February 12 is not a holiday in the United States, but it may seem like one to many Americans because of one big game.
Tens of millions of Americans will gather for parties at restaurants and homes around the nation. They will enjoy food and drink together. Then, these families and friends, in groups of all sizes, will settle around televisions.
It is Super Bowl Sunday in America.
The Super Bowl is the yearly championship game of the National Football League, or NFL. The game is many things. It is usually the most-watched television program of the year. It is the biggest event for television advertisers. And halfway through the game, play stops for a performance from some of the biggest names in the music industry. This year it is Rihanna.
Sunday will be the 57th Super Bowl. The Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs are to face each other in Glendale, Arizona. The NFL’s 32 member teams played a 17-game season and then top teams competed in playoff games to earn a chance at the championship.
Both teams have long histories and loyal fans. The Chiefs have appeared in the Super Bowl four other times and came away champions in 1970 and 2020.
The Eagles have won the Super Bowl once, in 2018. Sunday will be the team’s fourth appearance in the championship.
This year’s Super Bowl is getting attention for a special reason. For the first time, Black quarterbacks will lead both teams on the field. Eagles coach Nick Sirianni is happy about that.
“I’m really excited for both quarterbacks, what they can represent to a ton of kids,” Sirianni said at a media event this week. “They both play at the highest level,” he added.
Patrick Mahomes is the quarterback of the Chiefs. He led the team to its most recent Super Bowl championship. The 27-year-old football player told reporters that this game was important for Black people.
“I think about it a lot,” he said. “The quarterbacks that came before me — Shack Harris, Doug Williams — that laid the foundation for me to be in this position.”
He is also looking to the future.
“How can we motivate kids who are younger, who want to follow their dreams to be a quarterback?” Mahomes asked.
His opponent, Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts, also spoke to reporters this week about how special this Super Bowl is.
“So many African American quarterbacks have played this game, and for the first time for two to go head-to-head, that's uplifting for the next generations of quarterbacks,” said the 24-year-old.
“Texas, Louisiana, wherever across the world, regardless of what someone might say or have an opinion about you, you can do it, too.”
I’m Caty Weaver.
The Associated Press reported this story. Caty Weaver adapted it for VOA Learning English based on a report by Reuters.
Words in This Story
quarterback –n. the player who leads an American football team when is trying to score and who starts every play
coach –n. a person who teaches, trains and directs a sports team
a ton –idiom (informal) a lot
foundation –n. preparation that provides support for an activity that will take place in the future
motivate –v. to get people interested in doing something
kid –n. a child
regardless –adv. without being stopped or troubled by something
We want to hear from you.
We have a new comment system. Here is how it works:
- Write your comment in the box.
- Under the box, you can see four images for social media accounts. They are for Disqus, Facebook, Twitter and Google.
- Click on one image and a box appears. Enter the login for your social media account. Or you may create one on the Disqus system. It is the blue circle with “D” on it. It is free.
Each time you return to comment on the Learning English site, you can use your account and see your comments and replies to them. Our comment policy is here.