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               Superbowl – extravagant entertainment and football unpredictability                                                 THE JOURNAL OF SPORT,  LEISURE & RISK  WITH AN INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVE        November 2023

                                                                                                                                   so integral to the Chiefs’ defence, is           There are a few other teams worth a look.
                                                                                                                                   still a contract hold out. Just how this         The Detroit Lions have that underdog
                                                                                                                                   upsets the balance within the team will          vibe, but despite a weak record in playoff
                                                                                                                                   be a cause for concern. There is also a          games, they had some good results
                                                                                                                                   question mark over how the team might            in the regular season and fans will be
                                                                                                                                   function if Travis Kelce’s knee injury           hoping they can kick on from there.
                                                                                                                                   reoccurs. He is Mahomes’s favourite              Meanwhile, the Dallas Cowboys, with their
                                                                                                                                   target, and there is a certain amount of         strong Super Bowl pedigree are also in
                                                                                                                                   fragility in the team should he succumb.         contention. They might not have reached
                                                                                                                                                                                    the NFC title game since 1995, but they
                                                                                                                                   Another team high in the favour of the           have a strong team this time around. With
                                                                                                                                   bookies is the Philadelphia Eagles. They         the transfer of Aaron Rodgers, the New
                                                                                                                                   are odds on to win the NFC and will be           York Jets odds have come down slightly.
                                                                                                                                   looking for revenge after being defeated
                                                                                                                                   by the Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII 38-35.          Regardless of what the bookies say, it
                                                                                                                                   Despite it being rather a rarity to get a        is tough to predict what will happen in
                                                                                                                                   re-match in the NFL, there is a decent           the Super Bowl, or even who will reach
                                                                                                                                   enough chance. The Eagle’s core players          it. Over the preceding 15 years, the pre-
                                                                                                                                   provide an excellent balance, with               season favourites have only won out
                                                                                                                                   quality across all positions. Looking to         twice. A good example of this was last
                                                                                                                                   quarterback Jalen Hurts, wide receiver           season when favourites -the Buffalo Bills-
                                                                                                                                   A.J. Brown and the wonderfully named             couldn’t make it out of the play-offs in the
                                                                                                                                   Darius Slay, the Eagles will be up there.        divisional rounds. If American Football is
                                                                                                                                                                                    most known for its glamour, its backup
                                                                                                                                   Many are tipping the San Francisco 49ers         trait is unpredictability.
                                                                                                                                   to make an appearance, with their odds
                                                                                                                                   shortening over the past few months.             Super Bowl 2024 should be yet another
                                                                                                                                   Brock Purdy’s fascinating sub-plot would         flamboyant example of how the American
                                                                                                                                   make a Niners appearance at the Super            sporting world knows how to spring
                                                                                                                                   Bowl even more storied. Being the final          a star-studded surprise. There will be
                                                                                                                                   draft pick for the team in 2022, injuries        spectacle, thrilling plays and breath-
                                                                                                                                   to key quarterbacks meant that he was            taking comebacks. It is a testament to
                                                                                                                                   given a starting berth. He took his chance,  the marriage of sporting excellence and
                                                                                                                                   winning all five regular games that he           marketing. Whether the defending Chiefs
                                                                                                                                   started. Fit and established in the team,        can lock down a second win in a row
              Regardless of what the bookies say, it is tough                                                                      Purdy will be shooting for Nevada.               or some dark horse will emerge from a

              to predict what will happen in the Super Bowl,                                                                                                                        packed field, there is little doubt that
                                                                                                                                                                                    viewers will once again watch in their
              or even who will reach it. Over the preceding 15                                                                                                                      millions.

              years, the pre-season favourites have only won
              out twice.
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