And another NFL season is in the books. I didn’t watch a single game from beginning to end until the Super Bowl, but that still constitutes me a football expert, right? Just like watching the halftime show establishes me as a music connoisseur and catching all the commercials makes me an advertising whiz? So just like any good American, I am here to offer my hot takes and unsolicited opinions. Are you ready? It is time for me to armchair quarterback the tar out of Super Bowl LVII.
The Game: What more can you ask for than a high scoring game that goes down to the last minute? Well, hate to be picky, but I have a couple things…and the controversial holding call doesn’t even factor in. I would have liked to see a better final play by the Eagles, a more dramatic game-winning drive by the Chiefs, and a punt return that found the end zone instead of turning up five yards short. But other than that, I shouldn’t be complaining. Despite his fumble that was returned for a touchdown, Jalen Hurts was electric. Patrick Mahomes made up for an abysmal Super Bowl performance in Super Bowl LV. The game was relatively clean with the officiating crew keeping the laundry in their pockets for most of the contest. Super Bowl LVII wasn’t a classic but it was by no means a dud.
The Anthem: Isn’t it amazing how simplicity can sometimes deliver the biggest impact? Chris Stapleton didn’t set out to put his “stamp” on the national anthem nor go crazy with a guitar solo. Instead, he simply performed the song in a mellow, humble manner. He added a little twang at banner yet wave and he did let the last line go a little long but for the most part it was just a straight shot. Stapleton’s rendition will always be paired with the image of tears streaming down the face of Philadelphia head coach Nick Sirianni.
The Commercials: The success of Coinbase’s QR code ad from 2022 was not lost on practically every advertiser this year. It seemed like every commercial had a QR code on screen. Like last year, electric vehicles and tax services had a heavy presence. My overall assessment of the crop of commercials for Super Bowl LVII? I am going with a B-. I like the emotional, call-to-action ads and besides the HeGetsUs spots and a couple dog PSAs, I didn’t get what I crave—most went for the funny bone.
With that said, I liked the Pringles commercial. Watching different people caught with their hand stuck in the Pringles tube was hilarious but it also illustrated an actual conundrum when trying to fish out those last few chips. The Uber One commercial with Diddy packed a whole bunch of nostalgia with artists from my elementary/middle school years performing their hits (not “jingles”) with an Uber One slant. I appreciated the Crowd Strike spot that utilized the trojan horse because it successfully paralleled history with its product. My final favorite commercial that won points in the “cute” category was from Bud Light. I am talking about the one with Miles Teller and his wife dancing to the on-hold music, pausing only when an automated voice or operator jumped on.
The Halftime Show: I give the halftime show a C+. The color scheme was visually appealing and the suspended platforms added a sophisticated symmetry to the performance. For the most part, I thought Rihanna was solid. She really took me through the second half of my life as each song she performed placed me at a different spot over the past 17 or so years. I was a little disappointed she didn’t perform my favorite Rihanna song—“Live Your Life.” Docking the performance a whole letter grade was the lack of a surprise special guest. In the past, some performances could stand on their own with just the headliner, but this was a show that I think could have benefited from some extra firepower.
Hope all my NFL-obsessed friends enjoyed the season and that your fantasy league performances were up to par. Congrats to the Kansas City Chiefs. Don’t Blink.