Super Bowl 55 live updates: Bucs, Chiefs scoreless early in first quarter

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Iliana Limón Romero and Chris Hays, Orlando Sentinel
·3 min read
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Super Bowl 55 is officially under way at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.

The Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl 55 coin toss and deferred.

After a short return, Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady led the Bucs’ offense on the opening drive. The team failed to convert on third down under pressure and punted. Kansas City opted not to return it and Patrick Mahomes took the field for his team’s first drive.

NFL defends tailgate

The NFL faced scrutiny over the decision to allow a limited number of fans to attend Super Bowl 55 during the coronavirus pandemic, but the league pledged to enforce safety policies at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.

The league couldn’t stop hundreds who gathered without masks at bars in Ybor City on the eve of the Super Bowl, but the NFL did push back on social media criticism of its pregame tailgate concert featuring Miley Cyrus.

Fans were packed together in front the outdoor stage adjacent to Raymond James Stadium and many were not wearing masks.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy posted on Twitter, “For those watching the pregame show and the Miley Cyrus performance, a reminder that the tailgate party is just for the 7,500 vaccinated health care heroes. They are all vaccinated.”

The NFL is putting the 25,000 fans who enter the stadium through security screenings and giving them K95 masks they are required to wear unless they are eating. Tickets were sold in small bunches and cutouts of fans are filling the remainder of the venue that normally seats 65,618.

President Joe Biden and Jill Biden saluted front-line workers and led the stadium in a pregame moment of silence in honor of those who lost their lives to COVID-19. The NFL also featured a member of the military, an educator and an ICU nurse as honorary captains.

Offseason vaccines

During a pregame interview on CBS, Biden said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell called offer the use of all 32 NFL stadiums for distribution of vaccines during the offseason.

“I will tell my team we have them available,” Biden said of the NFL stadiums, adding the only thing stopping the use of them is access to vaccine supplies.

Biden said he appreciated the support and was confident next year everyone could celebrate the Super Bowl in a more traditional way after the country achieves herd immunity through widespread vaccinations.

“We’re pushing as hard as we can to get more vaccine manufactured,” he said.

Pregame reading

Check out some of the Orlando Sentinel’s coverage leading up to kickoff:

— Bucs, Chiefs prepared for ‘abnormal’ Super Bowl 55

— Super Bowl Preview: Who has the edge?

— Super Bowl for the ages (and aged): It’s all about Tom Brady 5/8 Commentary

— Tony Dungy to NFL owners: Stop taking easy way out, dig deeper to hire Black head coaches 5/8 Commentary

— Bucs coach Bruce Arians is breaking down doors, letting in women coaches 5/8 Commentary

— Ohio State debacle nearly ended Jamel Dean’s football career; now he’s in Super Bowl

— Bucs star QB Tom Brady never imagined historic career that keeps rolling

Check back soon for more updates. This article first appeared on OrlandoSentinel.com.