When you break it down to the lowest common denominator, American football is not that different to any other sport. Yes, there are colorful helmets, giant pads and tailgate parties that begin almost as soon as the sun comes up, but the game is still all about marginal gains that deliver ultimate reward.
Points – as is the case in many other pastimes – mean prizes, and none of those are bigger that the Vince Lombardi Trophy. It is also time for the exclusive Super Bowl club to throw open its doors once more, with the grandest of parties set to be held in Glendale, Arizona.
The greatest to ever do it 🙌@JerryRice | #NFL100 pic.twitter.com/6uMHkALzfm
— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) December 21, 2019
The Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs will be battling it out for the right to be considered the best side on the planet, with pre-match NFL bets struggling to split two star-studded outfits. The Eagles are considered to be slight favorites at -120, but the Chiefs are not far behind at +100.
Both teams boast scoring power by the bucket load, through the air and on the ground, and the expectation is that State Farm Stadium – which boasts serious history when it comes to entertaining Super Bowl encounters – will not be home to a low-scoring affair that struggles to capture the imagination.
Touchdowns aplenty appear to be on the cards as the likes of Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and AJ Brown take to the field, with a collection of superstars who have mastered the art of finding any given end zone preparing to showcase their particular skill sets in a global shop window.
Some of those on display have past experience of what it is like to grace the greatest show on turf, with the hope being that there will be many more opportunities to step out on such a stage in the future. If that does prove to be the case, then the history books may start to be rewritten.
There is no danger of one entry in said publication being erased any time soon, with one of the best to have ever played the game still some way clear of the chasing pack when it comes to all-time touchdown records in the Super Bowl.
The man at the top of that list is none other than San Francisco 49ers legend Jerry Rice, who graced four Super Bowls over the course of his distinguished career and helped himself to three championship rings. He achieved those feats by entering the end zone on eight occasions under the brightest of spotlights.
Who holds the record for most receiving yards in a Super Bowl? @JerryRice with 215 yards in #SBXXIII. (via @nflthrowback)
📺: #SFvsCIN — Sunday 4:25pm ET on CBS
📱: NFL app pic.twitter.com/d7wWzEdWgs
— NFL (@NFL) December 11, 2021
Rice earned MVP honors in 1989, posting a 215 receiving-yard game – a performance that is yet to be bettered – and appears set to occupy the No.1 spot on a notable chart for some time yet.
Iconic New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski sits second on the Super Bowl receiving touchdown roll of honor with five to his name, while Antonio Freeman, Cliff Branch, John Stallworth and Lynn Swann all boast three apiece. Superstars of the present will have ambitious sights set on clambering their way up the ladder, but reining in Rice – the GOAT of wide receivers – will be no easy task and he can continue to rest easy for now.