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Super Bowl preview: Will the Bengals roar on the Rams’ home field for Sunday’s championship?

By Daniel S., sports writer

Sports fans across the world have waited all year for this Sunday’s Super Bowl LVI, one of the most exciting games of the year. This year’s matchup, between the Cincinnati Bengals and Las Angeles Rams, means there will be no hometown favorites for Des Plaines football fans. If your team doesn’t make the Super Bowl, who do you root for?

Just watching the game and not really rooting for anyone takes away some of the excitement for fans, since one of the biggest parts of sports are the high emotions you get anticipating the outcome of the game. That doesn’t mean, though, that even casual fans don’t get invested in the action once the coin is tossed. “When the Seahawks lost to the Patriots in 2015, it was an incredible game, but it was sad to see the team I was rooting for lose in such a heart-breaking way,”  sophomore Bears fan Ethan Mattson said. In that game Russel Wilson, a likable player among fans, threw a game-losing interception. For the many rooting for Seattle, it was a hard way to see them lose.

One thing a lot of fans end up doing is rooting for the most likable players, but in this Super Bowl there are likable players on both sides. “I usually root for the underdog since they are more likable, or whatever team has players that I like on it. I’m not really sure who I want to win this Super Bowl.  I want to see Matt Stafford win the Super Bowl, and on the other hand I want to see the Bengals go all the way,” junior Gabe DaSilva said. 

The Cincinnati Bengals have likable star players such as quarterback Joe Burrow and rookie wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase. Recently Burrow has become one of the biggest talking points of the NFL media as he has led the Bengals to two consecutive upsets and a 21-3 comeback against the Chiefs. A lot of fans love Burrow due to his dedication and hard work with the team. He suffered an ACL injury last year that he was able to bounce back from. 

Ja’Marr Chase is also a player widely liked by the media since he broke a lot of rookie receiving records this year. 

On the other hand the Rams have likable players such as quarterback Mathew Stafford and wide receiver duo Odell Beckham Jr. and Cooper Kupp, who had the most receiving yards, most receptions and most touchdowns this season in the entire league. 

Mathew Stafford spent the first twelve seasons of his career in Detroit who have only had two seasons with a winning record. This season he got traded to the Los Angeles Rams who have gone where the Detroit Lions could never go. 

Odell Beckham Jr is liked by fans thanks to the nostalgia he brings. From 2014 to2016 Beckham was one of the most electrifying players in the NFL, and due to injuries and off-field drama, he stagnated then declined. In his recent stint with the Rams, he looks like he is almost back to where he was during that time period. 

“I usually root for the Kansas City Chiefs, but since they’re not in it, I’m going to root for the team I think will win,” junior Aubrey Brown said, who plans to cheer for the Rams. Without team loyalty as a factor in this Super Bowl, many Chicago-area fans will take this approach. Rooting for the best available team is always a safe option but the thrills are in the upsets. 

The Rams are the favorite by 4.5 points in this Super Bowl, but that doesn’t mean much as the Chiefs were a seven-point favorite to beat the Bengals the round prior and ended up losing. The Bengals were also underdogs the round before the Chiefs game and still ended up losing.  

No matter which team people are rooting for, we are possibly in for a show between the Bengals – who are eager for their first-ever Super Bowl rings – and the Rams who are hungry to win what they lost in 2018. 

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