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Tam’s Burgers: The Greek Grandfather of Compton Taking Over Super Bowl LVI

Tam’s Burgers was featured at the Super Bowl LVI this year. Credit: Screenshot / NBC

Greek-owned burger stands Tam’s Burgers were cemented in California history during Super Bowl LVI. Perhaps it was the kindness and philotimo of founder Kosta Vovos who made his shop the center of the community that raised some of America’s most well known stars.

The big game’s halftime show was centered around hip-hop artist Doctor Dre and a handful of rap superstars that he cultivated during his career at Death Row Records. Dre, who is a Compton native, is famous for putting his city and its burgeoning talent on the map, and his halftime set paid homage to these roots.

In reconstructing Dre’s iconic hometown, the show featured Greek-owned Tam’s Burgers, a beloved chain of burger stands that has dozens of different locations throughout Los Angeles County.

Tam’s was started over 50 years ago by Greek-American Kostas Vovos. The Vovos’ have kept Tam’s in their family, and now Kostas’s grandson Spiro is the current owner of the iconic Compton stand featured in the halftime show.

“The best word that keeps coming to mind is it’s a blessing,” he said. Dr. Dre’s agent contacted Vovos to let him know that the halftime show would highlight Tam’s. “It’s a very blessed restaurant and people love coming here.”

Tam’s Burgers founder Kosta Vovos. Credit: Handout photo

The Compton location was swamped with eager regulars and press the Monday afternoon after the Super Bowl, but Vovos said that Tam’s is almost always that busy during its peak hours.

Controversial halftime performance also hailed as one of the event’s best

Dr. Dre’s Super Bowl halftime show is already being regarded as one of the best performances ever with cameo performances from the iconic hip hop artists Dre has worked with throughout the years, including Eminem, Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, Kendrick Lamar, and Mary J. Blige.

Rapper Eminem delivered a memorable moment during his portion of the by taking a knee at the end of it, reportedly in a protest tribute to former San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Eminem has not yet commented on his intentions, including whether his actions were to kneel in solidarity with Kaepernick, who began protesting against police brutality and racial violence against African Americans by kneeling during the national anthem.

Kaepernick started his kneeling protest in 2016, with other athletes joining him over the years, although he was ostracized by the league.

Other moments during the halftime show were also reportedly changed to remove references to police violence against African Americans.

During Kendrick Lamar’s performance, lyrics in “Alright” referencing police brutality—”We had po-po/Wanna kill us dead in the street for sure”—were omitted during the performance.

The NFL reportedly asked Dr. Dre to remove the lyric “still not loving police” from “Still D.R.E,” the final performed in the show.

League spokesman Brian McCarthy suggested the NFL was aware that Eminem was going to kneel because he had made the gesture during rehearsals, The New York Times reported.

The visible action taken by Eminem caused viewers flock to Twitter to share their reactions, with some sharing support for the rapper.

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