Everything you need to know about Super Bowl LIII
To quote Daniel Day-Lewis in Lincoln, the great day of reckoning is nigh upon us. He was talking about the Super Bowl, right? This year’s Big Game will play out at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Sunday, Feb. 3. Below is EW’s guide to everything you need to know about Super Bowl LIII.
The New England Patriots, in their third straight Super Bowl appearance (and fourth in five years), will face the Los Angeles Rams, playing in their first Super Bowl since returning to L.A. in 2016. The Patriots are, of course, led by quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick — Earth’s Mightiest Heroes or evil overlords of the NFL, depending on who you ask. Quarterback Jared Goff and head coach Sean McVay, both making their first Super Bowl appearance, will lead the Rams.
What’s at stake?
The Patriots hope to clinch a record-tying (with the Pittsburgh Steelers) sixth Super Bowl victory. This would give Tom Brady the most Super Bowl wins of any player in NFL history, as if he needs another record. A victory for the Rams would be the franchise’s first Super Bowl win in L.A., including their 1946-1994 stint in the city. (They previously won as the St. Louis Rams in 2000.) McVay would also be the youngest head coach ever to win a Super Bowl at age 33.
What about the halftime show?
Maroon 5 will headline the Pepsi Halftime Show with guests Travis Scott and Big Boi. There’s been a lot of controversy attached to the halftime show over the NFL’s response to Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling protests. Rihanna reportedly turned down the gig in solidarity with Kaepernick, and Scott only agreed to perform if the NFL joined him in a $500,000 donation to the social justice-focused charity Dream Corps. Some have even called for the performers to step down. The NFL also canceled the customary press conference with the halftime show headliners.
Will they perform that song from SpongeBob?
The halftime show might feature a performance of the song “Sweet Victory” from SpongeBob SquarePants as a tribute to SpongeBob creator Stephen Hillenburg, who died in November. (On the animated series, the song was performed during the “Bubble Bowl” halftime show.) An online petition requesting the song be performed gained more than 1 million signatures, and Rodger Bumpass, who voices Squidward on SpongeBob, reportedly announced that he will introduce the halftime entertainment in character. There have been other hints — namely SpongeBob imagery appearing in tweets from both Maroon 5 and Mercedes-Benz Stadium — but nothing has been officially confirmed. (We’ve reached out to CBS, the NFL, and Pepsi, but none have replied to EW’s request for comment.) Also, there’s this:
When does the game start — and how can I watch?
Super Bowl LIII kicks off at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT on CBS on Sunday, Feb. 3. You can stream the game on CBSSports.com or the CBS Sports app — no cable authentication needed! CBS All Access will also have a live stream of the game for subscribers (you can sign up for a free seven-day trial), in case you want to catch up on The Good Fight right afterward.
Another option is Hulu TV’s Live TV package. You can sign up for a free seven-day trial, which will give you access to 60+ channels plus Hulu’s streaming library, which includes hundreds of movie and TV shows, for $39.99 a month when you subscribe to Hulu Live TV.
What’s on after the game?
The storied pantheon of post-Super Bowl programming will be joined by the series premiere of The World’s Best, CBS’ new talent competition show. The show, which features a celebrity panel of judges (RuPaul! Drew Barrymore! Faith Hill!) and a slate of performers competing for a $1 million prize, definitely isn’t America’s Got Talent.
Anything else I need to know?
Empress of Soul Gladys Knight is performing the national anthem (so tune in sooner than kickoff if you wanna see that); Jeff Bridges, Chance the Rapper, and Harrison Ford (among others) will appear in commercials; Jim Nantz and Tony Romo will call the game; and yes, pregame coverage will basically run all day.