INGLEWOOD, Calif. — The Cincinnati Bengals finally feel like they’re in the Super Bowl now.
The Bengals flew to Los Angeles on Tuesday, a nice transition from preparing for Sunday’s home game in freezing Ohio to hot, sunny California.
Cincinnati offensive coordinator Brian Callahan said being there helps make the game real and tangible after feeling like something away last week when the Bengals resumed their usual routine in the ‘Ohio.
“It’s cold and miserable and all those things,” Callahan said. “It’s winter in Ohio. There was a snow storm and all that. It seemed like a normal process.
The Bengals were greeted with numerous cameras at the airport and Super Bowl logos are everywhere. They announced their arrival with a simple tweet saying, “We arrived in California.”
“Now it feels real,” Callahan said. “It’s like we’re getting ready to play the Super Bowl. It’s exiting. It’s fun trying to enjoy every moment.
Callahan said the Bengals deserved all the attention and the opportunity to present themselves to the world. That doesn’t mean they’ve forgotten why they’re here.
“Once we start the preparation, we come back to it, ready to win a game of football,” Callahan said.
No NFL team was as productive as the Bengals in scoring late in the first half. This was especially true in the playoffs when the Bengals scored in the final two minutes of all three games to advance to the Super Bowl.
Joe Burrow threw a TD pass to Tyler Boyd against the Raiders in the wildcard round, Evan McPherson threw a late field goal to give the Bengals a halftime lead over Tennessee in the divisional round and the TD pass from Burrow to Samaje Perine started the comeback from 18 points down in the AFC title game at Kansas City.
Those scores give the Bengals a league-high 74 points in the final two minutes of the first half of the regular season and playoffs, the fourth-highest in a season since 2000.
“It’s something we were really built for,” said coach Zac Taylor. “What I mean by that is that one of our first facilities is really on the ball, not huddle. So it doesn’t really affect the communication process. It’s something in which we We’ve invested a lot of time in. Joe is doing a great job managing this.
“Receivers and other technicians understand the urgency of preparing and being where you need to be. Of course, we have a lot of playmakers. That’s why we are in the position where we are. These guys They did a great job at the end of the half, giving us a really positive momentum going into halftime.
SUPER BOWL BABY WATCH
Rams wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. keeps his phone nearby at all times. As he says, he’s on call for baby watch.
He and his girlfriend Lauren Wood announced in November that they were expecting. Beckham signed with the Rams in November after being released by Cleveland. When a reporter asked what would happen if the baby arrived Saturday night before the Super Bowl.
“I don’t need you to put any energy in the air about Saturday night or Sunday because, I think God has a different plan.” said Beckham. “I don’t need it during the Super Bowl. I want to be able to see my child born, so I’m on call, I’m waiting.
Beckham’s hope? That her baby arrives Wednesday at the latest.
LANDRY TALKS WITH OBJ
Odell Beckham Jr. couldn’t quite place the voice at first.
But seconds after listening to the person on the other side of the Zoom call, the Los Angeles Rams wide receiver realized it was his buddy and former LSU and Cleveland Browns teammate Jarvis Landry.
Beckham broke into a huge smile as Landry, a surprise guest at the Rams media session on Monday, told him how happy he was to play in the Super Bowl.
“I have no questions, man, but I want to start by saying, you deserve this moment,” said Landry, who played with him in college and then for three seasons in Cleveland until Beckham was waived in November.
Beckham’s dramatic stint with the Browns included his father sharing a video on social media highlighting times Baker Mayfield failed to throw passes from Beckham and ended with the receiver being ordered to stay home after training.
Beckham was signed by the Rams days later and became a key contributor in the Super Bowl run in Los Angeles.
“You have spent countless hours where you are today and I have seen it all first hand,” said Landry. “You have scars to show for where you are today. It’s a dream you’re turning into a reality and I wanted to come here and let you know I’m proud of you bro. There are so many people supporting you every step of the way bro. Keep using your light, keep blessing others.
Landry also pointed out that his pal saw a quote from Martin Luther King Jr. that Beckham has on his left arm: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in times of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy.”
Beckham patted his heart and said: “You Give Me Chills” before thanking Landry.
“If it wasn’t for you and I really mean it from the bottom of my heart, and I always tell you, brother,” said Beckham. “But apart from Pop, no man has ever come into my life and had the effect and the impact that you had in making me a better person, a player, a man, a future father, a brother, a lover. You showed me the light, dog, and I love you so much, brother.
“And this moment is for us, mate. That’s all we talked about, dog, so I appreciate you coming here. You know it’s nothing but love.
Landry said the feeling was mutual and added: “Go get that ring, man!”
Super Bowl viewers at the home of the Baseball Hall of Fame will get their first glimpse of an inspiring baseball story during the big football game.
A television advertisement featuring the upcoming film, “Landis, look at me” airs Sunday night on WKTV, NBC’s upstate New York affiliate. The station’s audience includes Cooperstown – the home of the baseball venue.
“Landis, look at me” chronicles the journey of Indiana teenager Landis Sims, who was born without hands or feet, as he tries to make his high school baseball team. The film, directed by Eric Cochran, is slated for release this summer.
Bob Babbitt, Ironman Triathlon Hall of Fame inductee and co-founder of the Challenged Athletes Foundation, served as the film’s executive producer. He came up with the idea of running a commercial during the Super Bowl. But rather than buying a multimillion-dollar spot on national television, the one-off commercial — created by Cochran and his team at Taikuli Productions — will air in upstate New York for just $3,000.
“Super Bowl Sunday is the time to be inspired” said Babbitt. “Following Landis as he strives to overcome obstacles to pursue his love of baseball is almost impossible to describe. You have to see it. We decided that the Cooperstown area, so rich in baseball history, is the where people will most appreciate baseball’s impact on this incredible story.
SUPER BOWL FIRST AND LAST
During the National Anthem’s closing notes before the Super Bowl, pilot Steve Hinton will lead a five-plane flyover formation over So-Fi Stadium. The Super Bowl flyover formation, the first of its kind, features the US Air Force’s Heritage Flight team.
Hinton, whose film credits include Pearl Harbor, Die Hard 2, Dunkirk and Iron Man, will fly a vintage P-51 Mustang “Little Willy II” from the Air Force Heritage Flight Foundation and provide a live feed to audiences of NBC’s Super Bowl from a camera mounted on the aircraft.
“Our foundation flies with the Air Force at air events across the country, and this one is extra special because we’re going to be flying all of the demo teams together,” Hinton said on the AP Pro Football podcast.
Hinton, who led the flyover before the Minneapolis Super Bowl in 2018, is retiring from the Heritage Flight team, so this will be his last flyover.
“There’s no better way to put a cap on it and be a part of this very historic flight,” Hinton said of his 25-year career.
AP Pro Football writers Dennis Waszak Jr., Teresa M. Walker, Josh Dubow and Rob Maaddi contributed to this report.