High Points: It’s Super Bowl Sunday weekend. Who’s winning? | AspenTimes.com

High Points: It’s Super Bowl Sunday weekend. Who’s winning?

Paul E. Anna
High Points
In this June 16, 1998, file photo, then President Clinton, left, and the late Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen hold the Vince Lombardi Trophy during a ceremony at the White House where the president honored the Super Bowl XXXII champions.
AP Photo/Greg Gibson

This is the Sunday when the nation stops what it’s doing and gathers together to watch the ultimate game of the NFL season. Last year, Super Bowl LVI had a total viewing audience estimated at over 208 million, meaning approximately two-thirds of the population saw some portion of the game.

Contrast that with the total number of voters in the 2022 midterm elections, approximately 110 million, and you get an idea of the power and popularity of the Super Bowl. Super Bowl LVII — that’s 57 for the Roman Numeric-challenged — could see an even larger total audience this year.

Here in Aspen, the Super Bowl will kick-off at 4:30 p.m. on FOX, which means you have just enough time to get back to the couch after a full ski day. I think the NFL plans the game time specifically for that reason. And really, there is no better way to watch the game than with the glow of a great ski day still on your face.

But if you are a supporter of the Denver Broncos, as so many of us around here are, this year’s game is a little bittersweet. I mean, how do you root for either one of these teams if you are a Broncos fan? The last time the Denver Broncos beat the Eagles was in September 2013. They have lost nine of the 14 games they have played all-time against Philadelphia. And the current record against the Chiefs is even worse. Kansas City has beaten Denver 15 — that’s fifteen — straight times. The last Denver victory over Kansas City came in 2015. Oh, and both teams have won Super Bowls since the last time the Broncos even made the playoffs.

Yes, if you love the Broncos, this is a pretty bitter pill to swallow.

The sweet, though, is that this is a great matchup. The Eagles and the Chiefs were clearly the two best teams in the league this year, and both deserve to be in the big game. Both teams had identical 14-3 records in the regular season and were the top seeds in their conferences. And both beat the second-best teams in their respective conferences, the 49ers and the Bengals, in the playoffs two Sundays ago to advance to the Super Bowl, which takes place in Glendale, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix.

For the NFL, it could not have lined up any better.

As is always the case, the quarterbacks are the marquee players, and this year’s game features great ones. Patrick Mahomes for the Chiefs is the most innovative offensive player in the league, liable to pull surprises that have never been seen before. Jalen Hurts of the Eagles, in just his third season, was 14-1 as a starter in a standout season that saw him run second-year coach Nick Sirianni’s offense to near perfection.

Another story line that will get attention is the first ever matchup between brothers. Travis Kelce, the Chiefs tight end (who has caught 101 passes in 17 career games against the Broncos, ugh) is on his way to becoming the best to ever play the position. His older brother, Jason, is a five-time all-pro center for the Eagles. The pair pair on a podcast, and their mother, Donna, will be at the game wearing attire that is equal parts red for the Chiefs and green for the Eagles.

Oh, and Jason’s wife, Kylie, is on the cusp of giving birth to the couple’s third child. You may remember that during last year’s Super Bowl, Los Angeles Ram Van Jefferson’s wife, Samaria, actually went into labor during the game and gave birth to a baby boy. Just sayin’.

Regardless of whether you can root for either of these teams, the game should be worth tuning in.

Have fun this Super Bowl Sunday.