What will happen during the first quarantine Super Bowl?

Oliver Gustavson, Sports Editor and Writer

What will happen during the first quarantine Super Bowl?

By Oliver Gustavson

 

Every year, the Super Bowl is the most anticipated sporting event in the United States.  Enthusiastic and steadfast fans crowd every seat of a stadium to watch the country’s top football teams of the year duke it out in a high-stakes fight for glory and honor.  This year, despite the challenges of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be facing off against each other at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, on Sunday, February 7, at 4:30 PM.  But what will the game’s outcome look like?  Will the Chiefs win again?  And what will the stadium look like due to COVID regulations?  These are all questions circulating through the heads of football fans across the country.  The following information will aim to take educated guesses to answer these questions.

Much of the speculation regarding the victor of the 55th Super Bowl revolves around the quarterbacks of the two competing teams, Tom Brady of the Buccaneers, and Patrick Mahomes of the Chiefs.  Brady, age 43, has won a total of six Super Bowls, while Mahomes, age 25, led the Chiefs to victory at the Super Bowl in 2020, which was the team’s first Super Bowl win since 1970.  Since Brady has much more experience and age, he arguably has a higher chance of winning the game.  But Mahomes has demonstrated much talent and potential as a quarterback since he joined the Chief’s in 2017, becoming a well-known name in the process.  Brady and Mahomes have faced off against each other four times before, and each quarterback’s team won two games among these four standoffs.  While Brady has had much more experience and has won six Super Bowls, he is getting older and might not have the same energy he had from his younger football days.  Meanwhile, Mahomes is fresh from his first Super Bowl victory and likely has a sense of pride combined with youthful energy that will give him an advantage over Brady.  While both quarterbacks are good at what they do, Mahomes has a long, successful career ahead of him that will motivate him to fight hard for another Super Bowl victory this year.  The game will likely be very close, but ultimately will be a win for the Chiefs.

At the actual stadium, approximately 22,000 people will be allowed to attend, while wearing masks and practicing social distancing.  In addition to 14,500 fans, the NFL has invited 7,500 vaccinated health care workers to attend the game for free.  The amount of spectators allowed at the stadium is relatively low compared to the 65,890 seats it holds.  Historically, the seats at a Super Bowl have been completely filled up with tens of thousands of enthusiastic fans.  With the regulations this year due to the pandemic, the Stadium is likely to look relatively empty, despite how important the big game is to so many Americans.  Seats will likely be difficult to purchase and many hardcore football fans will be disappointed about not being able to witness the game in-person.