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Touchdown In Houston Before The Big Game06:04
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There are always hysterical commercials featured during the Super Bowl, but this year there are also some tackling issues like the environment, gender bias and immigration. (Charles Rex Arbogast/AP)
There are always hysterical commercials featured during the Super Bowl, but this year there are also some tackling issues like the environment, gender bias and immigration. (Charles Rex Arbogast/AP)
This article is more than 2 years old.

With just over 48 hours to go until Super Bowl kickoff in Houston, we touch base one more time with our sports reporter.

The Super Bowl Bubble

It's a media frenzy at NRG field in Houston, where a week of media events will culminate with the big game on Sunday. But all the players and coaches are side stepping non-political questions.

“What’s going on in the world?" asked Patriots' quarterback Tom Brady. "I haven’t paid much attention. I’m just a positive person.”

WBUR's Shira Springer writes that Houston feels like an "alternate reality," but one where an obsessively focused athlete like Brady can thrive:

Making his seventh trip to the Super Bowl, Brady knows the bubble well and embraces it. Maybe hardened sportswriters might pester him about Trump, but not a former teammate employed by the league-owned network. Yet, let’s not forget that the interest in the Brady-Trump friendship started when a bright red 'Make America Great Again' hat was spotted in the quarterback’s locker in September 2015.

Even one of the few Muslim players on the NFL ducked questions, instead opting to focus on the big game.

"It’s a very tough situation," Falcons wide receiver Mohamed Sanu said. "I just pray that us as a country and a world can be united. It’s really hard for me to talk about this right now. It would take a lot of time. I would really like to just focus on the game and just talk about football."

Patriot Sam Adams dons Patriots' gear as part of a contest between Boston's Museum of Fine Arts and Atlanta's High Museum of Art. (Courtesy of the MFA)
Patriot Sam Adams dons Patriots' gear as part of a contest between Boston's Museum of Fine Arts and Atlanta's High Museum of Art. (Courtesy of the MFA)

Fun Super Bowl LI Facts

1) The Case Of the Missing Playbook. Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan is either a very trusting person or loses things very easily or both. A journalist accidentally grabbed his backpack during Media Night, and inside that backpack was the Falcons game plan for Sunday. It could have been catastrophic it fell into the wrong hands, but it was quickly returned.

2) Lady Gaga & Politics. The most awkward, uncomfortable moment might not be Roger Goodell handing the Patriots the Super Bowl trophy after all. Lady Gaga, who was a big Hilary Clinton supporter and is a big advocate for LGBTQ rights, could definitely mix some political messages into her half time performance.

3) Robert Kraft loves Mexican food. The Patriots' owner took time to talk with media at the Patriots final media availability and what started as a question about the Patriots and Raiders playing a game in Mexico City next year, quickly wound its way around to Kraft’s favorite kind of food: Mexican.

Guest

Shira Springer, WBUR's Sports and Society reporter. She tweets @ShiraSpringer.

This segment aired on February 3, 2017.

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