Super Bowl 39 is underway, the biggest and always most anticipated U.S. sporting event of the year.
This year, NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles try to dethrone the 2017 Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.
The Eagles led early in the first quarter 10-3.
This year’s game is being played in Minneapolis, Minn., where the game-time temperature is expected to be minus 17 degrees Celsius. But in the city’s indoor stadium, it will be in the relatively balmy 20s.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady could set several records during the game. He will be the oldest nonkicker to play in the Super Bowl, and could be the oldest quarterback to win, picking up his sixth title — the most of any NFL player in history.
Philadelphia is vying for its first Super Bowl win after two attempts. It lost to the Patriots in Super Bowl 39 in 2005. But the Patriots are favored in today’s game, which is expected to be viewed by more than 100 million people.
Among those watching will be No. 1 fan — President Donald Trump. He put out a pre-game statement thanking the American servicemen and women who he says are unable to watch the game with friends and family, but whose sacrifice makes such big events possible.
Advertisers are paying $5 million for a 30-second commercial during the broadcast, which is traditionally the most watched television show of the year in the United States.
Viewer ratings for this year’s Super Bowl are considered critical for the NFL. Its regular season ratings declined by 10 percent compared with the prior year.
The drop in ratings has been attributed in part to people boycotting NFL games because of player protests, including kneeling for the national anthem. Other causes include reduced subscriptions to cable television, as online streaming services become more popular, and to some degree, declining interest.