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Super Bowl parties will look a lot different this year.
Health officials across the country are asking football fans to avoid watching the National Football League spectacle in large groups to avoid a super-spreading event.
On Friday, Dr. Robert Strang reminded Nova Scotians that gathering limits must remain at 10 for households.
“I know the Super Bowl is a big event for lots of families, but gathering limits have to remain at 10,” said Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer.
Professional football player Brett Lauther has scaled down his plans for Super Bowl Sunday.
Normally, the Canadian Football League all-star kicker would be hanging out with friends and teammates watching the showcase game, but said COVID-19 will have him taking in the action from home.
Sunday’s game features a battle of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and legendary quarterback Tom Brady versus the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs and young superstar Patrick Mahomes.
“Not a lot going on this season for the Super Bowl as other years,” said Lauther. “Just staying the course because of COVID and watching from home.”
Lauther knows plenty about COVID-19 after spending the holidays in quarantine with the virus.
He said he has recovered and is back in training.
“Feeling good and been cleared of COVID for over a couple of weeks now,” the 30-year-old said. “I was lucky to not have it as bad as most cases out there or have any underlying conditions that might have made it worse. Still haven’t had my taste or smell come back but other than that I’ve been training full time and feel back to 100 per cent health.”
The place-kicker from Truro is testing the CFL free-agent waters after two seasons with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. The CFL’s free-agent period opens on Tuesday.
“I’m doing some training in the States (North Dakota) and not sure where I’ll be when I’m back in the spring. Just depends on some football stuff which will figure itself out over the next month or two.”
But on Sunday, Lauther will be watching the big game ‘and looking forward to making some good Super Bowl food and enjoying a great matchup.”
His prediction: “I think the Bucs and Tom Brady upset the juggernaut Chiefs this year.”
COACH ON THE COUCH
Acadia football coach Jeff Cummins will be heeding the message from Dr. Strang and watching from the comfort of his home.
Cummins said in the past the Axemen have hosted Super Bowl viewing parties as fundraisers or by bringing the team together in a large group, but not this year.
“Just different, definitely not the way I’m doing it this year,” said the veteran coach. “Some coaches might be getting together at one of their houses, but I will be hanging out on the couch at home.
“We didn’t try and plan anything or get anything set up. We have to keep it small.”
Cummins trusts his players to be mindful of the COVID-19 landscape and conduct themselves accordingly when making their Super Bowl plans.
“We use this phrase all the time, ‘think of other people’” said Cummins. “ That’s a big part of our program and it doesn’t change with Sunday either. Think about what you do and how it will impact other people. Not putting yourself in a position where you are going to impact other people and the guys understand that.”
Cummins said he has been ‘going and forth’ with his Super Bowl prediction.
“There’s a part of me that doesn’t think Tampa Bay has a chance and then the other side says it’s Tom Brady. I didn’t think he was going to win any of the last two games. Defensively (Tampa Bay) are so tough, but Kansas City is so talented and deep on offence that you are going to have to outscore them. I don’t think Kansas city gets shut down and scoring only 16 or 20 points. I think they are going to score in the 30s and I don’t think Tampa Bay can do that. I would go with Kansas City.”