The Rams are set to make history in Super Bowl 56. They will take on the Bengals at SoFi Stadium and become the second team, along with the Buccaneers in 2021, to play a Super Bowl on home turf.
However, that doesn’t mean they will be the designated home team for the game.
Oddly enough, the Rams will be the visitors in their home stadium when Super Bowl 56 kicks off on February 13, 2022. This is no joke about the team’s lack of representation in any of its final home games of the season. . It’s about the NFL’s rules for choosing the home team in the Super Bowl, which is technically played on a neutral field.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Super Bowl home team selection process.
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How is the home team chosen in the Super Bowl?
The method for choosing the home Super Bowl team is simple. It alternates from the AFC to the NFC year after year.
A year ago, for Super Bowl 55, it was the NFC’s turn to host the Super Bowl. As a result, the Buccaneers were the designated home team while playing at Raymond James Stadium, their regular home. However, that was purely coincidental, and now the Rams are on the other side of the coin.
Because the NFC was the home team in Super Bowl 55, it is now the AFC’s turn to be the home team in Super Bowl 56. As such, the Rams will be the visitors and it will be interesting to see how, if they do, this impacts the team.
The Rams actually went 7-2 on the road this season, better than their 5-3 record at home. Meanwhile, the Bengals split their results evenly, going 5-4 at home and 5-3 on the road. These trends don’t matter much given the Rams are the de facto home team in this matchup, but they’re interesting nonetheless.
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Does the home team matter in the Super Bowl?
Yes, it is important for the uniform choice and the coin toss. This is why:
The home team gets to choose which uniforms they will wear during the Super Bowl. This will give the Bengals the option to wear their colorful orange and black jerseys for the big game or choose their white jerseys for this game. If the Bengals choose their orange and black jerseys, the Rams will have to wear white. If the Bengals choose white, the Rams will have to wear blue.
Some athletes have superstitions about certain uniforms, so perhaps the Bengals will do what the Bucs did in 2021 and wear their white uniforms after finding success on the road. Either way, being the home team gives them the option in this area. And while it may not be important, it’s still an option the Rams don’t have.
Oh yeah. The beloved coin toss. The away team may call the coin toss at the start of the game and during overtime. That means they gain direct control over their destiny, and if they win the opening coin toss, they can set up to get the ball early in the game or in the second half, depending on which they choose.
Of course, tossing a coin is a 50-50 proposition, so there is no Really an advantage to be able to call him. Still, that’s a benefit the Rams will enjoy, especially if the game goes into overtime like so many of these playoff games have.
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Why are the Rams playing Super Bowl 56 in their home stadium?
The answer is simple. It’s purely coincidental that the Rams are playing Super Bowl 56 in their home stadium, as SoFi Stadium was selected to host the Super Bowl in 2017. The league couldn’t have foreseen the Rams making this type of run so far back.
That said, the Rams got a bit lucky with this, as SoFi Stadium was originally slated to host Super Bowl 55 before construction issues delayed its opening until 2020. NFL stadiums are required to be open for two seasons before they can host a Super Bowl, so the league awarded them Super Bowl 56 instead and moved Super Bowl 55 to Raymond James Stadium.
Ironically, that benefited both the Buccaneers, who were playing at home in 2021, and the Rams, who are now. That change could be fortuitous for the NFC.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.