In My Opinion: Watching Super Bowl 2021 was Exciting, But it wasn’t Worth the Hype

March 3, 2021

Logos+for+the+Kansas+City+Chiefs+and+the+Tampa+Bay+Buccaneers.+Photos+courtesy+of+Charlie+Lyons-Pardue+via+Creative+Commons.+Photo+illustration+by+Gaby+Sainz-Medina.

Logos for the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Photos courtesy of Charlie Lyons-Pardue via Creative Commons. Photo illustration by Gaby Sainz-Medina.

The 2021 Super Bowl was one to remember. Whether it was the Weeknd’s solo performance or Tom Brady versus Patrick Mahomes, it definitely gave us something to talk about at the end. 

I, personally, had been waiting for this event all year, and became anxious to see how this year’s Super Bowl was going to come about. On one hand, I listen to the Weeknd’s music, so to see him perform at Super Bowl LV seemed captivating. On the other hand, I love watching Super Bowl games and evaluating plays as the game goes on. 

Having always watched Super Bowls with my family, this year became a different experience. Normally, we would have a big dinner with family and friends, but this year, only my immediate family gathered at my dad’s house. Both my dad and I have always been huge sport fans, so we talk and get frustrated together throughout any game, much to the dismay of the rest of my family. While I never took much liking to American Football, my dad absolutely loves it, and I can’t resist watching and criticizing an enticing and exciting game. 

This year however, the Super Bowl didn’t live up to the normal ‘hype’ in multiple aspects. To put it simply, it lacked that extra flamboyance that normally comes with championship games.

First, let’s deep-dive into the sports part itself. The big competition between the two teams, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, pitted quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady against each other. Mahomes, 25, led the Chiefs to a Super Bowl victory in 2020, and 2021 marked his second time taking the team to the highest level. On the other hand, this year was 43-year-old Brady’s first year as quarterback for the Buccaneers, after already earning six champion victories in previous seasons with the New England Patriots. Sports journalists called their competition the ‘greatest Super Bowl QB mashup of all time’. 

As the game progressed, the score favored the Buccaneers by a landslide. The most noticeable thing? The refs constantly called penalties, overwhelmingly against the Chiefs. Even the sports broadcasters commented that the referees seemed to call penalties more harshly than usual for a Super Bowl. My dad and I didn’t notice the excessive penalties at first, but as the game went along, even I noticed that the game would pause every few minutes for a penalty. If there was ever a game to go to the bathroom excessively throughout, it would be this one; the only thing you would miss was another penalty call. However, no evidence pointed to bias. 

Even though the referees seemed stricter, we must acknowledge the huge accomplishment of the first female referee in this year’s Super Bowl. Sarah Thomas made history as the NFL’s first woman official. Clearly, women are slowly becoming more involved in what would before had been considered a “men’s game”. This accomplishment signals a massive step forward in bringing women further into sports, a major part of American culture. 

The Weeknd performing at a concert in 2015. Photo courtesy of Kayla Johnson via Creative Commons.

Now, let’s get into that halftime show. This show differed from previous ones in that the Weeknd was the headliner and the sole performer of the entire show. Normally, the performers bring special guests, which makes the show that much more exciting. Yet, this year went by without any. Considering the circumstances surrounding COVID, it makes sense that The Weeknd performed alone.

Many people saw this performance as humorous. At one moment, the Weeknd went backstage, and began holding the camera and dancing with it, giving the audience a full screen view of just his face and a lot of twirling. If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend checking that out! If you get close enough to the screen, you might even feel as if you’re twirling with him. 

Fans made many, many memes from this performance. I have to admit, it was pretty hilarious and just a little random, but not one of the worst performances I’ve ever seen. Considering all the obstacles, the musical performers were still able to overcome them and create an adequate performance. The Weeknd even contributed $7 million of his own money to produce the show. If that doesn’t speak commitment and diligence, I don’t know what does. 

Overall, the 2021 Super Bowl had its highs and lows. But even though it happened during Covid-19 restrictions, it offered a little bit for everyone, whether it’s the sports that keep you on the edge of your seat, or the halftime show with some of the most classic songs from this decade so far. The accomplishments of Super Bowl LV pave the way for future Super Bowls to continue breaking records and transforming the culture of American sports for our continuously evolving society.

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