WATCH: Sporting Life speaks to Tom Brady, Sean McVay, Rob Gronkowski and Todd Gurley ahead of Patriots v Rams in Super Bowl LIII

Super Bowl Opening Night with the Patriots and Rams facing the media
Super Bowl Opening Night with the Patriots and Rams facing the media

Sporting Life speaks to Tom Brady, Sean McVay, Rob Gronkowski and Todd Gurley ahead of the Patriots v the Rams in Super Bowl LIII

Gareth Southgate was so impressed with the last Super Bowl Opening Night media extravaganza that he introduced something similar for his England side before the World Cup - and it worked wonders in smoothing the relationship with the media.

There's nothing like the original though, and this event just gets bigger and bigger. Every player and coach from both the New England Patriots and LA Rams faces the media, some have more of the 2,000 journalists surrounding them than others, of course.

Tom Brady was, unsurprisingly, the star attraction, and he looks uber confident and relaxed this year - playing in the big game three years in a row and nine overall will help with that.

But the Rams also acquitted themselves well, you can sometimes sense an edge of nerves around first-timers in the Super Bowl, but Sean McVay, the youngest head coach in NFL and Super Bowl history, is an impressive individual and also handled the occasion brilliantly.

Of course, there are always the left-field questions and antics in this media session - they're not as extreme as I've witnessed in the olden days - and Brady even had a TV presenter wear a wedding dress and propose to him at one of these a few years back.

Patriots running back James White was handed a Mexican-style bush tucker trial with a presenter trying to get him to eat crickets and scorpions, while Rob Gronkowski was continually goaded into saying something that would get him into trouble with coach Bill Belichick, but he was on his very best behaviour.

Best of the Patriots

You can't win the Super Bowl in the media, obviously, but there are pointers you can usually take from these events and the big factor was that almost every single player seemed confident, controlled and well aware of what is expected of them on Sunday.

It's a circus - fans even pay to see their heroes interviewed by the media in person, don't ask me why! And on the early numbers the Patriots far outweigh their Rams counterparts. It looks like being a very New England-heavy crowd come Sunday.

Best of the Rams

The Rams are used to playing at least in an even atmosphere but Jared Goff and co will probably face something more like a road trip come Sunday - you have to take that into account when making your big game predictions.

McVay is impressive though, and on paper he probably has more play-makers on both sides of the ball than opposition coach Bill Belichick - but this is Bill Belichick though and there's nothing he likes more than taking away a team's play-makers with a dastardly defensive scheme.

Up to now, though, the Rams seem to be taking it all in their stride...

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