Another Super Bowl is in the books. For those of us from the northwest, we will remember Super Bowl LVI for Cooper Kupp’s electrifying performance that led to game MVP honors. So although a local product’s shining moment is what I will recall most about last night’s Rams vs. Bengals showdown, you better believe that I still paid attention to the other elements that make a Super Bowl what it is. Here is my annual review of the Big Game…
The Game: I think the only way the game could have been better was if the Bengals managed to kick a field goal in the final minute to force overtime. Other than that, it was a competitive, back-and-forth contest that was entertaining to watch. With the exception of the last couple minutes, it was a relatively penalty-free game with some exhilarating plays and big-time performances. After last year’s one-sided snooze fest it was nice to watch an intense game that matched the excitement of the entire 2022 postseason.
The Anthem: Mickey Guyton’s performance was good but I don’t think it went smoothly. When she started to sing I could hear her mic pick up what I assumed to be either crowd feedback or control room feedback (did you hear that male voice?). Also, she seemed to stumble at the beginning of one of the middle verses. But her vocals were still solid and I think when the background music kicked in, followed by the background vocals, it sounded really good. Also, Guyton’s ending note was ah-mazing.
The Commercials: I think the commercials deserve a solid B this year. Sure, you had multiple ads that focused on the topics of electric cars, crypto, and tax return services but at least they were well-done. I liked the message that the Expedia ad delivered (experiences over material things) and I thought the McDonald’s “uhhhhh” drive-thru ad was the most relatable. Even though their website ended up crashing, I thought the concept of letting the QR code bounce around the screen for 30 seconds was a brilliant tactic by Coinbase. Not only did the company generate a lot of social media discussion but all the data it mined from people accessing the QR code was probably worth the price paid to run the commercial.
I personally really enjoyed Meta’s spot that followed the “career” of an animatronic character. From the dog’s glory days in a pizza arcade to tough times of irrelevancy to a resurgence in a space center, I thought the dose of nostalgia was effective in promoting a very futuristic VR headset. I also personally liked the crypto commercial that had the present day Lebron James talking to the high school senior Lebron James and the Turkish Airlines spot with Morgan Freeman. In terms of humor, I got quick laughs out of the Irish Spring commune spot, the Pringles “Get Stuck In” commercial, and the Verizon ad that had Jim Carey reprise his role from “Cable Guy.” I thought the best performance by an established actor/actress goes to Anna Kendrick for her part in the Rocket Homes and Rocket Mortgage barbie ad. The concept was creative and Anna was Anna.
The Halftime Show: I have no complaints. This year’s halftime show that featured Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, and Kendrick Lamar seemed to go off without a hitch. There were no viral moments nor audio issues like last year’s show with the Weeknd. All artists seemed to be having a good time as they performed on the ultimate stage. Man, some of those beats brought back more nostalgia than the animatronic dog. It is always fun when there is a surprise performer so it was kind of cool to see 50 Cent do his thing. I didn’t think it was fair that the show was hyped as the “best halftime show ever” (which it wasn’t) before Super Bowl LVI even took place but at least it didn’t bomb.
I paid for it at the gym this morning for eating one too many cookies at my parents’ Super Bowl party. Oh well. Congratulations to the Los Angeles Rams and Cooper Kupp! Don’t Blink.