The most momentous event in the professional American football calendar took place once more this Sunday, January 2. The fifty-fourth edition of the Super Bowl, Super Bowl LIV at the Miami Hard Rock Stadium, pitted the 2019 National Conference champions the San Francisco 49ers against their American Conference counterparts, the Kansas City Chiefs. The game itself ended with victory for the Chiefs, 31-20 over the 49ers, giving the Super Bowl back to Kansas City in a half-century, since Super Bowl IV way back in 1970, the last one before the then-separate NFL and AFL finally merged. That was the game.
But aside from the game itself there were also other major elements of the whole annual Super Bowl experience worth noting. Normally that would be the special commercials from gigantic international companies airing in the prohibitively expensive Super Bowl advertising timeslots. The second is the halftime musical extravaganza that gets bigger and more epic every year. But this year a special element was introduced to the proceedings according to CBS News. That would be the special tribute to not just recently-departed football Hall of Famer Chris Doleman, but also NBA legend Kobe Bryant, killed in a helicopter crash last week.
Aside from the expected moment of silence for the two fallen sports stars, the whole Super Bowl assembly went the extra mile to honor Kobe some more. When the teams lined up for the tribute they stood on their respective 24-yard lines, referring to Bryant’s LA Lakers and Lower Merion High School player number. The same number on Laker jerseys was everywhere in the stands and some of the players like San Francisco’s Richard Sherman. Players even wore cleats adorned with Kobe images during warm-ups. Bryant had died with his daughter Gianna and seven others.
In between the plays between the 49ers and the Chiefs, Super Bowl would cut to commercial and show some of the zaniest and touching ads. The former could be exemplified by Hyundai’s commercial for the Sonata, with its automated “Smart Park” feature…though from the mouths of its Bostonian actors like Chris Evans and Rachel Dratch it sounds more like “Smaht Pahk” for all the laughs.
The latter sort of Super Bowl ad has as its representative a Google Smart Assistant commercial, depicting a man in his twilight years striving not to forget his departed wife Loretta, by having his Google Assistant store old photos of them, and to memorize details about their long life together.
On to more fun things, the halftime show was incredibly wild and intense, courtesy of the sexy double headliner tandem of Colombian siren Shakira and Latin pop juggernaut Jennifer Lopez. The former sang a medley of her signature songs including “Whenever, Wherever,” “She Wolf” and “Hips Don’t Lie.” J-Lo for her part went through “Jenny from the Block,” “Love Don’t Cost a Thing,” and “Let’s Get Loud.” At one point she even shared the stage with her daughter Emme Maribel Muñiz. But the highlight parts were when Shakira and Lopez performed together and sneaked in some Spanish singing in honor of their Latina roots: from Colombia and Puerto Rico, respectively.
Whole both Latina pop stars were on equal footing that night, J-Lo offered plenty of encouragement to Shakira before they took the stage, seeing as Super Bowl LIV is also taking place on the latter’s own 43rd birthday. “Let’s show the world what two little Latin girls can do,” wrote Jennifer on her Instagram page.
Image courtesy of TV Insider