the Buccaneers, who, exploiting the Chiefs’ diluted offensive line, reveled in it, inflicted it, even embraced it. At halftime, Mahomes had 67 yards, and Kansas City trailed by 15 points, tied for its largest deficit of the Mahomes era, according to Pro Football Reference.The only other time Mahomes’s team had been behind by that many points across his three seasons as Kansas City’s starter occurred in October 2018, in a loss to Brady at New England. Brady spent two decades there, where he and Belichick were the immovable objects of the postseason, winning six championships as the most famous quarterback-coach tandem of this generation.What Belichick must have been wondering Sunday night as New England wept, watching Brady throw each touchdown to a former Patriots teammate — two to Rob Gronkowski, who came out of retirement for the chance to play again with his old pal, and one, just before halftime, to Antonio Brown.Brady’s time in New England will forever be a part of him, but now he wears a skull and crossbones on his helmet, can dress in shorts to practice in the winter and reports to a 68-year-old coach, Bruce Arians, who, coming out of retirement to coach the Buccaneers, represents the stylistic antithesis of Belichick. When asked recently about pursuing Brady during the off-season, Arians responded with a rhetorical question: “Do you sit and live in a closet trying to be safe, or are you going to have some fun?”Brady’s arrival in Tampa reflected a certain harmonic convergence, a confluence of foresight, audacity and serendipity largely alien to the Buccaneers, who hadn’t won a playoff game since capturing their only title in the 2002 season. Their quest was nicknamed Operation Shoeless Joe Jackson, a wink to the prophesy from the movie “Field of Dreams”: “If you build it, they will come.” Brady valued how General Manager Jason Licht had assembled a team that solved problems around him instead of asking him to solve them himself.

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Buccaneers Beat the Chiefs and Tom Brady Is a Champion Again


A nearly flawless Tom Brady claimed his record seventh Super Bowl title on Sunday, winning a duel with his young rival Patrick Mahomes and burnishing his legacy as the greatest quarterback in N.F.L. history by leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a 31-9 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.Brady’s Super Bowl title — coming at age 43 and in his first season with the Buccaneers — joins the six he won as a member of the New England Patriots (2002, 2003, 2005, 2015, 2017, 2018). He now has one more win than both the Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers, the two most decorated franchises in N.F.L. history.He finished 21 of 29 for 209 yards and three touchdowns, including two to his former Patriots teammate Rob Gronkowski, who joined him in Tampa this season. His three touchdown passes gave him 21 in his Super Bowl career, one more than the combined total of the two quarterbacks behind him, Joe Montana (11) and Terry Bradshaw (9).Tampa Bay, the first team to play a Super Bowl on its home field, became the first one to win on there, too. It is the Buccaneers’ second championship; the team won its first in 2002.“I think we knew this was going to happen, didn’t we?” he asked his teammates from the stage after being handed the Vince Lombardi Trophy.Mahomes, 25, a former league most valuable player and a Super Bowl champion last season, finished 26 of 49 for 270 yards, but he was intercepted twice and harried throughout the second half.Brady, in 10 previous trips to the N.F.L.’s championship game, had never enjoyed an easy win in one until Sunday. All but one of his six previous wins saw both teams within one score of each other at the end.The closest Brady ever came to a Super Bowl “blowout” was a 13-3 win by the Patriots over the Los Angeles Rams two years ago. And the last 3 points of that game came in the final minute and 16 seconds.The second-largest margin of victory in a Brady win was a 6-point victory in overtime of Super Bowl LI in February 2017, when James White scored a touchdown on a toss play to give New England the championship.With his three children standing by his side, Brady declined to compare this year’s Buccaneers to his Patriots teams but said the team came together at the right time and indicated they were loaded with confidence heading into the game.“Every year is amazing,” he said, “and this team is world champions forever, you can’t take it away from us.”

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Why Some Women Don’t Want Antonio Brown in the Super Bowl


Get over it.That was the message Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown tried to convey this past week.The past doesn’t matter, he seemed to say. With the Super Bowl upon us, the only concern should be about his ability to catch passes on Sunday.Brown’s preferred talking points were his love for quarterback Tom Brady, his team’s drive to beat the reigning champion Kansas City Chiefs, and his comeback.That comeback did not involve an injury that eroded his electrifying talent on the field. Those skills have remained sufficiently intact for Brown, 32, to find a plush spot in the N.F.L., in spite of the history he did not want to discuss at a requisite pre-Super Bowl news conference.“I’d be doing a disservice if I talked about things that are not a focus of this game,” he said.Those things include withering verbal abuse aimed at the mother of three of his children and recorded on video. And an accusation of sexual harassment that was described in detail in a national magazine. And a looming lawsuit accusing him of rape, a claim that Brown has vociferously denied.Now, he is one win from a championship ring after off-the-field trouble sent his career into one of the most stunning tumbles experienced by a star athlete in recent memory.Tampa Bay gambled on him in a way that no other team dared, signing Brown to a one-year contract in October after he had been out of the game for a season and a half. The Buccaneers did not heed commentators who, looking at the pattern of trouble around Brown, said he needed time away from the league — possibly for good, but at least until his lawsuit was resolved.The team also chose to look past the #MeToo movement and its fundamental lesson: Women with stories of pain, and of powerlessness in their dealings with famous men, should be heard and taken seriously.Let’s remember that one in four women are subjected to abuse by intimate partners during their lifetimes, according to a government report. Let’s think of what they endure every time they see athletes like Brown, with unresolved accusations around them, take the field.Let’s listen to Brenda Tracy, who describes herself as the survivor of a 1998 gang rape by a group of men that included two Oregon State football players. The players weren’t criminally charged, but they were suspended by the coach for making “a bad choice.” Tracy became an advocate for abused women, working toward change by sharing her story with anyone who will listen. Colleges across the country have hired her to speak to their athletic teams.“I won’t be watching the Super Bowl this year,” she told me. “With Antonio Brown out there, it’s just too much.”Ahead of the big game, Brown characterized himself as a changed man — humbled, grateful, and in control. He spoke in quiet, careful tones. He gave the sense that he sees the accusations as a chance to prove that he can conquer adversity, mostly by catching Brady’s passes.“I want my legacy to be a guy that was persistent, a guy that never gave up, no matter the odds, no matter the hate,” Brown said.What he really wanted was to move on.Let’s not. Let’s look at the claims, made by a personal trainer named Britney Taylor, in the lawsuit.In court filings, Taylor said that Brown assaulted her twice in 2017. She also asserted that Brown raped her in 2018.Through his legal team, the wide receiver has denied the accusations. He has countersued, accusing Taylor of defamation. Brown and Taylor were involved in a “consensual personal relationship,” his lawyer said in a statement.It is important to remember that the court proceedings can still be avoided if the two parties reach a settlement. It is not a criminal trial, in which Brown would face the possibility of prison.But Britney Taylor isn’t alone.In a Sports Illustrated article, an artist made detailed accusations of sexual harassment by Brown. The wide receiver also once targeted the mother of three of his children with a profane tirade and then posted a video of the incident on social media.On Twitter in 2018, he threatened a reporter from ESPN’s The Undefeated who wrote an article about Brown’s thorny personal life and turbocharged social media use. Brown ended up apologizing through a statement: “It is not OK to threaten anyone, and I need to be better spiritually and professionally.”That year he also settled a lawsuit that accused him of throwing heavy furniture from his 14th-floor apartment and nearly hitting a toddler.Brown’s exasperating behavior as a teammate prompted the Pittsburgh Steelers to trade him to the Oakland Raiders in 2019. Just before the start of the season, the Raiders dumped him for similar reasons.He landed briefly in New England, early in Brady’s final season with the Patriots. The lawsuit accusing Brown of rape soon became public, followed by the artist’s accusations of harassment. His third employer of that year cut him loose.Brady, who said recently that he and Brown had “connected right away” in New England, endorsed Tampa Bay’s decision to bring the receiver aboard midway through this season. When Brown arrived in town, he initially lived in Brady’s home.Yet Brown and the Buccaneers seem like an odd pairing. The team has two full-time female coaches, and there were only eight in the entire league this season. The Women’s Sports Foundation has honored Coach Bruce Arians for supporting women in the N.F.L.But Arians proved that talent matters more than principle.Sadly, that’s too often the bottom line for male stars in major sports. If you are accused of abusing or harassing women and are easy to replace, your job is probably gone. It doesn’t take a conviction, trial or arrest. (See Jared Porter, the former New York Mets general manager who was fired after accusations that he had repeatedly sent inappropriate texts to a female reporter.)If you are a star, well, your entitlement is virtually unlimited.Brown signed with the Buccaneers just after completing an eight-game suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. The reason for that penalty? He had pleaded no contest to burglary and assault charges after a dispute with a truck driver.He had every opportunity to express remorse for that incident this past week. He did not. So again, let’s listen instead to women, to people who won’t be in front of a huge global audience this weekend.Mindy Murphy runs The Spring of Tampa Bay, the largest shelter serving domestic violence survivors in Hillsborough County, home to the Buccaneers.When the N.F.L. tried to change its culture a few years ago, after Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was caught striking his fiancée, Murphy helped conduct training with the Buccaneers on abuse.Now she feels disillusioned.Seeing Brown chase a Super Bowl ring is a “disservice to what survivors have experienced,” she said. “When a team in the N.F.L. says, ‘We are going to hire him, and he deserves a second chance,’ or they say, ‘We don’t know for sure what’s happened, because it happened behind closed doors,’ they reinforce the idea that it’s not a good idea to speak up.”Remember that while watching the Buccaneers in the Super Bowl, and also remember Brown’s past.

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Tom Brady vs. Patrick Mahomes: A Battle of the Ages


Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes function within the same general constructs that have governed the N.F.L. for more than a century — playing on a field measuring 360 by 160 feet, accompanied by 21 other players, trying to gain 10 yards in four downs.Their approaches, though, are a gulf apart, with each quarterback at the pinnacle of styles that define the modern offensive era. Brady, 43, is a pocket passer extraordinaire, an archetype that is waning as teams try to build around dual-threat quarterbacks like Mahomes, 25, who can lead the dynamic offenses that have reimagined how football is played in 2021.For as much as either player seems to be a representative of their generation, a model to be copied, the truth is their singular brilliance cannot be replicated.Brady has won six Super Bowls — and appeared in three others — by shredding defenses with his arm, his eyes, his brain. Mahomes, though, captures what it means to play entertaining football in 2021. He deploys more arm angles than an octopus, dodges defenders with glee and can throw 60 yards off his back foot, skills he has displayed in a bid to become only the second quarterback to win two Super Bowls in his first four seasons.The other? Brady, of course.To understand their distinctive artistry ahead of Super Bowl LV, we evaluated the key points of the difference between how Brady and Mahomes attained their successes this season.Tom Brady flourishes inside the pocket. Patrick Mahomes wreaks havoc outside it.Today’s N.F.L. puts a premium on agile quarterbacks. Gone are the days when a passer could stand still in the pocket behind a protective wall of offensive linemen and not expect to be crushed by defensive linemen and edge rushers.The quarterbacks who flourish against pressure now either launch the ball quickly and with deadeye precision, like Brady, or they evade and elude like Mahomes, extending plays to create lanes to run or pass, stressing defenses with possibility.Mahomes’s improvisational aptitude means opponents don’t know whether he’ll run or pass — only that he can produce special outcomes with both. Defenses pressure quarterbacks to unnerve them and goad them into mistakes, but with Mahomes, the more chaos churns around him, the better he plays.“Once the play breaks down,” Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David said of Mahomes, “he finds a way to make the play happen again.”In the 2020 regular season and playoffs, Mahomes posted a league-best 126.7 passer rating when teams rushed with at least five players, according to the sports data service Sportradar. Against the blitz, Mahomes completed a greater percentage of passes than Brady did (67.3 to 58.9), and he also outshined him in yards per attempt (8.8 to 7.8) and touchdowns (14 to 12) while throwing no interceptions to Brady’s six.Outside of the pocket, Mahomes can throw from anywhere on the field, at any time, using an array of arm slots — sidearm flicks, underhand spirals, even left-handed. Plotted together, the locations from where he throws in the course of a game look like an unfinished paint-by-numbers, scattered from sideline to sideline. By contrast, Brady’s points of release clot in a central location — the pocket, where he is most comfortable and assertive.“I’m a fan of Patrick Mahomes,” Buccaneers quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen said, “but I don’t want Tom to play like him Sunday.”Brady’s throws travel far. Mahomes’s receivers do the same.Brady and Mahomes command the N.F.L.’s two most prolific and explosive passing offenses by targeting their teammates in completely different ways.The Chiefs prefer to maximize their fleet of pass-catchers by spreading out defenses, creating mismatches — and space — for their leading receivers, Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce. Loaded with run-pass options, which prod defenders into hesitating or overcommitting because they can’t discern what’s coming, the Chiefs’ offense teems with creativity.Kansas City’s receivers always seem open, and by getting them the ball in space Mahomes enables them to run — and run and run. His average completion netted 5.8 yards after the catch (YAC), fourth in the league, and no matter which position Mahomes threw to, or how long the pass itself traveled, according to Football Outsiders and Sports Info Solutions, his passes led to significantly more YAC than Brady’s.One reason? The Chiefs excel at breaking tackles. Kelce — who ranked second in the league in YAC — broke 26 on receptions, while Hill had 17, according to Football Outsiders and Sports Info Solutions. The top Buccaneers receiver, Mike Evans, broke just seven tackles.The Buccaneers’ taller, refined receivers run their routes and beat their defenders at the moment they’re about to grab the ball, so a significant share of Brady’s passing yards are accrued when the receiver makes the catch itself. His 7.3 yards per reception at the catch ranked second in the N.F.L., according to Sportradar, echoing Coach Bruce Arians’s “no risk it, no biscuit” philosophy.Brady signed with Tampa Bay in March amid conjecture that he couldn’t throw deep regularly anymore. When Christensen, his new quarterbacks coach, watched film of him before the Buccaneers pursued him in free agency, he came away positive that Brady had the arm strength, and the downfield accuracy, to thrive in their field-stretching offense.Improving as the season progressed, Brady led the league in attempts, completions and touchdowns — and interceptions — on passes that traveled at least 20 yards in the air, according to Sportradar. However, Mahomes was more efficient downfield than Brady, completing a greater percentage of passes (36 to 34.1) with nine touchdowns and no interceptions.“We faced so many deep coverages with teams, where they’re taking way all our deep throws,” Mahomes said. “I had to learn when to just to take what’s underneath, and that’s something where I’ve kind of grown and matured.”Both Brady and Mahomes can change the game quickly.Three-tenths of a second. The difference is imperceptible to the naked eye but that’s how much more time, on average, Mahomes takes than Brady to throw the ball.Brady’s average release time of 2.4 seconds, according to Pro Football Focus, reflects what Arians called his “fast-twitch reactionary” brain. Before the ball is snapped, Brady anticipates defenses so well, and gets such outstanding protection from his offensive line, that he is able to get rid of the ball at the third-fastest rate in the N.F.L. among qualified quarterbacks (those who took half their team’s drop-backs) even as he throws deep passes regularly.Mahomes’s average release takes 2.68 seconds, but the Chiefs’ offense is loaded with plays meant for him to unleash the ball in under 2.5. When he does so, Mahomes completes 78.9 percent of his throws (to Brady’s 55.9) with a passer rating of 119.9 (to Brady’s 98.4).Those differences in delivery inform which routes Brady and Mahomes connect with in the passing game. The two share the same three most-frequent routes to throw to, according to Football Outsiders and Sports Info Solutions — curls, flies and outs — just in different incidences. Mahomes threw to curl routes 111 times this season, with Brady showing less impartiality among the three.But they then diverged, with Brady preferring digs and finding a greater variety of deep routes while Mahomes fancied mayhem, completing 45 passes when the designed play was a busted and he had to freelance. For Brady, broken plays didn’t even crack his top 10 most favored routes.“There’s no throw he can’t make, and there’s no throw he won’t make,” Buccaneers cornerbacks coach Kevin Ross said of Mahomes. “You think it’s not going to come your way and it will come your way.”Produced by Meg Felling and Dave Horn.

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Behind the Weeknd’s Halftime Show: Nasal Swabs and Backup Plans


When the Weeknd headlines the Super Bowl halftime show on Sunday, the stage will be in the stands, not on the field, to simplify the transition from game to performance. In the days leading up to the event, workers have visited a tent outside Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., to receive nasal swabs for Covid-19 tests. And though a smaller crew is putting on the show this year, the bathroom trailers have been going through three times as much water as usual — because of all that hand-washing.Amid a global pandemic, the gargantuan logistical undertaking that is the halftime show has gotten even more complicated.In a typical year, a massive stage is rolled out in pieces onto the football field, sound and lighting equipment is swiftly set up by hundreds of stagehands working shoulder to shoulder, and fans stream onto the turf to watch the extravaganza. This year, there is a cap on how many people can participate in the production, dense crowds of cheering fans are out of the question. And only about 1,050 people are expected to work to put on the show, a fraction of the work force in most years.The pandemic has halted live performances in much of the country, and many televised spectacles have resorted to pretaped segments to ensure the safety of performers and audiences. The halftime show’s production team, however, was intent on mounting a live performance in the stadium that they hoped would wow television audiences. To fulfill that dream, they would need contingency plans, thousands of KN95 masks and a willingness to break from decades of halftime-show tradition.“It’s going to be a different looking show, but it’s still going to be a live show,” said Jana Fleishman, an executive vice president at Roc Nation, the entertainment company founded by Jay-Z that was tapped by the N.F.L. in 2019 to create performances for marquee games like the Super Bowl. “It’s a whole new way of doing everything.”One of the first logistical puzzles was figuring out how to pick staff members up from the airport and transport them to and from the hotel, said Dave Meyers, the show’s executive in charge of production and the chief operating officer at Diversified Production Services, an event production company based in New Jersey that is working on the halftime show.“Usually you pack everyone into a van, throw the bags into the back, everyone is sitting on each other’s laps,” Meyers said. “That can’t happen.”Instead, they rented more than 300 cars to transport everyone safely.Many of the company’s workers have been in Tampa for weeks, operating out of what they call a “compound” outside of Raymond James Stadium, the home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The compound includes 50-foot-long office trailers, which used to fit about 20 employees each but now are limited to six. There are socially distant dining tents where people eat prepackaged food, and a signal for which tables have been sanitized: the ones with chairs tilted against them.Outside the perimeter of the event, there is a tent where halftime-show workers have been getting Covid-19 tests. Staff members have been getting tested every 48 hours, but now that game day is close, key employees, including those who are in proximity to the performers, are getting tested every day, Meyers said. Each day, workers fill out a health screening on their smartphones, and if they’re cleared, they get a color-coded wristband, with a new color each day so no one can wear yesterday’s undetected.Each time workers enter the stadium or a new area of the grounds, they scan a credential that hangs from around their necks so that in the event that someone tests positive for Covid-19 or needs to go into quarantine, the N.F.L. will know who else was in their vicinity. And there are contingency plans if workers have to quarantine: crucial employees, including Meyers, have understudies who stand ready to take their places.All of those measures are taken so that the Weeknd can step out onstage Sunday for a 12-minute act that aims to rival years past, when the country was not in the midst of a global health crisis.“Our biggest challenge is to make this show look like it’s not affected by Covid,” Meyers said.The challenge was apparent on Thursday at a news conference about the halftime show. When the Weeknd strode to the microphone, he took in the room and noted, “It’s kind of empty.” His words were perhaps a preview of how the stadium might look to people watching from home. (About 25,000 fans will be present — a little more than a third of its capacity — and they will be joined by thousands of cardboard cutouts.)But the Weeknd (Abel Tesfaye), a 30-year-old Canadian pop star who has hits including “Can’t Feel My Face” and “Starboy,” is known for his theatrical flair. His work often has a brooding feel, an avant-garde edge, and even some blood and gore (he promised he would keep the halftime show “PG”).This will be the second Super Bowl halftime show produced in part by Jay-Z and Roc Nation, who were recruited by the N.F.L. at a time when performers were refusing to work with the league, in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who began kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice.The N.F.L. and Roc Nation are keeping quiet about the details of the program to build anticipation, so it is unclear whether it will have the usual big-budget effects of halftime shows past, which have featured Jennifer Lopez dancing on a giant revolving pole, Katy Perry riding an animatronic lion and Diana Ross memorably exiting by helicopter.What is clear is that there is unlikely to be anything like the intimate moment Lady Gaga had with a few of her fans during her 2017 performance, when she clasped their hands and embraced one of them before going back onstage for “Bad Romance.” The Weeknd is taking the stage in a much more distanced world.Ken Belson contributed reporting.

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Latest look at Super Bowl LV odds and injuries ahead of this Sunday


The Big Game this Sunday is on every sports gambler’s mind right now, with a high amount of anticipation on how things are going to turn out. Over the years, several Super Bowls have been disappointing, with complete blowouts that made football fans wonder how some teams managed to get as far as they did. Super Bowl LV isn’t expected to be one of those games, and the Kansas City Chiefs are still 3-point favorites to beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With just a few days to go before the Big Game, both teams have been busy figuring out who can play and who can’t, and it seems as though most of the big names are healthy.According to an update provided by Chiefs Wire yesterday, there were only limited issues on the Chiefs’ sideline. Left tackle Eric Fisher and Linebacker Willie Gay, Jr., who Kansas City wants to have on the field, did not practice due to injury, while running back Le’Veon Bell and wide receiver Sammy Watkins were limited. Running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who had been dealing with hip and ankle issues, participated in practice yesterday, as did cornerbacks L’Jarius Sneed and Rashad Fenton. The rising NFL star who has already made his future position as a GOAT, Patrick Mahomes, was in on the practices this week, as well. Limited participation in practice doesn’t mean that there is reason to start worrying. In many instances, teams will put their top players on limited duty during practice to keep them healthy and help avoid any practice-related injuries. The New Orleans Saints has this as part of their standard operating procedures, and it has paid off in each of the last four years as they made it to the NFC Conference finals.The Bucs only had one player who didn’t practice, defensive tackle Steve McLendon, but his absence isn’t injury-related and will most likely be on the field. There were a number of players on limited participation this week, including linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul who is dealing with a knee injury, and safety Antoine Winfield. Tight end Cameron Brate, whose loss would be significant for the Bucs, is dealing with back problems and was limited in practice. Wide receivers Antonio Brown and Mike Evans, who had also had knee issues, were in full practice mode this week.According to the oddsmakers at Bodog, the Chiefs are 3-point favorites at -115 and are getting -160 on the moneyline to win – the Bucs are at +140. The Over/Under hasn’t moved too much, still sitting at 56 at -110. This Super Bowl is one of the most competitive in recent history and has already seen some incredibly expensive bets placed. One was for more than $2 million on the Bucs to win and, although risky, is definitely capable of hitting. With Tom Brady leading Tampa Bay, anything is possible.

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Why the Chiefs Will Beat the Buccaneers: Super Bowl 2021 Prediction


After last season’s magical run, nearly everyone expected the Kansas City Chiefs to be back in the Super Bowl this year. An appearance by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, coming off a 7-9 season in 2019 but given new life by a 43-year-old quarterback, came as more of a surprise.Florida turned out to be a fountain of youth for Tom Brady, and his team’s late-season surge has continued into the postseason, setting up a clash of quarterbacks some people call the GOAT (Brady) and the Baby GOAT (Patrick Mahomes), as in “greatest of all time.”The quarterbacks did not get to the championship game on Sunday by themselves. Both teams finished in the N.F.L.’s top 10 in most points scored and fewest points allowed, and while this game may end up having a high score, there are likely to be big defensive plays along the way.Here is a look at how the game should play out.Kansas City Chiefs at Tampa Bay BuccaneersSunday at 6:30 p.m. Eastern, CBS | Line: Chiefs -3 | Total: 56When Tampa Bay Has the BallIt is not hard to figure out why Tom Brady wanted to play with the Buccaneers.After struggling to get anything going with a mediocre group of wide receivers in his last few seasons with New England, Brady saw limitless opportunities in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. But if he was going to roll the dice with a new team, Brady didn’t want to stop with two Pro Bowl wide receivers, so he persuaded his old pal Rob Gronkowski, a tight end, to come out of retirement as well.When Tampa Bay’s season began with inconsistency and injuries, Brady lobbied the team to add wide receiver Antonio Brown, vouching for him as someone whose productivity would outweigh his troubles.There were flashes of brilliance and moments of frustration for the first three-quarters of the season. But after a loss to Kansas City in Week 12, the Buccaneers came out of their Week 13 bye looking like a new team. Over the next four weeks, Tampa Bay was 4-0 and averaged 37 points a game.That barrage has kept up in the postseason, with the Buccaneers scoring at least 30 points in each of their three road wins. They have a chance on Sunday to become the first N.F.L. team to have four 30-point games in a single postseason.While Tampa Bay can run effectively behind Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette, the expectation on Sunday is for Brady to move the ball downfield with short and medium throws to his four elite pass catchers, relying on them to gain yardage after the catch.The Chiefs will counter with a pass rush spearheaded by defensive tackle Chris Jones and a secondary largely controlled by safety Tyrann Mathieu, a run stopper and takeaway machine. Bashaud Breeland, the Chiefs’ top defensive back in terms of pass coverage, will have his hands full trying to stop Evans, Godwin and Brown.Brady is likely to put up quite a few passing yards, but Kansas City has a bend-don’t-break defense. It may not be as intimidating as some units — Tampa Bay’s included — but it has allowed the 10th fewest points in the N.F.L. this season. So while a 300-yard game from Brady may be expected, a continuation of Tampa Bay’s 30-point streak, which is at seven games over all, is less likely.When Kansas City Has the BallMahomes isn’t fair. He uses speed and footwork to avoid sacks the way Aaron Rodgers does. He turns busted plays into huge runs the way Russell Wilson does, and he can zip an accurate pass to a receiver with a flick of the wrist the way Dan Marino used to. While it all plays out like a tightrope act, with Mahomes frequently drawing defenders in close before releasing the ball, he almost never panics, showing a precision in everything he does that belies the apparent improvisation.While it’s easy enough to explain his effectiveness by pointing to his 4,740 yards passing or his 38 touchdown passes this season, the two most significant statistics for Mahomes are probably his N.F.L.-best 1 percent interception rate and his 3.6 percent sack rate. You can let your eyes convince you that he is being reckless, but you would be emphatically wrong — as so many defenses have been.The Chiefs’ challenge was making sure they put players around Mahomes who could capitalize on his greatness, and they have two of the best in tight end Travis Kelce and wide receiver Tyreek Hill. Kelce set a record for receiving yards by a tight end this season (1,416), and would probably have topped 1,500 had Kansas City not rested its starters in Week 17. Hill is a touchdown threat on every play, with his speed sometimes overshadowing his elusiveness, strength and ability to make difficult catches and break tackles.Speed is everywhere on Kansas City’s offense — Mahomes, Kelce and Hill have it, too — and the rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire added a threat to the running game that had been expected to be missing when Damien Williams opted out of the season.Considering Kansas City’s tendency to play its best when it is challenged most, this game seems to tilt in the Chiefs’ favor, with the biggest caveat being the team’s poor health on its offensive line. Kansas City is expected to be without its two starting tackles and multiple guards, leaving it short-handed against a Tampa Bay pass rush that has an extreme interior push from defensive tackles Vita Vea and Ndamukong Suh and elite edge rushing from Shaquil Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul.If Kansas City’s offensive line turns into a sieve — a possibility because it is essentially playing a backup at every spot — Mahomes will face a lot of pressure and his scrambling ability will be extremely tested. That, theoretically, could lead to a mistake or two on throws downfield — though relying on Mahomes to make mistakes is typically a fool’s errand.How It Will Play OutMahomes is in a place in his career where it is almost impossible to doubt him — something that should be familiar for Brady, who was once at the same peak with New England. It is easy to see the Buccaneers having a good day offensively, but even if they were to run up a significant lead, they should never feel safe, as the Chiefs have fallen behind by at least 9 points in four of their last five playoff games — including last year’s Super Bowl — and have won anyway.Mahomes has years of accomplishments ahead of him before his career can accurately be stacked up against Brady’s, but it seems like a safe bet that he will do something on Sunday that no quarterback has done since Brady: win back-to-back Super Bowls.Predicted Score: Chiefs 31, Buccaneers 26

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