Excitement, anxiety hang over Sunday's Super Bowl

Video Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on February 4, 2021 - Duration: 02:00s

Excitement, anxiety hang over Sunday's Super Bowl

[NFA] Super Bowl celebrations kicked off in Tampa, Florida, this week amid unprecedented circumstances, as locals prepared to cheer on their hometown Buccaneers against the reigning champion Kansas City Chiefs - all during a pandemic and heightened security threats.

Lisa Bernhard produced this report.

Excitement, anxiety hang over Sunday's Super Bowl

Fewer high fives, more hand sanitizer.

That’s just one key difference fans descending on Tampa, Florida, will likely experience at this Sunday’s Super Bowl LV (55), whether cheering for the hometown Buccaneers - led by age-defying 43-year-old superstar Tom Brady - or returning champs the Kansas City Chiefs, seeking back-to-back rings under the leadership of 25-year-old quarterback sensation Patrick Mahomes.

For the limited crowd of roughly 25,000 in the stands, masks are a must – and not just any mask.

All attendees will be required to wear KN-95 masks provided at entranceways to Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium - and strict social distancing will be enforced.

For many, that means cardboard cutouts of fellow football fanatics could be their closest seat mates.

Also among the crowd: 7,500 vaccinated healthcare workers who were given free tickets by the NFL.

The greater challenge, however, could be beyond the scope of the NFL, with folks across the country gathering in households and at private parties to celebrate the game – something Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the new head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, strongly advises against.

“And this Sunday, remember – whichever team you’re rooting for, and whichever commercial is your favorite, please watch the Super Bowl safely, gathering only virtually or with the people you live with.” And if you’re watching at home, without the usual fanfare of cheering friends by your side, take heart: at least you should be safe, not just from the public health crisis but also from other potential threats.

With a national domestic terrorism advisory in place, security at the Super Bowl will be super tight – and played under the watchful eyes of some 70 local, state and federal agencies.

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