No worries, you haven’t traveled back to 2001 or anything. Its just happening again after 17 years. It’d be a stretch to call it a rematch as Tom Brady is the only player left from that game on either team (and one of only two in the NFL, ‘sup Vinatieri?) but it is an amusing reversal of positions. Brady is now in the position Kurt Warner was in 17 years ago as the elder statesman (kinda, though Warner was surprisingly barely into his 30s when that game was played) while Jared Goff is in the role of the talented young upstart whose career path we can’t yet know.
It also got me thinking about the strange shared history of the two franchises. There’s been a lot written about how its now been 25 years since Robert Kraft purchased the Patriots. He’d been a long time season ticket holder and eventually decided he couldn’t bear the thought of another of his favorite sports franchises leaving Massachusetts (he’d grown up a Boston Braves fan). However that sale was very nearly awarded to Stan Kroenke who planned to move the team to St. Louis (not sure if the team name would’ve been changed in that event or not). After Kroenke was passed over for the Patriots, he would buy a minority stake in the (then) Los Angeles Rams and was later instrumental in the team’s move to St. Louis in the late 90s. When the estate of late majority owner Georgia Frontiere put the team up for sale in 2009, Kroenke would use his right of first refusal clause to purchase the majority stake at a price matching then high bidder Shahid Khan (who later went on to purchase the Jacksonville Jaguars).
More fun facts
• The Never Miss a Super Bowl Club is down to 3 living members but they’re all in Atlanta.
• Sony Michel of the Patriots and Todd Gurley of the Rams will be staring at each other from opposing sidelines tonight. Back in 2014 they were college teammates on the Georgia Bulldogs. Hey wait where’s this game happening again?
• Sports teams go through a lot of roster turnover, amazingly there’s a few players still around who’s careers pre-date the first time the Patriots and Rams met in the Super Bowl. Bartolo Colon, Ichiro Suzuki, and Joaquin Benoit are the MLB contingent. In the NBA Vince Carter, Dirk Nowitzki, and Jamal Crawford are the only remaining players from before 2001. There are 6 currently active NHL players from that time; Patrick Marleau, Joe Thornton, Matt Cullen, Zdeno Chara, Justin Williams and Jay Bouwmeester. And in the NFL there’s 6 (aside from Brady); Drew Brees, John Denney, Sebastian Janikowski, Matt Bryant, Phil Dawson, and Adam Vinatieri.
Anyways, enough history. Game kicks off 6:30 EST. Maroon 5, Big Boi and Travis Scott are the halftime show. Gladys Knight will be performing the National Anthem. Yes a member of your family will write an angry social media post about a commercial. No that second plate of wings will not have you feeling regrets tomorrow morning in the bathroom.