America’s sporting showpiece takes place tomorrow amid the backdrop of cheating allegations aimed at one of the nation’s most storied franchises.
The New England Patriots head into SuperBowl XLIX in Glendale, Arizona, against the defending champion Seattle Seahawks, under a storm cloud.
In the wake of their AFC Championship demolition of the Indianapolis Colts, the Patriots were discovered to have used under-inflated balls which broke NFL regulations.
Deflategate, as it has become known, has dominated the build-up to a SuperBowl that pits the top seeds from both conferences together.
An NFL investigation is underway, while Tom Brady – the future Hall of Fame quarterback and his equally legendary coach Bill Belichek – have been in the media’s firing line.
A story that might never get a definitive conclusion has overshadowed the build-up to what is a mouth-watering contest.
The Seahawks, with their ‘legion of boom’ defence are looking to win the SuperBowl for a second successive year following their humiliation of Denver in New York last year.
The Patriots are seeking a first championship in 10 years and what would be a record fourth in the Brady-Belichek era.
Earlier in the day, and a little closer to home, the VarsityBowl between Leeds Carnegie – representing Leeds Beckett – and Leeds University Celtics takes place at West Park Leeds (1.30pm).
Part of the annual varsity festivities, the game pits two teams who are part of a 72-strong university gridiron league in Britain.
“It’s a sport on the rise and the numbers are increasing in terms of participation as well,” says Ben Smith, the Leeds University captain.