(Photo from Kansas City Chiefs)
The end of the 2022 football season finally took place with a grand finale: Super Bowl LVII. Every Super Bowl Sunday, fans and casual watchers alike are promised food, family, social media meltdowns, and a great spectacle. The matchup of the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles promised a jaw-dropping game.
This year’s halftime show was headlined solely by Rihanna, a rarity considering 2022’s seven performers. The weakest part of the night was projected to be the ads, and that may have worked to companies’ advantage.
I was wrong; you can’t use lack of hype to your advantage if the overall product was boring. Most commercials, even the ones I liked, leaned heavily on celebrity appearances to make me give a token laugh. Even if there were no appearances, a bunch of the gags this year just felt underutilized, boring, or both.
Banished to Commercial Jail:
• Uber Eats: Puff Diddy picked a bad jingle.
• PRIME Drink: Why is our nation still cursed with Logan Paul?
• M&M’s: It had a bad preceding Twitter campaign and bad payoff with Maya Rudolph.
• Booking.com: This ad haunts my YouTube videos now; I won’t forgive it.
• Dunkin’: The celebrity prank ad has been redone for so long now. Please let it go, corporate America.
• FanDuel: Gronk missed the kick. How do you hype it up for months before the Super Bowl and have him miss?
• DigiDaigaku: It shelled out millions of dollars just to display a QR code — shameful.
Released for Good Behavior:
• Tubi: Holy cow, creepy kidnapper bunnies push us into holes?
• Pringles: How did that Pringles can get on that baby? I fear the answer, but I must know.
• Paramount: I love the idea of all the Paramount shows being stuck on a mountain.
• Avocados From Mexico: It was Adam and Eve’s story but epic, creamy and naked.
• Rubicon: My Filipino blood called to me when they played “Electric Slide.”
The Halftime Show
Once I heard that Rihanna was going to be the only performer for halftime, the first thought I had was, “What is that haircut she’s rocking in the promo?” My second thought was about how invested I would be in the spectacle compared to previous years. Some may have had different experiences, but the music I used to listen to as a kid featured more Rihanna than Dr. Dre or Mary J. Blige.
Her songs just hit closer to home for me, and I’m glad that she was still relevant enough to get this opportunity. The performance itself did not disappoint. Rihanna was decked out in all-red, belting out her greatest hits surrounded by backup dancers in white outfits; the track list was amazing.
Honestly, I didn’t pick up her pregnancy reveal subtext until news outlets made it clear after the match. The one part I felt didn’t knock me over was the stage, as memorable as it was. Super Bowl shows tend to go over the top with their halftime stages, and I’m relieved they shied away from that this year.
Many people online will bemoan the ending, but let’s not forget that this was one of the best Super Bowl games in recent memory. The first quarter alone had both teams score touchdowns, stops, and make coveted field goals, making it a tie. Second-quarter heroics by Eagles wide receiver Arthur Brown and quarterback Jalen Hurts — despite a fumble returned for a touchdown — gave Philadelphia a 10-point lead by halftime.
The Chiefs’ offense had not matched the Eagles’, and Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes had injured his ankle. Could there even be a memorable second half awaiting us? However, Mahomes, probably on 30 tons of painkillers, led a drive immediately out of the break for another touchdown.
The Eagles could only muster a field goal in response, though even this was barely propped up by two controversial catch calls by officials. The score was now 27-21, only six points in the Eagles’ favor. By the fourth quarter, we were set up for a dash to the finish. Was it still the Eagles’ game to lose?
With the teams tied and fewer than five minutes on the clock, Mahomes ran on a bum ankle to the Eagles’ goal line. On the third down and eight yards remaining, Mahomes threw a seemingly uncatchable ball to wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster. Yet the officials called defensive holding, the clock ran down to eight seconds, and the winning field goal was kicked by the Chiefs.
The Chiefs cheered while the Eagles walked off the field in disgust. Several Twitter users had meltdowns, accusing the game of being rigged. This was just another Super Bowl Sunday to put into the books: one of the better ones, in my opinion.
Voice your opinions