Tremendous Bowl Sunday is akin to a nationwide vacation, one of many few instances of 12 months that tens of thousands and thousands of Individuals do the identical exercise on the identical time. By that customary, at this time might beat even Thanksgiving, given the variation in meal instances.

The Tremendous Bowl is reliably the 12 months’s most-watched broadcast, a standing that displays soccer’s dominant function in modern tradition. Years in the past, earlier than cable tv and the web, different types of mass leisure — sitcoms, dramas and the nightly information — additionally drew huge audiences. Few do at this time, and it’s solely a modest exaggeration to say that soccer is mainstream American tradition.

Think about this chart by my colleague Ashley Wu:

We’re devoting a lot of at this time’s publication to the Tremendous Bowl, with assist from colleagues across the Occasions newsroom. You’ll discover that protection beneath our abstract of the day’s information.

Kickoff is at 6:30 p.m. Japanese. And in case you are not , it’s a good time to do some procuring with out having to attend in any strains.

Many American males demand respect; what they want is objective, David French argues.

For half a century, Joe Biden has talked about being president. He’s not about to kiss it away as a result of some fret about his age, Maureen Dowd writes.

The Sunday query: Is China’s spy balloon a punchline or a risk?

The humiliation of getting caught exceeds the balloon’s surveillance worth, Michael A. Cohen argues in The New Republic. However the episode is the sort of provocation that would drive China and the U.S. right into a Chilly Warfare-style battle, The Economist notes.

Generally, a lesser crew will get sizzling within the playoffs and sneak into the Tremendous Bowl. Not this 12 months. The Kansas Metropolis Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles have been by many measures the 2 greatest groups.

Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs’ quarterback, is the inheritor to Tom Brady, the most effective of his technology. Nonetheless simply 27, Mahomes received his second M.V.P. award this 12 months. The large query at this time: How a lot has his injured ankle healed?

Jalen Hurts, the Eagles’ 24-year-old quarterback, is having a breakout 12 months. He has a strong working model and a robust offensive line, which enabled him to hurry for 13 touchdowns this season, greater than every other quarterback.

As Subject Yates of ESPN famous not too long ago, the 2 groups are evenly matched: Each went 14-3. Each have six All-Professional gamers. Each scored precisely 546 factors this season. And each have a member of the Kelce household on their rosters.

The Eagles are so good as a result of they’re balanced. Hurts, the quarterback, is nearly as good at working as he’s at passing. Philadelphia’s protection can assault a quarterback (it led the league in sacks) in addition to it could possibly bottle up receivers.

Kansas Metropolis’s success stems from an ideal pairing. The Chiefs are showing of their third Tremendous Bowl in 4 seasons with Mahomes as quarterback and Andy Reid as head coach. Reid favors a pass-first offense, stuffed with inventive formations that benefit from Mahomes’s mobility and robust arm.

— Emmanuel Morgan, N.F.L. reporter

Since 1989, each alcohol advert to air throughout the Tremendous Bowl has been for an Anheuser-Busch product. That modifications at this time. Final summer season, the corporate, which owns Budweiser, gave up its unique promoting rights, and the opponents have come dashing in. Heineken, Coors Gentle and Miller Gentle will seem in commercials for the primary time. Spirits comparable to Rémy Martin and Crown Royal can even be within the combine. Nonetheless, Anheuser-Busch would be the largest promoting spender of any firm this 12 months.

— Lora Kelley, enterprise reporter

Rihanna, this 12 months’s halftime headliner, isn’t only a hitmaker — she’s additionally a mogul. She has based three profitable corporations, which have helped make her the world’s wealthiest feminine musician, with an estimated internet value of $1.7 billion. She has introduced that enterprise savvy to tonight’s efficiency: Her cosmetics model, Fenty Magnificence, is promoting a particular version “Recreation Day Assortment” (with a football-shaped sponge), whereas her clothes line, Savage x Fenty, is promoting a $60 graphic T-shirt expressing a sentiment lots of her followers share: “Rihanna Live performance Interrupted by a Soccer Recreation, Bizarre however No matter.”

— Lindsay Zoladz, pop critic

There are two varieties of Tremendous Bowl celebration folks: those that are there for the sport, and those that are there for the meals (and possibly the halftime present). For those who don’t wish to take your eyes off the display, persist with make-ahead dishes: A do-it-yourself sweet-and-salty snack combine can’t lose. Dips win, too. Pulled pork can hang around on the range alongside chili. If you wish to serve a dish sizzling and have somewhat enjoyable, take a look at these child again ribs — glazed with grape jelly!

— Genevieve Ko, Cooking editor

This 12 months’s Tremendous Bowl would possibly grow to be the most important playing occasion in sports activities historical past. Roughly half of authorized wagers received’t be on the result of the sport; they are going to be on prop bets, which permit folks to gamble on extra obscure topics. They embrace:

  • What number of punts will there be? (The percentages favor greater than six.)

  • What colour of Gatorade is poured on the successful coach? (The most well-liked guess is yellow.)

  • Will the nation star Chris Stapleton miss any phrases when he sings the nationwide anthem? (He’s closely favored to sing all of them.)

For extra: In 2018, the Supreme Courtroom cleared the way in which for authorized sports activities betting. 5 years later, greater than half of U.S. states permit playing, thanks partially to a lobbying blitz in state capitals.

Immediately’s spectacle can distract viewers from an uncomfortable reality: Soccer gamers face hazard each time they take the sphere. That was evident this season, when Damar Hamlin of the Buffalo Payments collapsed after a seemingly routine sort out. Most accidents are much less seen, accumulating over years of repeated blows.

Poem: “Misplaced in America” writes of killings, employees and a sure kind of bread.

Learn the total difficulty.

  • U.S. client value information for final month might be introduced on Tuesday.

  • Valentine’s Day is Tuesday. Many historians consider the vacation has origins in a raucous Roman bacchanal.

  • Nikki Haley, the Republican former governor of South Carolina, is predicted to announce her 2024 presidential marketing campaign on Wednesday.

  • The gunman within the racist bloodbath at a Buffalo grocery store final 12 months might be sentenced on state costs on Wednesday and is predicted to be despatched to jail for all times.

  • Carnival begins in Rio de Janeiro on Friday, the primary time the pageant might be in full swing since Covid hit.