Everything but the Game: Analysis of Super Bowl LII

Super Bowl 52 dealt with more than just football, as Gauri Mangala explains (File photo)

Super Bowl 52 dealt with more than just football, as Gauri Mangala explains (File photo)

By Gauri Mangala, Co-Features Editor

Super Bowl LII marked an important opportunity for the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots alike. The Eagles’ big win was its first ever, and had things gone the other way, the Patriots would have tied the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most Super Bowl wins ever. Obviously, the football game is the star of the Super Bowl, or is it? Below are the highlights of Super Bowl LII, excluding the actual game:

Pregame Show:  

  • Broadway star Leslie Odom, Jr. opened the evening with his rendition of America the Beautiful with members of the ComMUSICation program in St. Paul and the Angelica Cantanti Youth Choirs of Bloomington.
  • The singer Pink, a native Philadelphian, performed the National Anthem with practically flawless vocals, even while under the weather. She had reportedly been suffering from the flu and had worried about being about to sing on Sunday, but pulled together and delivered a beautiful performance. Many also wondered whether any players would protest the anthem, especially after Donald Trump’s pregame statement about the armed forces in which he stated that “we hold them in our hearts and thank them for our freedom as we proudly stand for the National Anthem.” However, no protests from players were recorded.

Memorable Commercials: The Good, The Bad, and the Tide Commercials

The Good

  • Doritos and Mountain Dew came together for an epic commercial starring, Game of Thrones, Peter Dinklage and Morgan Freeman, lip-syncing to Busta Rhymes’ “Look At Me Now” and “Get Ur Freak On”, respectively in order to introduce new flavors of both brands.
  • Budweiser released a heartwarming commercial of employees delivering water to California, Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico. The campaign for Water.org is one that was sprinkled throughout this year’s beer commercials, which was refreshing in more ways than one.

The Bad

  • Dodge Ram presented a car commercial that never should have seen the light of day. With the background noise of a Martin Luther King, Jr. Speech, Dodge’s ad belittles King’s speech and belittles the Civil Rights Movement for a car commercial. The commercial is already received immense criticism especially with the backdrop of Black History Month that just twists the knife even more.
  • No commercial was quite as awkward as Keanu Reeves standing on a motorcycle grumbling about self-image for a forty second Square Space commercial.  

The Tide Commercials

  • The Tide Super Bowl did not go unnoticed. Starring, Stranger Things’ David Harbour, Tide developed a plethora of ads that left everyone wondering, “What ad is this for?” Answer: Always Tide. The commercials included cameos of Isaiah Mustafa, aka the Old Spice guy, on a horse, Mr. Clean, David Harbour in football uniforms, David Harbour in a car, and, just David Harbour.

Half-Time Show:  

Justin Timberlake performed his hits alongside his band the Tennessee Kids. Halfway through, though, the lights went down and Justin brought out a giant marching band to perform the Suit & Tie, Mirror, and his tribute to Prince, sans hologram (a friend of Prince called holograms “demonic”). Instead, Timberlake lit the entire city in purple for Prince while performing the iconic “I Would Die 4 U”.

Film Trailers:

Many movies placed their first trailers during the Super Bowl commercials including:

  • Skyscraper, an action movie starring Dwayne Johnson
  • Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story
  • Red Sparrow, a drama about a ballerina turned Russian spy, starring Jennifer Lawrence
  • Infinity War, the long awaited Marvel movie to assemble every Marvel franchise

In other news:

At Puppy Bowl XIV, Team Fluff took home the Lombarky Trophy for the second year in a row, beating Team Ruff 52-47.  

  • MVP: Bear  
  • Underdog Award: Mr. Wiggleworth
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Author: Gauri Mangala

Gauri Mangala '21 currently serves as the News Editor for the Gettysburgian, a position she has held since May of 2018. Gauri is originally from Langhorne, Pennsylvania. Aside from her work with the Gettysburgian, Gauri is the treasurer for the Owl and Nightingale Players. She hopes to study International Affairs and Anthropology during her time at Gettysburg.

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