It’s going to be a barnburner at SoFi Stadium, but not necessarily because the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals both have scorching-hot offenses that can light up a scoreboard as they prepare to battle in Super Bowl LVI. It’s also, literally, going to be a hot one in southern California on Sunday — to the point where there’s a literal heat advisory in effect — with temperatures expected to reach as high as 85 to 90 degrees at kickoff.
This would make it the hottest Super Bowl ever, and that’s something that would tilt the scales ever so slightly in favor of the hometown Rams. It’s not something Matthew Stafford and Co. are unaccustomed to, having prepared in the spring and summer in those same temps (and often higher), but for Joe Burrow and the Bengals, it’s a different story.
The Ohio native is accustomed to the much colder winter climate of Upper Midwest, and the same goes for his teammates, who prepare alongside him in the cooler confines of Cincinnati. To that point, the Bengals will adopt measures to hopefully stave off cramps and heat-related adversity. Head coach Zack Taylor had his team practicing indoors to both escape the heat and to get more accustomed to playing inside.
“What you must do is make sure you’re hydrating before the game, during the game and all the way through,” former NFL player Roman Harper told FOX Weather Wild, via FOXWeather.com. “Especially before the game — one of the key ingredients is making sure that you’re hydrated because you don’t want to cramp.”
The Rams aren’t immune to the heat though, as evidenced by Sean McVay moving practice from SoFi Stadium to the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, due to the rising temperatures.
“The heatwave will impact both teams’ practice this week by requiring players to consume more fluids than usual for hydration purposes,” said SportsWeather founder Mark Maxwell. “The above-normal temperatures should help both teams with improved stamina/endurance, which will result in better physical conditioning for Sunday’s big game.”
Time will tell who the heat impacts more negatively, and if it’ll be more of a hurdle for the Bengals defense — tasked with chasing around Cooper Kupp and Odell Beckham Jr., among others — or Burrow and his offensive weapons. But one thing is for sure, and that’s the fact the NFL has never seen teams play in The Big Game with this type of heat bearing down on them.