By Lauren DiGregorio
United States traditions have been far and few recently, but on Sunday, February 7, 2021, America’s favorite pastime handed off some hope of returning back to normal. At Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers faced off in the 55th Super Bowl game. From sports enthusiasts to music fans, the Super Bowl has brought people together for more than 50 years. Though this year’s Super Bowl was a little different, fans still got their gameplay, half-time show, and iconic ads.
Safety was the biggest concern, but the NFL took many precautions to make sure the tradition could still be carried out. They partnered with state officials and the CDC to develop a set of necessary regulations to keep everyone protected. Face coverings were mandatory, and each ticket holder received a KN95 mask in their “fan gameday kit” that they were encouraged to wear. Six-foot markers were placed in high population areas such as bathrooms and security gates, as well as arrows on staircases and escalators to keep fans flowing in the same direction. This year was also the first fully cash-free Super Bowl; they had reverse ATMs that could dispense prepaid cards to offer a cash-free solution to fans.
The Buccaneers were victorious with a score of 31-9, and some ecstatic fans went as far as to say they pummeled the Chiefs. The students at NHP Memorial had contrasting opinions on how the game turned out, but most were just happy that the Super Bowl happened.
“Despite the game being relatively uncompetitive, in the end it was still good to watch, in regards to storylines surrounding the game. Also, it helped Tom Brady further establish his legacy, which was great to see,” said junior Rahi Bhatia.
“The Buccaneers finished the game victoriously with a score of 31-9, and some ecstatic fans went as far as to say they pummeled the Chiefs...”
“This year's Super Bowl wasn’t really interesting to watch and was disappointing compared to previous years. I wanted the Chiefs to win and it was hard to see them struggle to come up with an offensive game plan against Tampa’s defense. Even though it was frustrating to watch, there were a lot of fun things to see like the tension between players and the NFL’s use of cardboard cut-outs for fans. Even though it wasn’t the best, I am grateful we had a Super Bowl this year,” said senior Anwin Shaji.
For many Super Bowl viewers, football isn’t the reason they tune in; it is the Pepsi Halftime Show. This year’s performing artist was The Weeknd, but this came with concerns. His music videos are known to not be PG; however, he reassured the public he would keep it appropriate while still getting his message across. In an interview with Billboard, he confirmed that he put in $7 million of his own money to create a production that is up to his desired quality. Taking into account the restrictions from COVID-19, fans had mixed reviews of the performance.
Source by Lauren DiGregorio
The Weeknd's halftime show was the number one trending video on YouTube after the game.
“I think it is cool that The Weeknd spent his own money on the halftime show. It shows he is truly dedicated to his music and to giving it a deeper meaning,” said junior Alicia Koshey.
“The halftime show was ok. There were no guest appearances, which was somewhat disappointing, but you could tell he put a lot of effort into the performance. I am not really a big fan of The Weeknd, so it was a bit hard to follow his storyline,” said sophomore Sam Tsui.
Society has blamed inconsistency and disappointment on COVID-19 for months, but Super Bowl Sunday’s letdowns were not at the hands of the virus. The NFL established rules and protocols that did not hinder the game itself, and viewers were still left wanting more from the overall ideas of the performance. Whether the Super Bowl fell short or not, many agree that it was still a relief to see tradition in these hectic times.