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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Super Bowl isn't just a football game. It's the halftime show; it's the ads; it's the seven-layer dip; it's the fact that, for four hours on Sunday night, nobody is expected to be doing anything else.

Why it matters: The Super Bowl is one of the last remnants of an era when we all watched the same things at the same time. It is the "live sport" of all live sports, which is currently the only form of content tethering many consumers to traditional TV.

  • The game: With the Patriots absent for the first time since 2016, Super Bowl LIV feels like the dawn of a new era. Patrick Mahomes leads a pass-heavy Chiefs attack against the NFL's best defense, while Jimmy Garoppolo leads a 49ers offense that has run the ball on 71 of its last 88 plays.
  • The booth: Joe Buck and Troy Aikman will call their sixth Super Bowl together for FOX, while Erin Andrews and Chris Myers will handle sideline reporting.
  • The music: Yolanda Adams will sing "America the Beautiful" before kickoff, Demi Lovato will sing the national anthem and Jennifer Lopez and Shakira will co-headline the halftime show.
  • The ads: Good news, football fans! (And bad news, commercial fans!) In a bid to reduce the number of interruptions in this year's game, Fox is cutting one commercial break from every quarter.

The backdrop ... With youth football participation falling, several states debating whether a tackle version of the sport should even be allowed, and NFL stars retiring in their 20s due to health concerns, there is a growing sense that America's moment of "peak football" may be in the past.

The bottom line: The conflict between football's cultural grip on America and the clear risks involved in playing it represents one of the great dramas of our time. The story will continue on Sunday — with 100 million people watching.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 37 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Ipsos poll: COVID trick-or-treat.
  2. World: Greece tightens coronavirus restrictions as Europe cases spike.
  3. Economy: Conference Board predicts economy won’t fully recover until late 2021.
  4. Education: Surge threatens to shut classrooms down again.
  5. Technology: Fully at-home rapid COVID test to move forward.
  6. Travel: CDC replaces COVID-19 cruise ban with less restrictive "conditional sailing order."

Trump's legacy is shaped by his narrow interests

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

President Trump's policy legacy is as much defined by what he's ignored as by what he's involved himself in.

The big picture: Over the past four years, Trump has interested himself in only a slim slice of the government he leads. Outside of trade, immigration, a personal war against the "Deep State" and the hot foreign policy issue of the moment, Trump has left many of his Cabinet secretaries to work without interruption, let alone direction.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
4 hours ago - Technology

AI and automation are creating a hybrid workforce

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

AI and automation are receiving a boost during the coronavirus pandemic that in the short term is creating a new hybrid workforce rather than destroying jobs outright.

The big picture: While the forces of automation and AI will eliminate some jobs and create some new ones, the vast majority will remain but be dramatically changed. The challenge for employers will be ensuring workforces are ready for the effects of technology.