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Super Bowl of Boring: Why Super Bowl LIII Missed the Uprights

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The New England Patriots dynasty continues after their sixth Super Bowl win on February 3 against the L.A. Rams. The GOAT himself has proven that age is just a number and the Patriots are here to stay. As a die hard Patriots fan myself, I’m pretty ecstatic to say the least, especially with Julian Edelman taking home Most Valuable Player. However, despite my joy, I can say inarguably that for more reasons that one, this was the most boring game in Super Bowl history.

The Super Bowl was like Christmas to me as a child. Growing up in the rising Brady era within a Jets household, I had a pretty big chip on my shoulder. Regardless of the team, the Super Bowl was the event I waited for all year. I got to stay up late, eat unlimited pizza, watch the hilarious commercials, and watch in awe of the halftime show.  I specifically remembering the 2010 halftime show because of how excited my father was for The Who to perform. “You’re witnessing history; these guys are legends. The best,” he would say. And to his dismay, that was the worst halftime performance in history, until now.

Maroon 5, Travis Scott, Big Boi, and SpongeBob Squarepants. There is no odder combination of performers than this one. Maroon 5 endured months of social media and headline hostility in regards to the upcoming performance. Having not been truly relevant in years, they needed something big and shocking. After the first half of the game, fans needed it too. With a Brady interception thrown in the first quarter, it seemed as though the game would be an interesting, edge of the seat nail biter. The game made history, but as the lowest scoring Super Bowl in history, as well as the first Super Bowl to move into the fourth quarter without a touchdown. It’s safe to say that the Halftime Show was a continuum of disappointment.

I was skeptical, but excited for the halftime show due to rumors of Travis Scott proposing to girlfriend, Kylie Jenner; this was yet another let down. This Halftime Show was a big deal for more than the obvious aspect of it. The NFL faced serious struggles booking artists for political reasons. Artists such as Rihanna and Cardi B publically turned down the offer in order to stand in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick. Nick Cannon denounced Travis Scott’s agreement to perform as well. Considering the backlash he received, it fueled the rumors that  he had agreed in order to have a grand, international scale proposal.

An already unpopular show from the start, Maroon 5 performed despite the 100,000 signature petition asking them not to (USA Today).  They played it safe, promoting their popular older songs as opposed to the newer controversial ones. Overall, the artists did not fit together, essentially creating three separate performances. Transitioning from Maroon 5 to Travis Scott with none other than SpongeBob Squarepants, Scott emerged on stage in flames. He then performed a shortened version of his latest hit, only to dive off the stage and not return. While Levine later removed his shirt, making his nipples the most talked about aspect of the show, Big Boi entered stage overdressed in a fur coat. While he did rep the host city with an Atlanta hat, his coat is receiving serious backlash from animal rights organizations (USA Today). To summarize: SpongeBob Squarepants stole the show.

The NFL missed a serious opportunity to improve its damaged image and focus on the city’s cultural legacy and artistry. Instead they gave Big Boi and Travis Scott half a song each, giving the audience a white washed performance by one of the more generic groups. They ultimately turned a largely uncontroversial group, into a highly controversial one.

I hope the Patriots dynasty lives on forever, but I do think it is playing a role in the decline of satisfaction with the Super Bowl as a whole. As the most hated team in America, the general public is dissatisfied with an almost two-decade long stronghold. Paired with disappointing commercials, poor halftime performances, and increasing political controversy, something within the NFL must change to increase viewer and fan satisfaction. I’m personally hoping they bring in Ariana Grande next year for the Patriot’s seventh ring.  

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