SUPER BOWL LI (51) AIRING FEB. 5 ON FOX AT 6:30 PM (ET/PT) WILL FEATURE THE NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS AND ATLANTA FALCONS.
Compiled By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs
Are you ready for some football? Not just any football. We’re talking “Super” football.
The stage is set for Super Bowl LI (51). The red-hot New England Patriots, led by quarterback Tom Brady, will battle the explosive Atlanta Falcons and their nine-year veteran QB Matt Ryan, Feb. 5 at NRG Stadium in Houston Texas. Kick-off is at 6:30 PM EST on Fox.
Announcers Joe Buck and Troy Aikman will call the action along with sideline reporters Erin Andrews and Chris Myers.
If the New England Patriots win on Sunday--and they are three point favorites as of this writing--this will be their fifth championship in the Bill Belichick era. The Patriots would also tie the Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers--with five--for the second-most Super Bowl wins. The Pittsburgh Steelers top all NFL teams with six championship victories.
The win will also further cement Brady’s legacy atop the all-time quarterback leaderboard. While all that will no doubt be super sweet for Brady, it will probably pale in comparison to the QB being awarded the Lombardi trophy from Commissioner Roger Goodell who suspended Brady four games because the Patriots allegedly used under-inflated footballs in their 45-7 championship win against the Indianapolis Colts on January 18, 2015. The Patriots were also docked a million bucks and had to give up two draft picks as part of the punishment.
But let’s not crown the Patriots champs just yet. After all, the Atlanta Falcons and their historically great offense earned their way into Super Bowl LI. Yeah, they’re underdogs, but I love underdogs. I believe this game is going to be much closer and a lot more exciting than people think. Well, I’m hoping so anyway. Besides, since my favorite team isn’t in the mix, I don’t have a preference, although a high-flying, hard-hitting-down-to the last second kind of Super Bowl would be great to see.
The Falcons played the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXXIII and lost 34-19. If the Falcons can overcome the odds and defeat New England, it would be the first Super Bowl win for the organization.
And while I’m giving the Falcons a decent shot at deflating the Patriots, former football star turned actor Fred “The Hammer” Williamson (pictured) has a different take.
Prior to starring on the big and small screen (“Black Caesar, “Hell up in Harlem” and TV’s “Julia” and “Star Trek”), Williamson played for the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl I in 1967 against the Green Bay Packers. He was also drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in 1960 and enjoyed stints with the Oakland Raiders and Pittsburgh Steelers.
Williamson recently chatted with N2Entertainment.net about who he thinks will win Super Bowl LI.
“I don’t see the Atlanta Falcons deflating Tom Brady and the New England Patriots at all,” said Williamson. “Although both teams can score, the Falcons can’t stop the Patriots. They’re too fast. Kind of like me when I played cornerback. I was 6’3’ and 225 pounds. That’s linebacker size, but I had the speed of a sprinter and the reactions of a cobra. A black cobra.”
Although the Falcons have an arsenal of cornerbacks such as Desmond Trufant, (6’0” 185 pounds), Jalen Collins (6’2” 198 pounds), Robert Alford, (5’10”188 pounds), C.J. Goodwin (6’ 4” 220 pounds), Akeem King (6’ 3” 212 pounds) and Ayodeji Olatoye (6’1” 205 pounds), Williamson isn’t quite sold on them.
“Size does matter,” he says. Even so, Williamson adds that Super Bowl LI should still be exciting especially if you’re a Patriots fan. “I’m taking the Pats by 18. Tom Brady is going to have a monster game.”
For those less interested in the game and more into the commercials, Super Bowl LI has a variety on tap. On the music front, country star Luke Bryan will sing the national anthem and Lady Gaga will provide the halftime show entertainment. There’s supposedly an underground movement to have the Atlanta based group Migos take the stage in Gaga’s place. Don’t count on it. No Migos. Look for Gaga to hit the spot. However, after Bruno Mars’ sizzling performance at Super Bowl 50, Gaga better come with it.
(Editor’s Note): Super Bowl LI kicks off at 6:30 pm EST on Fox. Some information used in this report obtained from www.nfl.com.