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How to watch Super Bowl 2017 if you don't have cable - CNET

136 d ago

tech gadgets

The New England Patriots will play the Atlanta Falcons for the Lombardi Trophy this year. Find out how you can watch the game live and for free.
View Full Article On CNET News


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Pro Bowl 2017 live stream: How to watch online
The conference-based format is back.
It’s that time of year again, folks. The top players from the NFC and AFC will collide to see which conference is superior. This is the first time since 2012 in which the Pro Bowl will be played under the conference-based format.
You may not see players deliver big hits in this game, but you will get to watch exotic play calls and fancy celebrations. Coaches and players will try to get creative and leave fans in awe.
The NFL’s all-star game, our last chance to watch football before Super Bowl LI, will air at 8 p.m. ET Sunday night on ESPN, with a live stream available at WatchESPN . Unlike previous years, the game will not be held in Hawaii. This year, it will be played at Camping World Stadium in Orlando.
Although many players voted into the Pro Bowl won’t participate, there are big names who will still take the field Sunday night.
Tom Brady , Antonio Brown , and Le’Veon Bell won’t suit up for the AFC, but Philip Rivers (in his last game as a San Diego Charger), Jarvis Landry , and Jay Ajayi could still make plays.
And don’t forget about Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce and Raiders punter Marquette King , who will surely entertain us in some fashion — perhaps a dance-off ?
Last year, Von Miller couldn’t play in the Pro Bowl because he was getting ready for the Super Bowl, and he would go on to win Super Bowl MVP. This time around, with the Broncos missing out on the playoffs, Miller gets a chance to shine in a game that no one takes too seriously.
This year, players such as Tom Brady and his Patriots teammates Devin McCourty and Dont’a Hightower , along with Matt Ryan , Julio Jones , and Devonta Freeman of the Falcons , are getting ready for their Super Bowl matchup.
Two Super Bowl winners will captain the AFC team: Jerome Bettis and Ray Lewis. For the NFC, it’ll be Charles Woodson and Tony Gonzalez .
Aaron Rodgers , Larry Fitzgerald , and David Johnson won’t play for the NFC, but the leading vote-getter at running back is all ready to go. Cowboys rookie Ezekiel Elliott was nothing short of amazing in his first season. His blend of power, speed, and agility was on full display as he ran for a league-high 1,631 yards.
There are star players at wide receiver, too. Doug Baldwin will replace Fitzgerald, and Dez Bryant will also play in the Pro Bowl as Jones’s replacement. New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who showed off his incomparable one-handed catching abilities in the Pro Bowl Skills Showdown, will also bring the fireworks.
The NFC will be coached by the Cowboys staff, while the Chiefs staff will oversee the AFC team.
While this matchup will be competitive, it’s all about having fun. With a new location, a new format, and big personalities, the Pro Bowl could be entertaining this year.
How to Watch
Time: 8 p.m. ET
Place: Camping World Stadium, Orlando, Fla.
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Teeing up the most engaged Super Bowl experience ever
Presented by Extreme Networks
For more than 100 million fans watching around the world, Super Bowl LI will be the game — and event — of the year. For those lucky enough to be inside NRG Stadium, it will be the experience of a lifetime. They’ll witness the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons compete for Lombardi’s trophy and their spot in history. During it all, they’ll be able to capture and share the experience, all while ordering drinks to their seat, watching mobile video and sharing countless #SuperBowl selfies on Instagram.
Just a decade or so ago, NFL teams did not have to worry about things like Wi-Fi and mobile experiences. Then the smartphone came along, and what fans wanted to do inside a stadium on game day began to change. Supporting fans with robust Wi-Fi became a necessity, rather than a luxury.
At first, demands were simple. Fans simply wanted to look at stats in real-time, check how their fantasy team was performing, or share a picture on Facebook. Three years ago, the average number of fans connected to Wi-Fi at an NFL Stadium on game day was about 14,000 and they used only about 1 terabyte (TB) of data per game. Today, its growing….exponentially.
For half of the NFL stadiums that rely on Extreme Networks to supply their networking or Wi-Fi infrastructure and the 23 for their analytics solutions, the average number of fans connected at any time is between 30,000 to 35,000. Together, these fans are consuming more than 4 TB of data per game (for those keeping track at home, that’s a 4x increase in three years, and it’s still increasing). Driving this demand are emerging behaviors that will shape the future of game day experiences, help the NFL understand fans in new ways, and potentially even change the way the game itself is played.
What to expect for Wi-Fi at Super Bowl LI
Super Bowl LI will be played on February 5, 2017 at NRG Stadium in Houston. In order to host the big game, host cities bid and must win the rights — which includes pitching a clear and compelling Wi-Fi plan to the NFL. This directive, which came right from the commissioner, showcases the explosive growth and demands for new in-stadium experiences.
In a video about planning for Super Bowl LI, NFL CIO Michelle McKenna-Doyle talks about the challenges of meeting these demands and how Extreme’s analytics solutions have helped the league understand fans as individuals. It’s a common objective in many sports leagues and entirely different industries around the world. By partnering with Extreme during the past three Super Bowls, the NFL has anticipated how they will need to support fans’ use of Wi-Fi at NRG Stadium during Super Bowl LI.
For all parties, it’s crucial to ensure there’s appropriate network availability for everything the NFL really wants fans to be able to do during the game. For example, watching video of player interviews or highlights in Super Bowl app s, ordering a beer and a hotdog to your seat, or playing a daily fantasy game, are on-point behaviors to engage fans. On the other hand, it makes sense to manage in-stadium Wi-Fi access for off-point activities such as updating unrelated apps, or creating a personal hotspot that interferes with connections for other fans.
To create the best possible fan experience, NRG Stadium’s Wi-Fi has been purpose-built for the facility and the day. There will be networking with the agility of Barry Sanders. There will even be 20 on-site Wi-Fi Coaches in the stands to help fans get the most from their experiences and assist with technical issues. It will be, without question, the most robust in-stadium Wi-Fi experience ever for a Super Bowl. And that means it’s game-on for teams and brands who want to engage fans.
How the NFL and teams will use the data
During the Super Bowl, everything is amplified. If you can deliver there, you can do it anywhere — like the Ice Bowl . If you can deliver that experience consistently, every game day, there are rewards that spill out of the stands and onto the field of play. That’s why 23 of the NFL’s 31 stadiums (the Jets and Giants share a site) use Extreme’s solutions to measure and respond to fan’s demands on the network. That information is then collected and aggregated on behalf of the league, with three primary use cases.
First, individual teams and stadiums use the data to optimize how they design and deliver Wi-Fi services on the network, ensuring that better speeds and appropriate bandwidth are allocated to on-point behaviors. Second, the league uses the data to derive business intelligence it needs to make sure clubs meet a consistent standard of fulfilling fan’s demands for in-stadium experiences, which is just good for the game.
Third, the analytics help marketers better understand fans so they can align new business and partner opportunities with demand. A good example is the league’s decision to begin broadcasting some games in combination with Twitter via Periscope. This important step in merging fan experience with broadcast coverage portends an evolution in the game day experience that could be a huge score for everyone.
Kicking off soon
For the last two seasons, every NFL player has had an RFID chip in their shoulder pads to track various types of data. If you watch Thursday Night Football , which the league owns broadcast rights to, you’ve seen how this technology is being transposed to add to the broadcast experience by visualizing the player’s speed or distance travelled. However, the original use case for the technology, was not as a broadcast instrument, but a means to track and improve athletic performance such as informing training or healing regiments.
An interesting evolution fans can look forward to is how this performance data will be integrated in broadcast and in-stadium experiences powered by augmented reality (AR). Imagine a powerful AR experience in which any screen in the stadium — smart phones, TVs, clubhouse windows — becomes a transmitter where fans can see and interact with information about each pass route, broken tackle, and big hit. You’ll be able to go in, analyze what’s happening, maybe even recreate a given play to see how things would have turned out, if only. Teams will figure out a way to use the same data. Perhaps #88 is slower out of his cuts than usual on pass routes — the offense could look at that and say, ‘He needs different cleats.’ The defense might look at that and say, ‘We don’t need to double him after all.’ Special teams might look at that and say, ‘Warm up our #2 punt return man.’
As AR takes fans deeper into the game, pulling and pushing experiences and data at the same time, this will create an interesting dynamic. Is the real football game becoming more like a video game, or the other way around? How will teams use data in real time to tweak in-game strategy, and how will third-party experiences that thrive on the game’s micro-moments, such as FanDuel, create and monetize on AR experiences? These are not ‘blue sky’ concepts. These AR experiences are being built now and you’ll see more of them on your TV, or phone, and soon to be, in-stadium.
Bigger than the game
Other industries with large facilities and thousands of people sharing a common experience (hospitals, hotels, retailers, airports, and campuses) are also learning how to employ Wi-Fi more effectively in those environments. Those pan-industry learnings are feeding each other and driving even more demand. In short, the pipe has been opened, we are already getting to network capacity, and it’s still early in the game.
Mobile providers have had the foresight to see that they can’t build enough network to meet every need. In specialized environments with big clusters of people, such as those who will attend Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium, the requirement is to offload capacity requirements to Wi-Fi. There is simply no other way to ensure support for the continued evolution of devices, content, and fan experience.
The NFL is out in front on delivering great in-stadium Wi-Fi and college venues are expected to follow (Extreme Networks is partnered with IMG to address this market). It’s a certainty that fan and consumer demand for new and better experiences in-stadium and elsewhere will continue to accelerate — like a WR, streaking down the sideline, 4th and a mile to go, with the clock running out on history.
Sponsored posts are content produced by a company that is either paying for the post or has a business relationship with VentureBeat, and they’re always clearly marked. Content produced by our editorial team is never influenced by advertisers or sponsors in any way. For more information, contact [email protected] .
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Super Bowl schedule 2017: Dates and times for the full week
The entire week is an event leading up to the Super Bowl.
Super Bowl week is an event. This year, Texas has earned hosting duties for Super Bowl 51, which will be played between the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots , and all the bells and whistles that come with it.
The city of Houston will turn into a small-scale Olympic Village to host the mass of football fans descending upon the Lone Star State. It’s seven days jammed back with everything you can imagine, centered around the Super Bowl but existing entirely on its own as well. Fans without tickets to the big game will still have several options to chase the NFL experience, ranging from breakfasts to concerts in the lead-up to Sunday’s showdown.
Super Bowl LIVE will be held throughout the week, giving fans a 250,000 square foot playground for the nine days buttressing the biggest game in football. The NFL describes it as a “fan village” and it’s open during the evenings (and later in the week, the afternoons as well) with features like a virtual reality trip to Mars. It’ll also contain a rarity for warm-weather Texas -- an outdoor skating rink .
For fans unwilling to spend the $4,700 it will cost for an average ticket, shelling out $14 to skate adjacent to some other fans could be a reasonable alternative.
A handful of NFL legends will be on hand to hit the links Friday in the Legends on the Links NFL Foundation Golf Tournament . Prior years have featured superstars like Jim Brown, Jim Taylor, Paul Warfield, Jack Youngblood, and Chris Doleman. But Friday isn’t just for relaxing on the golf course; it will also be the day the league gives back to Houston. The Kickoff to Rebuild, despite its awkward name, will devote NFL resources to improving the city through service projects. This series of events will “ provide critical home repairs for low-income homeowners and their communities .”
The University of Houston will play host to a food-tasting event that pairs NFL legends with regional foods from across the league Friday. The following morning, Tony Dungy, Roger Staubach, Bruce Matthews, Bob McNair, and Anthony Munoz will all be on hand for the 2017 Super Bowl Breakfast, where a table of 10 will only cost you a mere $2,500 .
If music is more your thing than food, the league has several options available. The Super Bowl Gospel Celebration will bring Christian acts like Cece Winans, Natalie Grant, the NFL Players’ Choice, and the Prairie View A&M Marching Storm. For a more secular, Lone Star-tinged experience, Texas artists like Solange, Leon Bridges, ZZ Top and Gary Clark Jr. will perform at Super Bowl LIVE throughout the week . And, if you’re nostalgic for last year’s halftime show, Bruno Mars will be in town Friday for an unrelated show .
You can check out the full schedule of events below. There’s also a full list of all the events here .
Full schedule (all times Eastern) Monday, Jan. 30
Super Bowl LIVE : 4 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Super Bowl Opening Night (Media Day): 8:15 p.m. - 11 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 31
Super Bowl LIVE: 4 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 1
Super Bowl LIVE: 4 p.m. - midnight
Bridgestone Fan Gallery: 4 p.m. - 11 p.m.
NFL Experience: 4 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 2
Bridgestone Fan Gallery: 4 p.m. - 11 p.m.
Super Bowl LIVE: 4 p.m. - midnight
NFL Experience: 4 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 3
NFL Foundation Golf Tournament : 9:00 a.m.
Kickoff To Rebuild : 9:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
NFL Experience: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Bridgestone Fan Gallery: 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.
Super Bowl LIVE: 11 a.m. - midnight
Super Bowl Gospel Celebration : 8:30 p.m
Saturday, Feb. 4
Super Bowl Breakfast: 9 a.m. - 11 a.m.
NFL Experience: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Bridgestone Fan Gallery: 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.
Super Bowl LIVE: 11 a.m. - midnight
Taste of the NFL: Party with a Purpose : 7 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 5
NFL Experience: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Bridgestone Fan Gallery: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Super Bowl LIVE: 11 a.m. - midnight
GameDay Fan Plaza: 2 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Super Bowl LI - Player Introductions and national anthem: 6 p.m.
Super Bowl LI Kickoff: 6:30 p.m.
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Super Bowl 2017 Media Day live stream: Time, TV schedule, and how to watch online
Media day, or Opening Night like the NFL is calling it, is a spectacle worth beholding.
Super Bowl 51’s Media Day — or Opening Night, as they extravagantly refer to it as — is available to the public. You’ll have to buy tickets, but if it’s anything like it was last year, it’s an event that requires attendance for football fans who will be in Houston.
Media Day once started as an earnest event for reporters to gather information from teams mired in pregame preparation. Now, it’s an opportunity for cosplayers and handpuppets ( literally ) to ask inane questions and record responses. Rhyme and reason exit the stage Monday, instead replaced by German men dressed as downhill skiers and septuagenarians dolled up as team-specific leprechauns .
So maybe don’t expect much real insight from Monday’s interviews with the players and coaches. But if you still want to catch the festivities, Opening Night will air on NFL Network at 8 p.m. ET, with a live stream available at NFL.com/Watch for subscribers to certain cable providers.
The matchup was settled on Sunday, with the Atlanta Falcons facing off against the New England Patriots . This is the Patriots’ record-setting ninth Super Bowl appearance, while the Falcons have made the trip to the season’s final game just once before in 1998. They lost that game, while the Patriots boast four Super Bowl championships — most recently in 2014.
The Falcons’ photo and interview session will take place from 8:10-9:10 p.m. ET, and the Patriots will follow from 10-11 p.m.
The event will pit two different coaches against the media. Bill Belichick has traditionally been prickly with the media, mixing non-answers with effectual praise for Rutgers , rants against modern technology , and blatant sarcasm . His counterpart, Dan Quinn, has revealed himself as a master of the corny quip. His success has relied on his players buying in to concepts like “Brotherhood” and “Rise Up!
Suffice to say, one of those coaches is more likely to handle questions from someone wearing a football as a mask than the other. If history is any indication, even the best-dressed reporters will have trouble getting close to Belichick or Quinn.
Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images
Media day will be held at Minute Maid Park, the Houston Astros’ park located in downtown Houston. Tickets for the event are priced at $30 for field level seats and $20 for the upper deck. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. ET.
The “Opening Night” concept was pioneered last year in Santa Clara at Super Bowl 50. 6,000 fans attended, but the larger venue will allow the NFL to double the number of fans.
How to watch Super Bowl 2017 Opening Night
Time: 8 p.m. ET
Place: Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas
TV: NFL Network
Online: NFL.com/watch or NFL Mobile for your phone
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143 d ago
Super Bowl 2017: Tickets could cost as little as $1,000 on game day
It’s not a guarantee, but the prospect of cheap Super Bowl tickets should be exciting for many fans.
The possibility of Super Bowl tickets going for as low as $1,000 this weekend looks at least possible.
As of Monday, the cheapest tickets on the secondary market for the Atlanta Falcons ’ Super Bowl showdown with the New England Patriots are going for about $2,200, but bargain hunters should rejoice on account of a couple of things. In recent Super Bowls, the demand for tickets has decreased while the quantity of available tickets has done the opposite.
In an interview with USA TODAY Sports, TicketIQ spokesperson Jesse Lawrence predicted the over/under for the price of tickets on game day to be at $1,000.
"Usually when you see supply this low, it leads to crazy high prices," said Lawrence.
Remember the aforementioned ticket price on the secondary market — $2,200? Well, buying tickets at that price, which seems sky-high, is actually a bargain. The average ticket price of $2,208 (to be exact), according to TicketIQ, is 18 percent cheaper now than where prices were at this time last year.
The ticket trends for this year’s Super Bowl mirror those of another game the Patriots played in: Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis — the game where the New York Giants upset the Pats for the second time in two matchups. Game day tickets went for about $1,000 then, and according to Lawrence, they could “get even lower” this year.
What makes things complicated, however, is the package deals companies use to sell tickets. In previous years, the NFL has only distributed tickets to the big game through the league and its 32 teams. From there, teams oftentimes offer Super Bowl tickets to their season ticket holders, as well as their corporate sponsors who then package and sell tickets to fans. If it weren’t for the packaging of tickets, like the ones sold by NFL On Location, the league’s official hospitality partner (partially owned by Jon Bon Jovi), prices could be even lower.
As of now, every type of ticket package, aside from the cheapest, remains available. The packages include a pregame party and VIP access to concerts, with the prices starting at $7,249.
It would take NFL On Location breaking the tickets out of these expensive packages — something completely within the realm of possibility — for tickets to become more accessible and, most likely, cheaper. With more supply on the market, prices would likely drop even further than they’ve already dropped. However, On Location would likely give these tickets to league sponsors in order not to create a dangerous precedent and rather maintain the tradition of packaging Super Bowl tickets.
If you’re in the market for some tickets to Sunday’s game, be sure to constantly check the NFL On Location website and other secondary markets.
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143 d ago
Super Bowl 2017: Preview, date, and start time
The New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons will square off for Super Bowl LI on Sunday, Feb. 5 at 6:30 p.m. ET on FOX.
The New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons are set to meet in Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium in Houston.
For the Patriots, it’s a ninth trip to the Super Bowl and a chance to win a fifth, but it’s a chance for the Falcons to claim a Lombardi Trophy for the first time. The only other trip to the big stage for Atlanta came 18 years ago in Super Bowl XXXIII, but the Falcons came up short against the Denver Broncos, 34-19.
The meeting of the Falcons and Patriots in 2017 features two highly productive offenses. No team scored more points during the regular season than Atlanta and the team kept that run going in the playoffs with 80 combined points in wins over the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers.
But producing against the New England defense may not be as easy. No team allowed fewer points than the Patriots and the offense held up its end by finishing No. 3 in points scored.
Quarterbacks Matt Ryan and Tom Brady both finished the year with tremendous statistics, although Brady started in just 12 games due to a suspension at the beginning of the year.
Kickoff on Sunday is scheduled for approximately 6:30 p.m. ET on FOX.
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Rex Ryan is going to the Super Bowl ... as an ESPN analyst
It didn’t take the former Bills coach long to find a studio job.
Rex Ryan is many things, but quiet is not one of them. When his tenure with the Buffalo Bills unceremoniously ended with his ousting, he immediately became a hot commodity in the broadcasting market.
While CBS, Fox, and NFL Network all came calling, the 54-year-old former head coach decided to take his talents to the worldwide leader.
Ryan will join ESPN at Super Bowl LI as a member of the network’s Sunday NFL Countdown panel . The AFC East mainstay should have plenty to say about Tom Brady and the Patriots — he faced New England 16 times from 2009 to 2016, going 5-11 in the process.
“Rex is a great personality and has a unique perspective,” said Seth Markman, ESPN senior coordinating producer. “He knows the Patriots really well. He’s raring to go.”
Ryan’s deal with the network is currently only for Sunday’s three-hour show, but could make ESPN his likely home for 2017 if he eschews a return to the sideline this fall. The football lifer could probably find a spot as a coordinator in the NFL or even as a head coach in the college ranks, but may decide the less stressful life of an analyst is the way to go.
If he remains at ESPN, Sunday Countdown will get an animated football mind who’s not afraid to say exactly what he means. Ryan built a reputation as a boisterous and honest man who passed up traditional coaching platitudes to become one of the league’s best interviews. His trash talk exchanges with Bill Belichick were legendary . He once pretended to be a Buffalo News reporter to ask Julian Edelman who the Patriots would start at quarterback in Week 4 . He even called for his own firing with the Bills, telling owner Terry Pegula to pull the trigger in Week 16 rather than waiting until the offseason .
His presence could help offset the loss of Chris Berman, who stepped down as the program’s lead host this winter.
Ryan will bring his honesty and absurdity to ESPN on Sunday, where he’s liable to take to the studio like a fish to water. If all goes well, Ryan could become a mainstay of network NFL broadcasts into the future.
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Only 27 percent of America is rooting for the Patriots in the Super Bowl
The Atlanta Falcons are America’s Team. For a week or so, at least.
You and I might not be able to agree on much these days. Here’s one thing we likely can agree on: It would be good if the New England Patriots lost the Super Bowl to the Atlanta Falcons. Respected polling outfit Public Policy Polling finds that the issue is one capable of finally uniting portions of America:
We find that among football fans nationwide, 53% are rooting for the Falcons to win on Sunday, compared to only 27% who are pulling for the Patriots. Republicans (58/23), Democrats (54/27), and independents (47/31) all give their support to the Falcons in pretty similar numbers. The Falcons have a very positive overall image as a team- 55% of fans see them favorably to 19% with an unfavorable view. Meanwhile attitudes toward the Patriots are considerably more divided, with 43% seeing them positively and 42% negatively.
The argument for the Falcons as the more likable team in this game is simple to make, and has been handled well in various ways by Harry Lyles Jr. , Lang Whitaker , Rembert Browne , Jay Busbee , and many other ATLiens of distinguishment. Our Charlotte Wilder, who’s from Massachusetts, agrees this Super Bowl is Good Guys vs. Bad Guys .
The common perception that New England cheats and the Patriots’ constant Super Bowl appearances are pretty clear reasons for America to hate this team. “The Patriots are the most hated team in the NFL, an 'honor' they've taken away from the Cowboys ever since Deflategate,” writes PPP. The Patriots’ close association with a certain polarizing political figure might also make it hard for many unaffiliated sports fans in the region to support the locals, considering New England’s voting patterns.
No one really knows who motivational speaker Falcons head coach Dan Quinn is, but America’s certain it likes him more than it likes Bill Belichick anyway:
Matt Ryan's overall favorability/unfavorability is 51/10, while Tom Brady's is 46/39. Dan Quinn has a pretty low profile but his +22 net favorability rating (30% positive, 8% negative) is a good deal better than Bill Belichick's, who comes in at +6 (40% positive, 34% negative.)
The Falcons are an intensely fun team to watch, with a fan base that’s never gotten to enjoy a championship and rarely gets to celebrate any wins of significance in any other sports, either. Since our only major pro sports title, the Braves’ 1995 World Series win, Boston’s won eleventy-four thousand championships. Everyone is tired of that happening and would like it to stop, and if the lil guy gets to finally smile for a change, then that’s pretty good, too.
Also, the basic facts of the matter, as Busbee carefully explains them:
Chick-fil-A and Waffle House are better than Dunkin Donuts. OutKast is better than Aerosmith. Pork barbecue is better than clam chowder. Sweetwater is better than Sam Adams. “Atlanta,” the TV show, is better than every Wahlberg’s career output combined.
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Super Bowl Media Day 2017: 7 things to watch during Opening Night
Donald Trump is sure to come up Monday night.
Media Day at the Super Bowl is much less about getting groundbreaking quotes for in-depth journalism and much more about ridiculousness and chaos.
Reporters come in costumes and several come up with the most inane questions possible .
Peyton Manning answering tough questions: Do you know who Taylor Swift is dating? Now taking Qs from a puppet #SB50 pic.twitter.com/wgpOq2RXEa
— Todd Johnson (@SFBizTodd) February 2, 2016
The NFL has leaned into that reputation and now holds “Super Bowl Opening Night Fueled by Gatorade,” a spectacle that will be held at Minute Maid Park, which fans can actually purchase tickets to attend.
It will get started at 8 p.m. ET and broadcast live on NFL Network, but amidst all the wackiness, there may be some interviews worth keeping an eye on. Here are seven things to watch during the media chaos Monday night:
1. Martellus Bennett is a quote machine
The New England Patriots tight end is only in his first season with the team after he was traded by the Chicago Bears in March, but he has enjoyed every second of being on a winning team. While the rest of the players typically stick to “The Patriot Way,” Bennett has had zero problem being very excited about going to a Super Bowl and has voiced his mind every step of the way.
Among his greatest hits of the 2016 season, Bennett said winning is like having sex , playing football in cold weather is sexier like women on Halloween , and that he channeled Netflix’s Luke Cage to shake off an injury.
With absurd questions likely headed his way Monday night, Bennett is as prepared as any to give absurd answers.
2. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick get asked about their relationship with Donald Trump
Cameras spotted a “Make America Great Again” baseball cap in Brady’s locker last September. He’s been sidestepping questions about his relationship with Trump ever since. Later that year, when Trump first proposed a ban on Muslim immigrants in the wake of the San Bernardino shootings, Brady was asked again about his relationship with him .
“Donald is a good friend of mine. I have known him for a long time. I support all my friends. That is what I have to say. He’s a good friend of mine. He’s always been so supportive of me,” Brady said.
This fall, with the Presidential campaign in full swing, Brady was asked again about Trump, specifically the candidate’s infamous “locker room talk” assertion. Brady refused to answer and walked off the stage .
Bill Belichick wrote a letter of endorsement that Trump shared on the campaign trail in November.
Since then, Brady hasn’t had much to say about his friend, but the Patriots quarterback’s name came up this month during the inauguration when Trump wished the team luck .
Given the election results and the controversy surrounding Trump’s ban on refugees from majority Muslim countries, the questions are bound to come up again.
3. Matt Ryan will answer questions without saying much of anything
Ryan is media friendly enough, but his answers tend toward the vanilla. Even during Media Day, when the questions, and the people asking them, will not be typical of a regular season media scrum, don’t expect Ryan’s answers to deviate from his standard, somewhat bland answers.
4. Falcons players will mention their “brotherhood”
It’s a favorite catchphrase of head coach Dan Quinn, and it’s a principle the Falcons credit with helping them get to this point. They like to talk about it a lot. It will come up.
5. There will be questions about ping pong
The Falcons have spent this whole season competing against each other in heated ping pong battles in the locker room. The national media just found out about it during the postseason, and people are bound to be curious about who the best ping pong player on the Falcons roster may be. (It’s Julio Jones, but long snapper Josh Harris has given Jones some great battles this season.)
6. Deflategate everything
It’s going to come up. It’s been coming up all month. Brady said he’s not going to share his feelings on Roger Goodell until after the Super Bowl ... maybe . Owner Robert Kraft acknowledged that it strained his friendship with Goodell. And Belichick will just brush it off with his own version of Marshawn Lynch’s “ I’m just here so I won’t get fined ” answer.
And now the world’s press will get to ask them about it and be dumbfounded by the lack of answers they get.
7. Noisegate questions
A handful of Boston media members have gotten riled up about the disparity between coverage of Deflategate and the relative lack thereof regarding the Falcons’ own rule-breaking scandal, Noisegate. The NFL found that the Falcons had pumped fake crowd noise into the Georgia Dome in 2013 and 2014, and the team was fined $350,000 and lost a fifth-round pick in the 2016 draft for the violations.
The Falcons went 10-22 over those two seasons, so it’s unlikely they gained a competitive advantage, but hey, cheating is cheating.
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