Superstar quarterback Tom Brady and the New England Patriots will get a shot at reclaiming the NFL’s top trophy on Feb. 3, when they’ll face off against the Los Angeles Rams at Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta.
It’ll be the first Super Bowl matchup between the two franchises since 2002 when the Rams were based in St. Louis and the Patriots were still an up-and-coming team with no championship wins.
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Quarterback Brady and coach Bill Belichick led the Patriots to their first title with a 20-17 win over the Rams that year, launching what has become one of the most dominant dynasties in pro sports.
The Patriots (13-5) have now won five and played in eight of the past 17 Super Bowls. They will play in their third consecutive championship game in February, following a loss to Philadelphia last year and a win over Atlanta in 2017.
Brady, 41, will play in his ninth Super Bowl on Feb. 3, after which he will have appeared in 17 per cent of all Super Bowl games in history. He will also become the oldest quarterback to play in the Super Bowl when he steps on the field.
The Rams (15-3) will represent Los Angeles for the first time since 1980 when they lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The franchise won its only Super Bowl in 2000 in Atlanta, when the team was still based in St. Louis.
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The Rams secured their berth in Super Bowl LIII after a controversial 26-23 overtime win over the New Orleans Saints in the National Football Conference title game.
Quarterback Jared Goff, 24, will try to lead his Rams over Brady’s squad as the one-point favourite to win.
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Super Bowl LIII will be played on Sunday, Feb. 3, at 6:30 p.m. ET.
The game will be televised on CBS in the United States.
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This will be the 53rd Super Bowl. “LIII” means 53 in Roman numerals, the traditional lettering format used for naming each championship.
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The NFL briefly switched up the tradition in 2016 to refer to the game as Super Bowl 50, rather than Super Bowl L.
Gladys Knight, 74, will sing The Star Spangled Banner at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in her hometown of Atlanta, Georgia.
Knight defended her decision to sing at the event last week, following criticism from supporters of former quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who popularized the pre-game tradition of taking a knee during the anthem to protest racial injustice.
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Knight said she wanted to “give the anthem back its voice” to include Americans struggling for racial justice. She said she did not need to prove her commitment to civil rights.
“I have fought long and hard for all my life, from walking back hallways, from marching with our social leaders, from using my voice for good,” the singer said in a statement.
Pop band Maroon 5 and rappers Travis Scott and Big Boi will provide the halftime entertainment at the Feb. 3 game.
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Opening lines for the Rams-Patriots matchup suggest the game will be very tight.
Oddsmakers on Sunday favoured the Rams by just one point in the game.
— With files from Reuters and Associated Press
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