LOS ANGELES – Slabs of meat sizzle from the grill top. Spirits are freely flowing. And those listening in will catch the bright tones of a mariachi trumpet blaring for all to hear under the Southern California sun.
At last, it’s Super Bowl week. And for fans of all stripes, there are few places they’d rather be.
“This is the No. 1 spot,” said one Los Angeles Rams fan, flanked by several others and flying the team’s colors in a flag over his head. “Who doesn’t want to be here?”
All 32 teams began the 2021 campaign with the goal in mind to end up at SoFi Stadium — the NFL’s largest stadium and one of the league’s newest venues — for Super Bowl LVI. But this Sunday, only two remain: Matthew Stafford and the high-powered Rams against Joe Burrow and the upstart Cincinnati Bengals.
It’s an improbable matchup pitting the star-studded NFC champions in their home stadium against the Bengals, who shocked the perennial AFC favorite Kansas City Chiefs to reach the big game.
But days before the teams hit the gridiron, fans in the region have plenty to celebrate. Many took to the tailgating scene Monday near the stadium to soak up the first day in a long week of festivities.
“It’s awesome,” a fan in a San Francisco 49ers shirt said. “It’s a Los Angeles party and that’s what it is. It’s an L.A. party all the way.”
“It’s mayhem,” said another fan donning a Padres’ ‘Slam Diego’ T-shirt. “And it’s big.”
“Oh my gosh, everyone’s been so nice and friendly,” another 49ers fan said. “Going around and giving everyone shots and tacos and everything. It’s definitely a good feeling.”
The NFL is offering up a host of activities to keep fans occupied throughout the week. It is available by clicking or tapping here.
Sunday’s game kicks off at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT and will be aired live on NBC.