Super Bowl updates: Bengals’ home team at Rams’ own home in Los Angeles

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INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) — The Cincinnati Bengals are Sunday’s home team in the Super Bowl — technically. Home-field advantage belongs entirely to the Los Angeles Rams.

The Super Bowl “home team” is determined by rotation. The NFC team is the home team in odd-numbered Super Bowls, which means the AFC is the home team in even-numbered Super Bowls like this.

Despite this technicality, the Rams, champions of the NFC (15-5), dress and work in their usual locker room after spending the night before the big game in their usual hotel. The Rams logo is plastered all around and inside SoFi Stadium, even with the banners clearly stating it’s the Super Bowl.

Yes, the Bengals (13-7) are pictured inside the stadium with their name and “Who Dey!” mantra against the Rams.

This is the second straight Super Bowl the home team has played on home turf after Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the championship a year ago at Raymond James Stadium. Before that, the NFL went 54 years without a team playing a Super Bowl in its home stadium.

HEAT RECORD

Super Bowl 56 could go down in history at kickoff before the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals start practice.

The temperature two hours before kick-off was 85 degrees with the possibility of the gauge rising even higher by the time the ball is kicked. That would make it the hottest Super Bowl ever, surpassing the record of 84 set on January 14, 1973 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

California has been battling a heat wave with eight locations in the region posting record temperatures in the upper 80s and lower 90s earlier this week.

MASK REQUIREMENTS

Signs all around SoFi Stadium remind people to wear masks, though many people inside Super Bowl 56 walk around without a mask even when not eating or drinking. President Joe Biden says he thinks people should be careful if not for themselves but for their children and families.

Biden was asked about people going without a mask to the Super Bowl by Lester Holt in an interview that aired on NBC’s pregame show. The president said he likes the way people talk about personal freedom. Biden said he doesn’t view people not wearing masks as practicing freedom. He says they are putting their own health and that of others at risk.

He also encouraged people to get vaccinated and use the tools to help prevent death and serious illness.

California will relax mask requirements on Tuesday, two days after the Super Bowl.

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