Well Super Bowl LV, it was fun…kind of. In all honesty, the best part was that the game was over by 8 p.m. This was a welcome development after living in non-pacific time zones for the past 15 years. With that said, I do have a few brief things to say about last night.
The Game: Let’s start with the game. It has been several years since I could remember a contest so one-sided and, um, boring. That says a lot coming from me as I can usually find the silver lining in any game, especially one at the championship level. But watching Mahomes drop back and scramble every play only to wildly toss the ball got old by the second half. It was cool to see Brady connect with Gronk a couple times in the first half but I found the third and fourth quarters to be extremely melodramatic. Congrats to the Bucs but I wish it was a little more entertaining.
The Anthem: I know a lot of traditionalists rolled their eyes with the duet national anthem but it didn’t bother me. I would describe the performance as “laid back” but that’s not to say it wasn’t good. I didn’t mind Eric Church and Jazmine Sullivan divvying up opening verses and I thought when they came together to finish the song that it worked out pretty well.
The Halftime Show: The halftime show was plagued with audio issues. I found this to be a shame because without them I think it would have been a solid performance. No, I don’t think it would have gone down as a necessarily memorable show but at least an entertaining one. When the Weeknd’s vocals came through without audio obstruction, it was a smooth and catchy delivery. I thought it was unique how he started up in the rafters but I wish he came down to the turf sooner—it just feels like you can connect with the performance better at field level. Bottom line, I have seen better and I have seen worse.
The Commercials: As for the commercials, I think it was an average year. I will always take the emotional ads over the funny spots so it will come as no surprise to my readers what my favorites were. The Toyota commercial about Jessica Long, a Paralympic swimmer, and the acceptance from her adopted parents was a testament to human dignity and compassion, something we really need in the world right now. I also really liked the Anheuser-Busch’s “let’s grab a beer” commercial. I think it did an excellent job showcasing the many ways sharing a beer can mark life events and I think it probably resonated with 90% of those of us watching the game. Although not as authentic as Toyota’s or Busch’s commercials, I thought Jeep’s “middle” commercial with Bruce Springsteen carried a decent message, even if it was a tad bit corny.
Probably my top choice out of the many humorous spots was the Uber Eats commercial with Wayne’s World and Cardi B. It mixed retro with trendy to produce a creative “what will happen next” 1-minute ride. I thought two certain ads featuring power couples were cute. Both Gwen Stefani/Blake Shelton (T-Mobile) and Mila Kunis/Ashton Kutcher (Cheetos) made me laugh and humanized all four superstars. I also believed that M&M’s made good use of its leadoff spot in the commercial lineup by suggesting that a pack of the candy can smooth anything over. In a way, the theme kind of reminded me as Anheuser-Busch’s commercial.
Despite an ongoing major pandemic, I think we should all be pleased by Super Bowl LV. Sure, it wasn’t the best game and the halftime show didn’t blow anybody away, but I still think it was more than we could have asked for given the current situation of the world. So please excuse any of my cynicism above because I truly am appreciative. Don’t Blink.