Opinion: Super Bowl Review
By Hank Hahne, Staff Writer
Super Bowl LIII proved to be a disappointing display for the NFL, advertisers, and just about everyone except the New England Patriots and their fans last Sunday. The Patriots clinched their sixth Super Bowl title over the Los Angeles Rams in a 13-3 victory, the lowest final score in the big game to date.
The football itself could be regarded as a strong display of defensive football, but to others the game was characterized by two lackluster offensive performances. The Rams offense only managed to gain a mere 57 yards by halftime, and the Patriots were hardly doing any better through the first half, scoring only a field goal after Stephen Gostkowski had missed an earlier attempt from 46 yards. It took until the fourth quarter for a touchdown to be scored when Sony Michel scored a 2-yard rushing TD for the Patriots. The Rams punted a disappointing 8 times in a row prior to scoring any points with a Greg Zuerlein field goal.
One player’s offensive performance was able to stand out despite the lack of offensive output by both teams: Julian Edelman. The Patriots wide receiver seemed to be the source of many of the team’s offensive success, tallying 141 receiving yards on the night. Edelman had more yards than the entire Rams offense through the half and was deservedly named Super Bowl MVP, the sixth overall given to a wide receiver.
The Super Bowl is regarded as one of the premier television events of the year in America, and much talk has surrounded the low ratings this year’s edition generated. The Nielsen company reported a 3 percent drop in viewership from last year, and the lowest ratings since 2009.
Physical attendance figures were of interest this year as well. On a positive note for the NFL, this year’s game was more attended than the last. Mercedes-Benz stadium, which hosted the game, is mainly used as the home of Major League Soccer team Atlanta United FC. The Atlanta soccer team hosted, and won, last year’s MLS Cup final. The match drew a record crowd of 73,019, while the Super Bowl only drew 70,081 fans.
For many viewers, the Super Bowl carries the tradition of advertisers airing their best, funniest, or most impactful ads that they can to justify the price tag of ad space during the game. This year hardly provided any memorable ads that those who just watch the game for the ads might remember from years past. Many ads were repeated after halftime.
One of the more criticized aspects of this year’s event was the halftime show. The act headlined by Maroon 5, with Travis Scott and Big Boi as guest stars, was generally regarded as below par by fans on social media. The internet’s strongest reaction was to the brief tribute to Spongebob Squarepants and the show’s performance of the song, Sweet Victory. The three second cameo used to introduce Travis Scott has spawned countless memes. Despite the statistics and reactions from the public suggesting the Super Bowl has declined this year, the game and the NFL will no doubt continue to hold their same weight as cultural icons. Many of us will no doubt be tuning in again next year.