Common Core State Standard
SL.CCS.1/2/3/4 Grades 6-12: An essay of a current news event is provided for discussion to encourage participation, but also inspire the use of evidence to support logical claims using the main ideas of the article. Students must analyze background information provided about a current event within the news, draw out the main ideas and key details, and review different opinions on the issue. Then, students should present their own claims using facts and analysis for support.

FOR THE WEEK OF JAN. 28, 2019

Super Bowl brings Rams-Patriots showdown -- and an 'ad bowl'

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Find Super Bowl advance coverage and tell what you learn.
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Look for an article about one or more commercials, such as preview teasers or online voting for viewer-submitted spots. Are you eager to see a certain ad?
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If you're a sports fan, read about who's favored and factors that could make a difference. Do you agree?

Even if you're not a football fanatic, it'll be hard not to catch at least a bit of Super Bowl fever this week. The Big Game is Sunday, Feb. 3, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta between the Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots. Starting quarterbacks are 24-year-old Jared Goff of the Rams and 41-year-old Tom Brady of the Boston-based Patriots. The main halftime performer is the band Maroon 5, who'll be joined by rappers Travis Scott and Big Boi. A legendary Motown singer, Gladys Knight (ask your grandparents), belts out the pregame national anthem.

The event, airing on CBS with kickoff at 6:30 p.m. Eastern time, is Super Bowl LIII – 53 in Roman numerals (you knew, right?!) It's the first Super Bowl at the two-year-old stadium, which has 71,000 seats, though Atlanta hosted the event twice in the past. (The Rams won there nine years ago.) More than 100 million people worldwide will watch the season’s most important football game, which is why advertisers pay big bucks to sponsor imaginative new commercials. CBS reportedly charges around $5 million for a 30-second ad. (Yes, you read that right.) Products to be pitched include M&M's candy, Pringles chips, Planters nuts, Walt Disney attractions and lots of cars. Familiar faces appearing for sponsors will include Serena Williams for a dating app, Cardi B and Lil John for Pepsi, and Chance the Rapper for Doritos. One goal is to push an impact beyond the live telecast audience through social media buzz and next-day news coverage.

This spectacle each January is about more than sports, with some viewers tuning in at least partly for the halftime show, for amusing commercials or because they'll be at game-watching parties. For Atlanta and businesses there, it's a chance for image-polishing and profits – especially for stores, hotels and restaurants. "We are very honored to host this event that will be watched by the entire world," says Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. Visitors can participate in citywide happenings leading up to the game. Local artists have created 30 outdoor murals as part of a project called "Off the Wall." Many are inspired by the civil rights movement and social justice issues.

2018 audience size: 103.4 million, lower than the record of 114.4 million in 2015.

Police chief says: "We have been preparing for this for a solid two years. We are so ready for the event." -- Erika Shields, Atlanta Police Department

Marketing writer says: "There'll be a few brands that don't reveal their ads right until the night of the big game itself." – Diana Pearl of Adweek magazine

Front Page Talking Points is written by Alan Stamm for NIEonline.com, Copyright 2019
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