Page 7 - Touchline Edition 39
P. 7

6                                                                                                             7

 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.
   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12