Georgia Lodewyk – Staff Writer
Super Bowl LV featured a showdown between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with quarterback Tom Brady and the Kansas City Chiefs with quarterback Patrick Mahomes during the most watched sports event in America. Tom Brady played his tenth Super Bowl in his 20-year career. Tampa Bay became the first team in history to play for the Lombardi Trophy at their home stadium. The Buccaneers dominated the majority of the game and took home the victory, ending the game with a score of 31-9. For the 42-year-old Brady, this marked his seventh Super Bowl win, the most of any NFL quarterback, and his first with the Buccaneers.
The officiating crew included Sarah Thomas, who became the first female to referee a Super Bowl game. Tampa Bay’s opening drive in the first quarter resulted in a punt on 4th down, while Kansas City’s offense also struggled to gain momentum. Harrison Butker’s brought the first points of the game with a 49-yard field goal for Kansas City with five minutes remaining in the quarter. Brady later threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to tight end Rob Gronkowski, giving the Buccaneers a lead of 7-3 at the end of the first quarter. Meanwhile, Patrick Mahomes struggled with 6 straight incompletions in the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Tampa Bay continued to find success offensively with Tom Brady throwing a 17-yard touchdown pass to Gronkowski early on. Kansas City’s 43-yard field goal brought the score to 14-6. Two pass interference calls against Kansas City in the final 20 seconds of the half set up Brady for a 1-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Brown with six seconds to spare on the clock. At the end of the half, Brady had thrown three touchdown passes and four incompletions, and Tampa Bay held a significant lead of 21-6.
Kansas City’s opening drive in the third quarter resulted in a 52-yard field goal. Tampa Bay continued their dominance in the third quarter through Fournette’s touchdown run of 27 yards, making their lead 28-9. The Buccaneers’ defensive line also achieved success, intercepting two of his passes and limiting Mahomes’s completed passes to 53 percent. Tampa Bay’s kicker, Ryan Succop, kicked a 52-yard field goal making the score to 31-9 Tampa Bay. Tom Brady, for the fifth time in his career, was named Super Bowl MVP. Not only did Tampa Bay become the first team to play in the Super Bowl at their home stadium; they also became the first team to win the Super Bowl on their home turf.
Despite a game that was over long before the time clock ran out, Super Bowl LV was not without its memorable moments on and off the field. In the fourth quarter, security tackled a fan for running onto the field right before the start of a play, confusing both spectators and players. The Weeknd’s thirteen-minute halftime show featured an army of dancers in red suits and white masks, a blending of COVID-19 protocols and bold fashion statements. The Weeknd’s performance was characterized by bright lights, giant screens, and golden hallways while he sang some of his most famous hits, including “Blinding Lights” and “Can’t Feel My Face.”
For those who didn’t watch the Super Bowl for football, or for the most-watched pop performance of the year, the commercials tried not to disappoint, costing each company 5.5 million per 30 seconds. Among Dordt students, some favorites included “Drake from State Farm” featuring American musician Drake, “Edgar Scissorhands” with actor Timothée Chalamet, and Toyota’s commercial featuring the story of Paralympic swimmer Jessica Long. Other commercials, however, were both equally hated and loved, including the Amazon Alexa advertisement with actor Michael B. Jordan.
Over the past 55 years, the Super Bowl has found its place in American culture, combining sports, music, and entertainment, declaring itself a tradition. This year looked a little bit different because of the pandemic. 22,000 fans attended the game. Among them sat 7,500 health care workers as guests of the league. American singer H.E.R. began the Super Bowl celebration with a performance of the folk song “America the Beautiful.” Eric Church and Jazmine Sullivan’s rendition of the national anthem blended two uniquely different styles of music into one duet. An American sign language translator passionately signed the lyrics to these familiar songs alongside the performers. National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman paid tribute with words to essential workers in the community. Because the Super Bowl is more than a game. Or a concert. It’s America.