Yesterday, February 5, marked the 46th annual Super Bowl, the end-of-the-season showdown between the two best teams in the NFL. If you live in America (or even if you don’t), this probably isn’t news to you; the Super Bowl (and football in general) is the Holy Grail of U.S. sports. Super Bowl Sunday is treated like a national holiday, second in importance only perhaps to Christmas, and is celebrated by nearly every citizen, regardless of whether or not their home team is playing (and, oftentimes, regardless of whether or not they had watched any other football game all year).The halftime show is perhaps as big of a spectacle as the game itself, with the hottest names in music taking the stage to entertain a massive national audience. In addition, the commercials, which cost roughly $6 million per minute to air, garner quite a bit of attention themselves. All in all, Super Bowl Sunday is probably the biggest televised event in the country.
I, however, haven’t watched the Super Bowl in years, ever since my dad used to drag me to parties as a child. Once I hit high school, however, my Sundays were dedicated to homework and/or work, and football was the last of my priorities. Yesterday was no different, although I happened to catch two of the most talked-about points of the evening. While mooching some food off of my dad at his Super Bowl party, I was drawn to Miss Kelly Clarkson, winner of the very first season of American Idol, who had the prestigious honor of performing the National Anthem. Miss Clarkson looked absolutely stunning, keeping it classy (rather than trashy) in the typical Clarkson fashion, and delivering a flawless and moving vocal performance of the Star Spangled Banner.
After the National Anthem, I did not tune back in until the last four minutes of the game. Apparently, this just so happened to be the most nail-biting part of the event. Brady and the Patriots were leading Manning and the Giants 17-15, with the Giants in possession of the ball. Manning delivered a 38-yard pass to Mario Manningham, who made an incredible catch that was challenged by the Patriots but ultimately upheld as completion. Manning drove the Giants to the six, where, with 57 seconds left in the game, the Patriots gave Ahmad Bradshaw a totally free run into the end zone. With his path wide open, Bradshaw ran to the goal line, put on the brakes, turned around and appeared to take a casual seat in the end zone. The Giants were then up 21-17. Brady and the Patriots seized the 57 seconds they had to become world champions, but ultimately faltered. Perhaps collapsing under the pressure, they blew two crucial scoring chances with incomplete passes, including an incomprehensible drop by Aaron Hernandez. Ultimately, it was the Giants who became the champions of Super Bowl XLVI.
Garnering as much attention this morning as the Giants is pop superstar Madonna, who performed at the halftime show. While I did not see her performance, it is receiving mixed reviews throughout the media. Young Money rapper Nicki Minaj and British rapper M.I.A. performed with Madonna, and the latter is garnering attention of her own. The infamous female rapper from Sri Lanka reportedly flipped cameras and crowds, reminiscent of Janet Jackson’s 2004 scandalous wardrobe malfunction.
With all the hoopla surrounding the Super Bowl, the excitement will surely never disappoint in one way or another. Whether it comes in the form of an upset, a slipped nipple or a flipped bird, there’s always entertainment for everyone.