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Superbowl LII

Superbowl 52 is getting attention in Australia as well. This item is in this morning’s news:

Super Bowl 2018: What you need to know about New England Patriots vs Philadelphia Eagles
Updated 16mins ago
Exterior photo of stadium at dusk
More than 65,000 fans will fill US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. (Reuters: Kirby Lee/USA Today)
The 52nd (LII in Roman numerals) edition of Super Bowl plays out on Monday morning (Australian time) and as usual, there's as much interest off the field as there is on it.

The New England Patriots will be playing for their sixth NFL championship, with the Philadelphia Eagles in search of their maiden victory when they take the field in Minneapolis.

But Super Bowl is about much more than who goes home with the trophy.

Here's a look at what all the fuss is about.

By the numbers

Ticket prices: Up to $5,000

Ad spot: $6,300,000 for 30 seconds

Crowd: 66,000

Private plane flights to the Twin Cities this week: Up to 1,500

Hotel rooms booked: 41,000

Reporters covering the game: 5,000

Average TV viewers last year: 111.3 million

Dollars spent on beer during last year's Super Bowl: $US1.3 billion ($1.6 billion)

Each Patriots player's Super Bowl bonus last year: $135,000

Back-to-back Super Bowl winners: 8

Teams that have never won: 13

The halftime show

Justin Timberlake will take centre stage in the halftime show for the first time since 2004, when he and Janet Jackson were involved in the infamous "wardrobe malfunction" incident.

It will be his third appearance, having also performed as a part of NSYNC in 2001.

Justin Timberlake answers questions during a news conference
Justin Timberlake will make his third appearance at the Super Bowl halftime show. (AP: Morry Gash)
A word from the sponsors

The Super Bowl is a rare event in that viewers do actually pay attention to the ads.

That captive audience has prompted advertisers to cough up $US5,000,000 ($6.3 million) for a 30 second spot this year.

And they've also spared no expense on talent, with this year's list of stars including: Jeff Bezos, Gordon Ramsay, Rebel Wilson, Cardi B, Anthony Hopkins, Peter Dinklage, Busta Rhymes, Morgan Freeman, Missy Elliott, Steven Tyler and Chris Pratt.

The teams

Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots helmets are on a table with the Vince Lombardi Trophy
The Patriots and Eagles also met in the 2004 Super Bowl. (AP: Matt Slocum)
The Eagles have won seven of the 13 previous meetings between the two sides, but one notable defeat was in the 2005 Super Bowl, when the Patriots ran out 24-21 winners.

New England have been perennial contenders since then as Tom Brady and Bill Belichick built a dynasty at Foxborough, most recently defeating the Atlanta Falcons to win last year's championship.

The Eagles, on the other hand, have had mixed fortunes until this season, when they have found inspiring leaders in not one, but two quarterbacks.

Carson Wentz and then Nick Foles compiled a 15-3 record this season with a multidimensional, ball-control offence that might just be capable of holding onto the ball long enough to render Brady a spectator.

Apart from Brady, who's playing?

Tom Brady throws in practice.
At 40, Tom Brady could become the oldest Super Bowl winner. (AP: Mark Humphrey)
The face of Super Bowl LII is, undoubtedly, New England quarterback Tom Brady.

At 40 years old, the California native is preparing for possibly his last chance to add to his record five Super Bowl rings.

Add in the fact that he is the husband of Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen and it is little wonder that he commands the lion's share of pre-game attention.

But there are 105 other players suiting up to play in Minneapolis, so let's look at a few others of interest.

Nick Foles: The Philadelphia quarterback was warming the bench as back-up to Carson Wentz until injury put him into the spotlight six weeks ago. The Eagles' high-powered offence will need the 29-year-old to have a steady hand at the wheel if they want to upset the reigning champs.

Nick Foles takes part in a media conference
Nick Foles has made the transition from bench player to starting quarterback. (AP: Eric Gay)
Chris Long: The son of Hall of Fame player Howie Long, the journeyman defensive end played for free this season, donating his game cheques to charities supporting disadvantaged children. Long won the Super Bowl with New England last year before moving to Philadelphia in the summer.

LeGarrette Blount: Another ex-Patriots Super Bowl winner, running back Blount is the engine room of the Eagles offence, laying the platform for the Eagles' passing game. Philadelphia will be looking to him to burn time off the clock and keep Brady where they want him: off the field.

Rob Gronkowski: At almost two metres tall and weighing 120 kilograms, "Gronk" is Brady's favourite passing target, winning two Super Bowls with the Patriots. However, he has been recovering from a concussion, limiting his preparations for Sunday's game.

Brandin Cook: New England has had a strong season from the receiver after acquiring him from New Orleans in the offseason. He posted his third straight 1,000-yard receiving season and was second on the team in receiving yards behind only Gronkowski (1,084).

Dion Lewis: The running back has also found new life just two seasons removed from a knee injury. He led the team with 896 yards rushing and six rushing touchdowns.

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10 Comments

I will be working on my dump truck and having way more fun that watching the supper bowl. Not a sports fan any way. I think they spend way too much $$ on that kind of stuff. just me.

I'll be watching the puppy bowl

I'll be watching....It's a Monday morning ritual to have the big screen on in the office with the NFL in the background. My number 2 of 20 years is a huge NFL fan but unfortunately is a Redskins supporter...Lol!.

I’ve got the TV on but my 18 month old granddaughter doesn’t seem the least bit interested !!

She's a smart girl

Well done Philadelphia Eagles!!

But why are the “World Champions” ? How many countries play in the NFL?

YOU got ME cause at the end of the day it's just a game.

Team Fluff won the puppy bowl

Same here Wayne, just imagine if just a small percent of what everyone spent on the game went to charity or a disease research. So much for religious aspect of helping your fellow man vs the devil's program of satisfying your own dopamine fix.

Bread and circuses. SS DD.

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