There’s been a lot of buzz about the Super Bowl over the last week as there is every year, but I’ve found myself remaining rather quiet about the whole thing. Several opinions have been flying back and forth, but this year it doesn’t seem to be about what happened, but rather what didn’t.
There was also no blackout, no Destiny Child’s reunion, and no hope for a fourth quarter comeback. The big game just came and went leaving a lot of people criticizing what a boring Super Bowl it actually was. But what does that mean?
This was a strange Super Bowl for me because it was the first year in awhile that I didn’t have a clear preference on who I wanted to win. I like Peyton Manning, although mostly just because I know that all the Patriots and Brady fans despise him. And after the year that he’s had, I felt he truly deserved to top it off with a Super Bowl win. However, being a Giants fan I couldn’t help but think in the back of my head how nice it would be for Eli to still have more rings. After the season and career that Peyton has had and all the talk of his legacy, little brother Manning deserves at least one claim to fame.
I also found it hard rooting for the Seahawks after they knocked out the 49ers, the last team I had left in the playoffs who I actually really cared about. But even still, I really liked Richard Sherman. His passion for the game gained my respect rather than the disdain that many people gathered from his post-game interview. Also as a Boston fan, I have a lot of appreciation for Seattle fans and their crazy dedication to their team. I love the idea of the 12th man, especially in a city that hasn’t won a championship since the Seattle SuperSonics won the NBA Finals in 1979.
Needless to say, I was torn and didn’t hold a lot of stock in either team. This didn’t detract from my excitement leading up to the day though. It was the Super Bowl. I just wanted a good show.
Though many people would disagree with me, I think we were given just that.
The commercials didn’t particularly stand out to me. The half time show didn’t show nearly enough Red Hot Chili Peppers. Similarly, I was annoyed that they showed so little of the Pride of the Orange Marching Band, who I grew up idolizing as a child, during the pre-game ceremonies.
I successfully avoided social media for the most part of the day to avoid reading the numerous statuses discussing how much better the Puppy Bowl was. Or how adorable Meowshawn Lynch was on the Kitten Bowl. Or complaining about how annoying everyone talking about the Super Bowl is.
So what made this a “good” Super Bowl for me?
The Super Bowl is all about going in with certain expectations (or a very coveted outcome if you’re lucky enough to see your team play) and then watching the drama unfold in front of you, usually in a way that no one ever expected.
I didn’t think it could get any better than watching Tom Brady get called for intentional grounding in the end zone and getting the safety on the first drive of Super Bowl XLVI. I was wrong. A safety on the first play? Off of a mistake by Peyton Manning and the dominant Broncos offense? Who would have guessed that Seattle’s 12th man could tack 2 points on the board for the Seahawks before the game even got going?
The entire game was unexpected and ridiculous and slightly embarrassing, but exactly what I wanted in a Super Bowl.
No one expected the MVP award to go to a defensemen in a game that saw Peyton Manning and Russel Wilson face off. No one expected the game to end 43-8. No one expected to only see one Peyton Manning touchdown in 60 minutes of play. And if you asked anyone beforehand, they probably wouldn’t have wanted these results. But this is what the Super Bowl is all about. It’s unscripted, even when Monday’s newspapers were all but already printed to say “MVP Manning Does It Again.” Anything can happen.
It may not have been the most exciting Super Bowl in history. It was no Super Bowl XLII when the Wild Card team New York Giants came back in the fourth-quarter to beat the 12-point favorites, undefeated New England Patriots. But it was exactly what I was looking for.
The people of Seattle got their day. They got their first ever Super Bowl parade that drew over 700,000 people. Malcolm Smith had his day after being completely overlooked in the NFC Championship game after Richard Sherman’s incredible play that dumped the ball directly into his arms for the game-clinching interception. Percy Harvin had his day. Peyton Manning still had one of the best seasons in NFL history. I stuffed my face with too much food, had a few drinks, and had a great time cramming too many people in an apartment bought on a college student’s budget.
It was everything a good Super Bowl is supposed to be.