1. Tom Brady gets his 7th ring; the Bucs defeated the Chiefs 31-9 in Super Bowl LV, giving Tampa Bay its first NFL title in 18 years. Brady and Gronk connected for two touchdowns. The Patriots tweeted “Congratulations to the greatest of all time!” Super Bowl LV MVP Brady told Tampa Bay they’d see him next season. (CBS)
2. Neither has formally declared candidacy, but signs point to a bout between Janet Mills and Paul LePage in the next election for Maine’s governor. Mills collected an early endorsement Thursday from EMILY’s List. “If I’m breathing, I’m running,” LePage told WGAN. The key issue in the campaign is sure to be the COVID-19 pandemic. (SUN JOURNAL)
3. The U.S. tops 26.6 million covid-19 cases with over 455,000 deaths. The Maine CDC reported 3 new deaths and 301 new cases on Thursday bringing Maine’s death toll to 635 with 123 Mainers currently hospitalized. (WMTW)
4. Experts predicted the flu would complicate COVID-19, but it appears the pandemic may have actually helped to keep flu cases down. Maine has seen a more than 95-percent drop. Around 1,700 reported flu cases had been recorded in Maine this time last year. So far this season, only 106. It appears the safety precautions Mainers are taking with COVID-19 are helping to keep the flu rate down. (WGME)
5. National Football Hangover Day – In a recent survey, 43 percent of people said they’d give up one of their company holidays in exchange for having Super Bowl Monday off.