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They compete in completely different sports, but even NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson sees a parallel between himself and Tom Brady. 

Johnson was asked about the similarities between his career in NASCAR and Brady’s in the NFL at the Media Day live broadcast of ‘Countdown to Daytona’ with Dan Lucas and J.B. Biunno. 

“We kinda started around the same time,” said Johnson. “We have a similar path and been doing it around the same time.”

Johnson raced in his first Daytona 500 in 2002, exactly two weeks after Brady won his first Super Bowl with the New England Patriots in just his second year in the NFL.

Johnson and Brady would each go on storied championship runs in the years to come. Johnson has won seven Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championships, while Brady most recently won his sixth Super Bowl earlier this month.

Both athletes have developed a reputation for competing at a high-level into their forties, doing so way past their primes. 

“We’ve kind of been on a similar journey,” said Johnson. 

Watch the ‘Countdown to Daytona’ live stream all week long here on this website beginning at 1:00pm EST leading up to Race Day! 

On this episode of Big Game Bound, NFL Network’s Rhett Lewis joins Anthony “AC” Calhoun and J.B. Biunno to preview Sunday’s big matchup.

Tony Dungy joins “Big Game Bound” to make his SBLIII prediction, plus shares his key strategy if the Rams are to pull off the upset.

Dungy also discusses his relationship with Peyton Manning from their years together with the Indianapolis Colts.

Plus, Dungy is releasing a new book and details what readers can expect!

The face of CBS Sports’ coverage of the Big Game is weighing in on the debate of whether Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback of all-time.

To make his point, he switched sports and dropped the name of His Airness. 

James Brown, who is preparing to host coverage for his ninth Super Bowl, believes that if greatness is defined by rings, Brady “has no equal.” 

“Clearly Tom Brady is in there,” said Brown, who believes it’s more fair to rate the best players by individual eras rather than all-time.

However, Brown says he understands arguments against Brady, referencing the decades-old debate as to who’s the greatest basketball player of all-time. Michael “Air” Jordan is often given that title, but as Brown notes, if the decision was based soley on rings, Bill Russell would be on top.

“If [greatness] is defined by championships, Bill Russell is the greatest athlete of all-time then,” said Brown. “Because he won more championships than anyone else, and he did it as a player-coach as well.”

“But you don’t consider [Russell] to be the same kind of acrobatic player with the same kind of fluidity on the court as a Michael Jordan. So it all depends on how you define [greatness.]”

Watch Big Game Bound: Live from Atlanta all week long at 1:00pm EST on this website for more inside access from Anthony “AC” Calhoun and J.B. Biunno. 

ATLANTA (NEXSTAR) — The Patriots have just two more days before they go head to head with the Rams for Super Bowl LIII.

The Patriots are just two days away from kickoff. When they are done with their media obligations later Friday, they will have their final practice of the week over at Georgia Tech.

On Thursday, the Rams practiced outdoors, but the Patriots practiced indoors. Dont’a Hightower was not there with an illness. The Pats didn’t have pads on; just a walk-through.

Coach Bill Belichick said that they will have a traditional practice Saturday and team pictures; all of this ahead of Sunday’s kickoff.

“One game, nothing else to say. Whether you think you can make a difference, the right play, the right call, the right situation, it’s the right time to do it,” Belichick said.

“You always put together a plan, but it probably rarely does that. You try to watch the tape, get a feel for the other team’s defense, then try to develop a game plan around that,” Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady said.

Belichick said he was happy with the team’s week of preparation in Atlanta, but now being in his ninth Super Bowl as head coach, that doesn’t always correlate to success on the field come Sunday.

ATLANTA (NEXSTAR) — Thursday morning, with 3 days until Super Bowl LIII, the bright lights shifted to shine inside the Atlanta VA where NFL Hall of Famers, including Aeneas Williams and Dan Marino, spent time with veterans who served our country.

I was a fly on the wall as Marino and Williams caught up in a hallway after signing autographs, posing for selfies and visiting with vets and hospital staff.

“Aeneas, Aeneas! What’s up!” Marino said.

“What’s up, man?” Williams said, as the two hugged. “Good seeing you, good seeing you! You’re looking great, man!”

“I would have worn my, I didn’t know you guys were bringing your jackets,” Marino said, comparing his black blazer to Williams’ Hall of Fame jacket.

“I know man. Who you picking?” Aeneas asked.

“I’d like to see the Rams win, personally,” Marino said.

“I think they can get to ‘em with that four-man rush,” Williams replied, referring to the Rams defensive line led by Pro Bowler Aaron Donald.

Despite Marino rooting for the Rams, he told me in a one-on-one conversation that he’s picking the Patriots to win.

While witnessing the conversation between two NFL Hall of Famers was amazing, it paled in comparison to seeing the joy that their visit brought to the veterans at the hospital.

Stay tuned for a full story on that from our Ashley Bridges.

Just over a year ago, Atlanta hosted the College Football Playoff National Championship game, but this week, the security levels go even higher with Super Bowl 53 in town. 

About a million visitors are expected to be in Atlanta as the Rams and Patriots go head to head. And the City of Atlanta is being proactive when it comes to keeping people safe. 

“The federal government uses a ranking system on sporting events or large events like the Super Bowl, and this is considered the top, S.E.A.R one, which is the highest ranking you can have below presidential inauguration,” explained Deputy Chief Scott Kreher with the Contingency Operations Division.

With the influx of people in the city, 1,700 members of the Atlanta Police Department are active and alternating in 12-hour shifts.

In addition, more than 50 local, state, and federal agencies are helping out.

Inside the Joint Operations Center, a staff of 50 plus people is able to monitor more than 10,000 cameras that are located throughout the city — and specifically inside the Super Bowl footprint.

“We support 13 different instant command locations throughout the city,” said Kreher. “So those instant commanders that are out there on the street doing the actual work report up to area command here located inside the Joint Command Center.”

Members of the Rams and Patriots have their own security detail through the NFL, although the city will help out at the team hotels and practice facilities.

This way, the players and coaches can focus on football.

“You see cops, you see the army, you see the secret service,” said Robert Woods, Rams wide receiver, adding, “You have to make sure guys are safe.”

Several members of the Atlanta Police Department were on sight for the past two Super Bowls in Houston and Minneapolis to get a better understanding of what to expect for one of the largest sporting events in the world.

ATLANTA (NEXSTAR) — It takes a lot of food to fuel 200, 300, even 400 pounds of football player.  And, let’s go ahead and get it out of the way that Tony Gonzalez’s vegan diet and Tom Brady’s kale quinoa are definitely the exception.  So what foods are NFL player’s comforts to cook up?

Rams Cornerback Sam Shields had two years out of the NFL and is back to the big game — but in those two years he had a lot of mama’s home cooking — his favorite?

“Shepard’s Pie,” Shields declared.

That dish is hearty and homecooked, kind of like Patriots Offensive Lineman Ted Karras’s favorites that his dad made when he was growing up.  Karras said his go-tos were pasta, potatoes, and chicken.

But homecooking doesn’t always have to come from home:  former Georgia Tech now Patriots offensive guard Shaq Mason was ready to be “back back back at Miss Mary Mac Mac Mac’s.”  So, what would he tell his teammates to order?

“The six fried wings, the mac and cheese, and the rice and gravy,” Mason said.

The Rams’ Andrew Whitworth’s wife still makes his Cajun favorites.  She says he loves her sausage jambalaya and she still orders the spicy sausage from Louisiana.

But for some, after the season, it’s all about the sweets and the sleep!  Patriots wide receiver Robert Woods says he can’t wait for the candy and to catch a nap. — like Patriot’s wide receiver Robert Woods:

By the way, that amazing video of “Mary Mac’s Tea Room” is from Ron Clark Academy, an incredibly successful, unique school in Atlanta.  Look for another #BigGameBound digital extra with the amazing students you saw there and a cameo by Ludacris.

Broadcaster Solomon WIlcots hears all the chatter about Tom Brady’s greatness, but believes this season stands out because of Brady’s supporting cast, or lack thereof. 

Solomon, a former NFL player-turned-broadcaster, joined Big Game Bound: Live from Atlanta on Tuesday to discuss claims that Brady is the greatest quarterback of all-time. He emphasized his opinion that Brady has reached the Super Bowl this season without many superstars by his side.

“It’s not like he’s an older guy riding on the shoulders of others,” said Wilcots, who believes his point is getting lost in the buildup to SBLIII. “Others are riding on his shoulders. He’s the one that’s lifting the team and carrying them to victory.”

“The other guys are playing their role, no doubt, but he has a great coach and [Brady] brings an energy to this football team that allows them to play above their level.” 

Brady’s supporting cast includes receivers Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski, Chris Hogan, along with runningbacks James White, Sony Michel and Rex Burkhead.  

 “At the end of the day, quarterbacks are judged on winning,” said Wilcots. “And winning championships is chief among them.”

Watch Big Game Bound: Live from Atlanta all week long at 1:00pm on this website.

ATLANTA (NEXSTAR) — Is there any game — a physical game, I’m not talking trivia or scrabble — where a lay person can win against an NFL player? 

The Patriots are busy getting ready for the big game, but first a little a little fun and games during Opening Night!

I challenged several Patriots players to a thumb war. I kept losing even when former Clemson star and Patriots tight end Dwayne Allen tried to coach me up a bit.

Then, in the final seconds as the media day clock ticked…a dive …not between the pylons but between the tripods and a grab for Gronk: a challenge for a final epic losing battle of thumb war with those hands — but he turns the tables, Rock Paper Scissors — but what does shoot mean?

I went with rock–Gronk, scissors!

“Rock paper scissors, shoot, oh you cheated!” he cried, walking away from the podium after an hour long interview session with the media.

Who won? What ARE the rules? They’re clearly less clearly defined than in the league.

Did I cheat, I don’t know! Use our #BigGameBound to post YOUR video of how the game should be played — tomorrow we might share a few of them in our Big Game Bound live show.