Bates Football Players Predict Super Bowl LVI


Theophil Syslo/Bates College

Sophomore Kicker Archie Green Jr. sat down with some of his teammates to hear their thoughts about the upcoming Super Bowl.

It’s that time of year again. The pinnacle of the NFL season is upon us, and it is sad to think that after this upcoming weekend, there will be no football until next season. That being said, Super Bowl LVI is set to be one of the most unique Super Bowls of the last decade. 

After being counted out by many pundits at the beginning of the year, the Cincinnati Bengals are the champions of the American Football Conference (AFC) after beating the Kansas City Chiefs in one of the best games of the year. When it comes to the AFC, it is unusual that a team not called the New England Patriots or Kansas City Chiefs is representing the conference in the Super Bowl. But the Bengals are a gritty team, and they’re led by one of the most loved and charismatic young QBs in the league: Joe Burrow out of Louisiana State University. 

The Los Angeles Rams, on the other hand, have a stacked roster and were the favorites to come out of the NFC ever since they traded for Detroit QB Matthew Stafford in February of 2021. They still had a hard road to the Super Bowl, though; the Rams had to beat a Tom Brady-led Tampa Bay team as well as the 49ers, which were the hottest NFL team coming into the playoffs. 

One of the more unique aspects of this Super Bowl is the fact that a Bates alum will be a part of it. Sam Francis ‘17, a former football and lacrosse player, is a data analyst for the Bengals and has had a critical role in helping Bengals Head Coach Zac Taylor make crucial decisions throughout the season. 

It is quite refreshing knowing that a Bates alum has such an essential part in professional sports; Francis’ job shows that Bates graduates can still have vital responsibilities in professional sports leagues after they move on from playing college athletics. 

This Super Bowl is shaping up to be a great one. “Who Dey” nation (CIN) has been counted out in almost every playoff berth they’ve been a part of this postseason, and one would have to know better to do so in the biggest game of the year. Still, the Rams are playing at home, so you might think that the Bengals may finally meet their match when they play at SoFi Stadium.

According to ESPN’s Football Power Index, the LA Rams have a 66.3% chance of victory, making them favorites to win Sunday’s matchup. In order to get a more real picture of what people on campus are thinking, I spoke to some of my teammates on the Bates football team to hear their thoughts on the upcoming competition.

Archie Green ‘24 Kicker/Punter From Upland, California:

Winning Team: Los Angeles

Score: 38-21

Prediction: CIN Kicker Evan Mcpherson will be 100% on extra points and will be half on field goals.

Thoughts: “I think that it is hard to count Cincy out after this playoff run, but I think they will have a big challenge ahead of them when they come out to play one of the most talented rosters assembled in recent memory. LA should avenge their loss against New England in 2019.”

Cole De Magistris ‘24 Offensive Line/Long Snapper From Emerson, New Jersey:

Winning Team: Los Angeles

Score: 28-20 

Prediction: Rams will go up 21-10 but Bengals will storm back off a pick and lose on the last play of the game.

Thoughts: “While I feel it’s hard to root against the Bengals in this Super Bowl, I agree that the Rams are too good of a team to lose this game.”

Daniel Lynch ‘24 Linebacker From Berlin, Connecticut:

Winning Team: Los Angeles

Score: 28-21 

Prediction: Rams will score first but never let Cincy quite back into the game keeping the lead the whole time.

Thoughts: “As much as I’d like the Bengals to go to the West Coast and beat LA, I realistically do not see that happening.”

Matthew Schreiber ‘24 Offensive Lineman From Mount Sinai, New York:

Winning Team: Los Angeles

Score: 35-10 

Prediction: Joe Schiesty will have the worst game of his playoff run in the biggest game of his career.

Thoughts: “I just cannot see the Rams losing this game as much as I would like to see the Bengals win. I have to be realistic about this as well as my expectations.”

Tyler Castriotta ‘24 Offensive Lineman From Milton, Massachusetts:

Winning Team: Cincinnati

Score: 28-21

Prediction: The Bengals will have to fight hard in this game going blow for blow with LA, but will end up as champs in the end. 

Thoughts: “I believe that Cincinnati can win this game, they have been counted out this far, so what’s stopping them from going and winning the whole thing?”

Benjamin Conrad ‘24 Fullback From Ivoryton, Connecticut:

Winning Team: Cincinnati

Score: 24-21

Prediction: Shooter McPherson, game-winning field goal.

Thoughts: “I think this will be a very back and forth game, but Cincy will pull it out in the end in my opinion because of Joe Burrow, the man, the myth, the legend.”

Peter Simplicio ‘24 Offensive Lineman From West Hartford, Connecticut:

Winning Team: Cincinnati

Score: 35-21

Prediction: Calling yellow on what color the Gatorade will be.

Thoughts: “Go Pats.”