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President Biden calls troops at Super Bowl watch parties around the world

Biden said he called watch parties in Kabul, Afghanistan, and on board the USS Nimitz, an aircraft carrier deployed to the Middle East.

TAMPA, Fla. — President Joe Biden says he spent part of Super Bowl Sunday calling watch parties hosting U.S. troops to thank them for their service.

In a tweet Sunday evening, Biden said he called watch parties in Kabul, Afghanistan, and on board the USS Nimitz, an aircraft carrier deployed to the Middle East.

“Every year service members around the world gather to watch the Super Bowl — and tonight, I called into watch parties in Kabul and on the USS Nimitz to thank them for their service," Biden said in his tweet. "We are forever in debt to those who sacrifice so much to keep us safe.”

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The president also spoke to the millions of people watching the game on television. Biden and his wife, Jill, appeared in a taped message that aired before the game, calling on the public to observe a moment of silence in remembrance of the more than 400,000 deaths to COVID-19 in the U.S.

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President Joe Biden said it’s his “hope and expectation” that next year’s Super Bowl can be played in front of a fan-filled stadium. Biden says the NFL title game is “just one of those great American celebrations” and laments “all those house parties, all those things that aren’t happening” because of the coronavirus.

He told CBS News in an interview that aired during the pregame show that, with God’s help, fans can celebrate the game “as usual a year from now.”

The NFL is allowing 25,000 fans in Tampa Bay's home stadium for the matchup with Kansas City. The crowd is expected to include 7,500 vaccinated health care workers.

Biden declined to pick sides between the Chiefs and the but says Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady are both “great quarterbacks.”

He says “one is just a younger version, potentially, of an old, great quarterback. Not old. In NFL terms, old.”

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