We look ahead to Sunday’s Super Bowl and break down the big game between the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs.
From The Reading List
USA Today: “‘Super Bowl Fever’: Millions of employees expect to ditch work Monday, survey finds” — “Thinking about staying home the Monday after the Super Bowl? It turns out you’re not alone. ‘Super Bowl fever’ is expected to result in 17.5 million employees missing work on Monday, according to a survey by the Workforce Institute at Kronos Inc. It’s the largest amount ever since the institute began tracking in 2005.
“An estimated 11.1 million workers plan to use pre-approved time to stay home on Super Bowl Monday, while 4.7 million plan to call out sick even though they’re not ill, the survey found. Some workers even plan to not just show up, with 1.5 million employees expecting to ‘ghost’ their employer without notifying anyone.
“’Despite the well-documented spike in workplace absences on the Monday following the Super Bowl, many organizations continue to operate as though it is business as usual that day,’ said Joyce Maroney, executive director of The Workforce Institute at Kronos in a news release. ‘While the focus remains largely on reactive measures – such as memos, discipline, and even firings – organizations that proactively plan will be rewarded with fewer absences and, more importantly, higher employee engagement.'”
The New York Times: “Shakira? J. Lo? This Halftime Show Had Snakes and Indiana Jones” — “Dale Girard was wearing long underwear covered in what he said looked like ‘ectoplasmic slime from ‘Ghostbusters’’ but was actually freezing cold fire gel. Costumed as ‘The Executioner,’ he was in a holding area underneath a massive metal stage as it was being rolled onto the field at what was then known as Joe Robbie Stadium. There was one thing on his mind, he recalled this week: ‘I’m about to be set on fire, and I’m three feet from Patti LaBelle.’
“Welcome to the 1995 Super Bowl halftime show. This Sunday, about 100 million people in the United States will watch as the pop stars Jennifer Lopez and Shakira perform during halftime of the Super Bowl. They were recruited in part by Jay-Z and his company, Roc Nation, which signed a deal with the N.F.L. last year to become the league’s ‘live music entertainment strategist.’
“For the N.F.L., far more important than the quality of the show is the absence of controversy. Last year several artists, including Rihanna, reportedly declined to perform during the Super Bowl halftime out of concern for Colin Kaepernick, the quarterback who has not played in the N.F.L. since the 2016 season, when he knelt during the national anthem to protest racism and police brutality. Once the league landed its performers, Maroon 5 and Travis Scott, it opted to cancel the traditional news conference ahead of the show, pre-empting questions about the decision.”
Associated Press: “Katie Sowers trailblazer as 1st woman coach at Super Bowl” — “Katie Sowers answered questions on topics ranging from whether it hurt getting her ears pierced (no) to if she wants to be an NFL head coach one day (yes).
“For the full 60 minutes of the San Francisco 49ers’ portion of media night on Monday, Sowers talked with reporters from around the world on making history as the first woman and first openly gay coach to work the Super Bowl.
“’I’m waiting for someone to tell me that this is all a joke, and they’re going to be like ‘Psych! You’re not really there. You’re not really a football coach,’’ Sowers said. ‘It’s one of those things that you really start to look around you and take advantage of every single day, especially with things happening in the news. You really appreciate the moment.'”
KCRW: “Gone in 60 seconds: Super Bowl ads cost candidates $10 million per minute” — “The Super Bowl is this Sunday, and Donald Trump and Michael Bloomberg’s campaigns have spent big money on commercial time during the game.
“’It’s around $10 million for 60 seconds,’ says Dan Roberts, editor-at-large with Yahoo Finance. ‘Now the price that Fox is asking for its ads are significantly higher than what CBS asked last season. So it’ll run you around $5.1 to $5.6 million for 30 seconds. And both of these campaigns have confirmed that each one bought 60 seconds.’
“According to Roberts, the Trump campaign has said their ad will run early in the game, while the Bloomberg campaign’s ‘biggest point here is getting under Trump’s skin.’ Have political ads run in Super Bowls before? Roberts says candidates have bought ads at the local level, but he’s never seen national, primetime Super Bowl ads for presidential campaigns.”
This article was originally published on WBUR.org.