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Rihanna to Headline 2023 Super Bowl Halftime Show

Rihanna to Headline 2023 Super Bowl Halftime Show

Singer Rihanna has been confirmed as the headline act for the halftime show at the 2023 Super Bowl.

The 34-year-old Barbadian singer, who has won nine Grammies and sold over 250 million records worldwide in her illustrious career, shared an image of her hand holding an American football on social media. The image was then re-posted the NFL and Roc Nation, her record label who are an executive producer of the half-time show.

“Rihanna is a generational talent, a woman of humble beginnings who has surpassed expectations at every turn,” said rapper Jay-Z, founder of Roc Nation. “A person born on the small island of Barbados who became one of the most prominent artists ever. Self-made in business and entertainment.”

Seth Dudowsky, NFL’s head of Music, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Rihanna to the Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show stage.

“Rihanna is a once in a generation artist who has been a cultural force throughout her career. We look forward to collaborating with Rihanna, Roc Nation and Apple Music to bring fans another historic Halftime Show performance.”

The NFL halftime show is one of the biggest spectacles of the year with the world biggest artists invited to perform. Over the years, the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Eminem, Dr Dre, 50 Cent and Mary J Blige have all headlined the show with millions of people tuning in from across the world.

She had been offered to perform in the Super Bowl halftime show in 2019 but turned the opportunity down as a means of showing solidarity with the NFL star Colin Kaepernick following his decision to kneel during the national anthem before the game.

Earlier in the year, she welcomed her first child with her boyfriend, fellow musician ASAP Rocky.

The 2023 Super Bowl will take place at the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, on 12th February.

SEE ALSO: Who Were the Big Winners at This Years Emmys?

Tom Brady Announces NFL Return After Six Week Retirement

Tom Brady Announces NFL Return After Six Week Retirement

NFL great, Tom Brady has revealed that he will be returning to the sport for a 23rd season just 40 days after announcing his retirement.

The 44-year-old is one of the greatest players the sport of NFL has ever seen, and he has won the Super Bowl seven time, six of which were with the New England Patriots and his latest win with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020. But Brady declared there was “unfinished business” when he released the news to the world on Twitter on Sunday.

“These past two months I’ve realized my place is still on the field and not in the stands,” he said. “That time will come. But it’s not now. I love my teammates, and I love my supportive family. They make it all possible. I’m coming back for my 23rd season in Tampa.”

As well as the multiple Super Bowl victories, Brady also tops the all-time NFL charts for passing yards and passing touchdowns and has been awarded with five Super Bowl MVP awards and three league MVP awards.

However, his final game of the 2021 season did not go to plan after the Bucs couldn’t pull off magnificent comeback against the eventual winners, the LA Rams, after they came back from 27-3 down but in the end lost 30-27.

Brady was recently seen in attendance in Manchester, England at Old Trafford, the home of soccer team Manchester United to witness the Red Devils beat Tottenham Hotspur 3-2 in a classic which saw Cristiano Ronaldo score a hat-trick. At the end of the game, the two sporting legends were seen having a chat with each other.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Arians was delighted to learn that Brady would be making his return.

“Tom Brady loves to play football as much as anyone I have ever been around,” said Arians. “As Tom said, his place right now is on the football field.

“He is still playing at a championship level and was as productive as anyone in the league last season. We are ecstatic that he decided to continue playing and working toward winning another championship.”

Brady will look to bounce back from the disappointment of last season and return to the pitch to once again lead the Bucs to more NFL glory.

SEE ALSO: LA Rams Come From Behind to Clinch Dramatic Super Bowl LVI

Best Sports Colleges in the US

Best Sports Colleges in the U.S.

If you’re a promising footballer, basketballer or athlete, you’ve come to the right place. Picking a US university with a strong sports program could be the difference between you turning your natural ability into a successful career or just being another hobby. Even if you’re more of a fan than a player, or if you’re just interested in sport-adjacent careers like physiotherapy, the top sports colleges in the US will be more appealing to you than other institutions.

Below is a list of nine of the best universities in America for sports lovers.

Ohio State University

Ohio State has 1,203 students playing for a university sports team, and as a result it is a university full of sporting activity. At the top is the university’s football team, which has an enviable record in recent years and attracts crowds of over 100,000, nearly 30,000 of which are student season ticket holders. With 738,500 square feet of total indoor recreation space, and fantastic school spirit, there are few places better for both athletes and fans.

University of Michigan

Regularly attracting crowds of over 100,000 to their home football matches, the University of Michigan is a true sporting powerhouse. The university has had 24 alumni in the last four US Olympic teams as well as 54 conference championships in the last 10 years and boasts incredible varsity facilities. Academically, Michigan isn’t too shabby either, with the sports program boasting an 80% graduation rate among its student athletes. The sports connoisseur will also enjoy proximity to the Detroit Lions (NFL), Detroit Red Wings (NHL), and the Detroit Tigers (MLB).

University of Wisconsin-Madison

The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s two most successful sports teams are football and men’s basketball, and it manages to blend campus culture and sporting prowess perfectly. Student athletes here boast a 70% graduation rate, which suggests that you will leave UWM with a proper education as well as sporting glory.

University of Florida

Particularly strong for football and basketball, the University of Florida is also a great party university, making the fan experience here one of the greatest in the US. You won’t be short on bars to celebrate victories in, whether you’re a player or a fan.

University of Connecticut

Connecticut may not have any professional male sports teams, but this just means the university sides attract even more attention than normal. The basketball team has won two men’s national titles in the last decade, but it’s the women’s basketball team that are the real stars at the university, with a recent winning streak of over 100 consecutive games. If football’s more your thing then this probably isn’t the university for you, but there is plenty for sports lovers to enjoy about studying in Connecticut.

University of Notre Dame

Few universities manage to be competitive in such a vast array of sports as Notre Dame, with the soccer, basketball, lacrosse, hockey and fencing teams all either winning titles or reaching semi-finals since the year 2000. Intramural sport is also in rude health here, with student teams existing for practically everything, from full-contact football to co-ed broomball. If being a spectator is more your thing, the Notre Dame stadium – home to four statues of former coaches – provides a matchday experience like few others.

Duke University

Duke’s 9,314-seat basketball stadium is one of the most well-known college sport venues in the country, with students often camping outside for weeks at a time in order to gain a seat for the big game. Varsity athletics is also in extremely healthy shape here, but it’s the two basketball championships since 2010 which get most of the attention. The football team has also performed well of late, although tailgating has been banned since 2010, taking some of the fun of being a fan away from the sport.

University of California, Los Angeles

Student athletes at UCLA get to enjoy some of the finest facilities in the US, in an environment which breeds success. With over 100 NCAA team championships to their name, UCLA has an illustrious sporting history and it’s only getting better each year. Sport fans are also spoiled for choice with countless professional teams on their doorstep, from the Lakers, Rams and Clippers to the Kings and the Dodgers.

University of Texas at Austin

If you like football, you’ll love the matchday experience at UT, where the stadium is filled with an enormous swaying mass of orange shirts, cowboy boots and foam fingers. It’s not just about the games under Friday night lights though; UT also has an enviable women’s athletics program and a proven track record of producing Olympic athletes (23 in the past four US Olympic teams).

SEE ALSO: What are the Ivy League Schools?

College Football Stadiums Filled as Fans Return

College Football Stadiums Filled as Fans Make Their Return

Last weekend saw the return of college football and the return of fans as football stadiums saw packed crowds for the first time since 2019 for the opening weekend.

College football fans from across the Unites States flocked to their favorite teams’ home field on Saturday to witness the start of the 2021 season. This is despite COVID-19 cases rising in the country in the form of the Indian Delta variant. As well as cases, hospitalizations and deaths have also increased, especially in the South.

During the whole of last season, attendance to the college football games were limited to follow in line with the social distancing rules put in place by state and local governments. In the most extreme periods, fields had to be filled with cardboard cut-outs. However, for this season, all restrictions have been lifted therefore allowing fans to storming back into stadiums without the worry of social distancing or masks, cheering on their teams, including those in Florida, home to the Florida Gators.

Florida is currently in the middle of its worst phase of COVID-19 since the pandemic surfaced. Despite the vaccination rate of the sunshine state higher than the national average, Florida has an increased population of elderly people who are more vulnerable to the virus, compared to other states.

From mid-August, Florida was averaging 244 deaths per day, but hospitalizations have dropped with figures from the past two week dropping from 17,000 to 14,200 on Friday suggesting an ease.

In other areas, more than 100,000 fans were present at The Big House in Ann Arbor to witness Michigan defeat Western Michigan. There were also tens of thousands in attendance at Charlotte with some getting their as early as 5:00am to tailgate.

“It’s great to be back with everyone,” said Clemson superfan Johnny Malibu.

Clemson superfan Peter Rowan stated how tough it has with COVID-19 and how great it is to be attending once again, with thousands of other fans: “It’s great to see everyone out here. We miss the fans. I miss being here.”

For the full results from Week 1 of the 2021 college football season, click here.

SEE ALSO: The US Open – All You Need To Know

Pittsburgh Steelers

Former Pittsburgh Steelers Linebacker James Harrison Announces Retirement

Former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison has announced his retirement from the NFL for the second time after a strong 15-year career.

The 39-year-old made the announcement on Instagram on Monday. Beneath an image of his children, he said, “I’ve missed way too much for way too long… and I’m done. Many thanks to my family, coaches, the fans, and everyone who played a role in my football life.”

Harrison, who will turn 40 in May, spent most of his career as the linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers before signing with the New England Patriots on 26 December, 2017.

Despite an illustrious career with the revered Pittsburgh Steelers, Harrison and the team parted on negative terms. With reduced playing time during the 2017 season, Harrison requested that the team release him from his contract.

The long-time NFL player had previously announced his retirement in 2014 following a one-year stint with the Cincinnati Bengals, but returned to the game with the Steelers for the next season.

Harrison, who began his career playing college football for Kent State University, won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award in 2008. The football star also won two Super Bowls, he XL and XLIII with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The linebacker finishes his career with 84.5 sacks.

Further reading: Robert Griffin Joins Baltimore Ravens

Alliance of American Football

The Alliance of American Football to Launch 2019

Charlie Ebersol has announced the launch of the The Alliance of American Football in 2019.

The league will comprise of eight 50-man teams playing a 10-game schedule that will begin February 9 2019, one week following next year’s Super Bowl.

Ebersol, the son of long-time NBC Sports Executive Dick Ebersol, said, “The Alliance of American Football represents a fundamental shift in the way we approach professional sports.

“We believe fans and players are what’s most important so our approach is simple—we’ve created an alliance where fans and players share in the success of their teams.”

The Alliance of American Football league is to be funded by an all-star roster of investors including the Founders Fund, Slow Ventures, The Chernin Group and Adrian Fenty, to name a few.

The league is to be built through regionally-based allocation in the fall; eight Alliance regions and their coaches will be announced within the next 12 weeks.

Bill Polian, co-founder of The Alliance of American Football has said “There is a significant amount of football talent looking to begin or extend their professional careers. The Alliance will provide those players with a new opportunity to compete at a high level.” He added, “Our players and fans are the lifeblood of The Alliance and we will treat them as such.”

In further support of the league, television network CBS are to air the games in their line-up throughout the season. “As The Alliance of American Football launches next February we are excited to become the official television partner, adding more football to our robust programming line-up with a great package that includes two primetime games on CBS, as well as a full slate of regular-season spring football on CBS Sports Network,” said chairman at CBS sports, Sean McManus.

Further reading: Allen Robinson Set to Join Chicago Bears

NFL Playoffs

Down to Eight: NFL Playoffs Are Here

Although I’ve been one of the many people taking a break from the NFL during the season, I figured I would get my NFL fix during the playoffs. After a long season full of controversy and political implications, we have finally reached the coveted NFL playoffs where all the commotion can die down and we can focus on the best teams in the league competing for the ultimate prize: an NFL Superbowl Championship. The wildcard games were everything we thought they were going to be but the divisional round looks to be a clash of young, up-and-coming talent with three of the games’ greatest quarterbacks to ever lace up their cleats. Let’s break down the games and I will give my predictions at the end.

Atlanta Falcons vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Atlanta comes into this game off of an impressive victory over the L.A. Rams in Los Angeles. The Falcons who have found their stride over the last several weeks of football are looking to bounce back after last season’s collapse against the New England Patriots in the SuperBowl. Their balanced attack gives them the edge as well as the experience of Matt Ryan, who also has the elite wide receiver, Julio Jones as a safety net to lean on in tough times. Philly is coming in without their starting quarterback Carson Wentz and despite having a pretty dominant season, missing a talent like Wentz versus a team looking to redeem themselves seems like a tall order for the Eagles. With the injury, they will start Nick Foles at quarterback to go with the rest of their attack during the NFL playoffs. If Foles can limit the turnovers and manage the game against Philadelphia’s defense and strong running attack, they can keep it competitive. But in the end, I believe the experience and tenacity of the Falcons will overcome the Eagles on the road, propelling them back to the conference championship for the second year in a row. Final Score, Falcons 31- Eagles 17.

New Orleans Saints vs. Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota has been one of the most consistent teams all season. Case Keenum took over for Teddy Bridgewater after his injured players Sam Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater and has not missed a step. Their 13-3 record offered them around one bye and an NFC North championship. They take on the hungry and multifaceted New Orleans Saints who defeated Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers in their wild-card matchup with a masterful performance by their legendary QB, Drew Brees. Despite being one of the most potent running attacks in the league this season, it took a Brees effort to lift them over the Panthers at home. If they can get any help from their running game against the Vikings in that cold weather, then they can pull off the upset during the NFL playoffs. It is hard for me to pick Keenum over Brees in any fashion, so I won’t here either. Saints upset the Vikings with a big game by Mark Ingram and that saints offense. Final Score: Saints 34- Vikings 24.

Tennessee Titans vs. New England Patriots

QB Marcus Mariotta leads his rugged Titans unit up against the defending champions during the NFL playoffs with arguably the best quarterback and coach in the history of the sport looking to cement their legendary status with another NFL championship. Mariotta comes into the divisional round after leading his team to a 22-21 comeback victory over AFC foes the Kansas City Chiefs in the wild-card game. Hoping to continue his success, he will need to play a turnover-free and explosive game in order for his titans to have any chance of completing the upset on the road in Foxboro Stadium. The conditions will be cold and the atmosphere of the NFL playoffs will be unlike any the young Mariotta has ever experienced, but if he wants to start putting his name in the hierarchy of active NFL quarterbacks, this is his best opportunity—an opportunity the entire Titans organization should be waiting for. With all that being said, New England will come out the victors setting up a Championship game versus either the tough defense of the Jacksonville Jaguars or their biggest AFC rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers. Final Score, Titans 17- Pats 28.

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh has been waiting for an opportunity to play the Jaguars again after getting pummeled early in the season by this tough Jacksonville defense. They forced Roethlisberger the Steelers Championship winning QB into five interceptions and overall his worst professional game of his career. Ben Roethlisberger played so bad that he was quoted after the game questioning his own abilities and whether he still had the hunger to play professional football. Since that loss, the Steelers have won 10 out of 11 games, their only loss coming off the heels of one the most controversial no-catch calls in recent history against the New England Patriots in week 14. They will get a healthy Antonio Brown back for the divisional game which will make the game that much easier for Big Ben. If Jacksonville can keep the game ugly and their defense can keep them in it, then they have a puncher’s chance. But ultimately it comes down to quarterback play and Blake Bortles will have trouble against the Steeler defense while Big Ben is prime to bounce back from that performance in week five of the NFL playoffs. Pittsburgh battles to advance for their long-awaited rematch with the New England Patriots. Final Score, Jags 9- Pitt 24.

These are my divisional round picks, who do you have to advance to the AFC and NFC Championship games? Let me know in the comments.

Further reading: Dear College Football: Stop Playing Playoff Games on New Year’s Eve