Unless you’re someone like me who enjoys defensive football, then you probably share the opinion of many that Super Bowl 50 was a bit boring. Sure, it was going to be tough to top the instant classic of a Super Bowl put on the by the Seahawks and Patriots last year, but other than a few highlights from the defensive lines of both teams, the game was relatively quiet. The collective reaction from most viewers of the game was that it was a let down. There is much to be made about the biggest night of the year in American sports, and here are just a few observations:
- Brady gets booed: Wasn’t that awesome?! As a Jets fan, I often feel obligated to criticize Tom Brady. After last year’s “Deflategate” allegations against Brady, any supporters of his who weren’t Patriots fans were pretty much gone. In celebration of 50 Super Bowls, every MVP from every Super Bowl was introduced. NFL legends like Joe Namath, Terry Bradshaw, and Joe Montana were cheered by the San Francisco crowd, while #12 for the Patriots was unceremoniously showered with boos. Whether it’s anger towards Tom’s success, or displeasure with his team’s reputation to break the rules, the crowd let Brady no exactly how they felt about him. Sadly, with 4 Super Bowl Championships, I don’t think Brady was really torn up about those boos.
- Down Year for Commercials: If you don’t enjoy watching football, (are you insane?!) the Super Bowl commercials are usually enough of a draw to get anyone to tune into the game. Companies will try their luck to create the funniest commercials on the biggest stage. The cost of putting a 30-second advertisement during the big game is now worth more than 4 million dollars. However the ads were not great this year. We saw Steve Harvey strike again (which was admittedly pretty good), a walking human intestine (what?), and a man who appeared to have taken a romantic interest in a marmot. I don’t know what a marmot is either. We saw the “puppy-monkey-baby” brought to us by Mountain Dew, which was interesting. Aside from the “annual really funny Doritos commercial”, there was nothing to really to write home about. No commercials from this year will be talked about for much longer.
- Beyoncé hijacks halftime: So if you don’t like football, and were unimpressed with the commercials, there may have been one person that could have saved your Super Bowl experience. The halftime show of the Super Bowl is supposed to be epic, and even though I love Chris Martin, Coldplay never really felt like a band that could totally capture how awesome the halftime show is meant to be. The crowd was polite to Chris Martin, and while Bruno Mars helped energize a performance that was dedicated to the halftime shows of year’s past, Beyoncé absolutely stole the show. The last time Beyoncé performed at the Super Bowl, she blew the power out (or maybe that was just Roger Goodell trying to get the 49ers back into the football game, we will never know). The fact that the performance took place in the daylight made the show a little awkward, but that didn’t stop the crowd from going absolutely crazy when Beyoncé made her way out.
- Peyton going out on top?: Sure, Von Miller and that Denver Defense were the stars of the Super Bowl, but the most talked about topic following Super Bowl 50 was that regarding the future of one of the league’s best quarterbacks ever, Peyton Manning. To say that Manning had on off year would not be totally fair, but there’s no disputing that the Denver Defense is the real reason that the Broncos are celebrating a championship. Now that Peyton has his 2nd ring, all logic would dictate that now is as good of a time as any to make like Marshawn Lynch and hang up the cleats. Peyton may be wise to ride off into the sunset while Broncos can look to re-sign a potential franchise quarterback in Brock Osweiler, who deserves more credit than he is receiving for this Broncos’ Championship Season. While it makes sense for Peyton to leave, who would turn down another opportunity at another Super Bowl championship? As long as Denver’s defense stays intact, they could be serious contenders for years and years to come. Ultimately the decision will be up to Peyton, but nobody can deny that he has now cemented himself into another tier of quarterbacks.
- What’s Next for Carolina?: A 15-1 regular season record, NFL Coach of the year, and NFL MVP make up the Panthers’ 2015 season. Still, there was no Lombardi trophy to show for it. Can this season be called a disappointment? Absolutely not. Cam Newton and the Panthers were quite simply humbled on the biggest stage possible. After 6 months of “dabbing” and celebrating at the expense of others, they finally lost a game that truly mattered and felt something they hadn’t really felt all season: disappointment. Cam Newton left the post-game press conference early, leading to accusations of being a sore loser. When asked about the matter, Newton simply said: “Show me a good loser, and I’ll show you a loser.” Many talked about how great of a role model Cam Newton had become, and I’m not going to dispute whether or not that’s true, as it could be argued Newton is within his right to be upset. I’m not going to discuss whether or not Newton is obligated to be a role model, since I’ve already written an article on athletes and their obligation to be role models (read it, read all the articles on Inkwell, Inkwell is amazing). All I will say is that Carolina has nothing to be ashamed of and should be primed as top contenders for next year’s race to a championship. That said…
- Next Year’s Way-Too-Early Predictions: Putting aside the 2016 NFL Draft and free agency, my obvious choice to win Super Bowl is The New York Jets! Let me dream. I do think the Panthers will make a strong case to win the NFC, but I will take the Seattle Seahawks as my prediction to win Next Year’s championship. I think their offense has too much firepower with Russell Wilson under center. As for the AFC, I would be lying if I said I didn’t think the Pats could win it all. If they stay healthy, this is a team that could be very dangerous.
Those are my reactions to Super Bowl 50. What are your reactions to the game? Favorite commercial? Predictions for next season?