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From Touchdowns to Tunes: Everything You Need To Know About Super Bowl LVIII

From+Touchdowns+to+Tunes%3A+Everything+You+Need+To+Know+About+Super+Bowl+LVIII

To quote the ecstatic Travis Kelce after his third Superbowl win last Sunday against the San Fransisco 49ers– “VIIIVAA LAS VEEEGGASSS.” This was the first time that Las Vegas had hosted a Superbowl in their 70k seater Allegiant stadium. The Superbowl is a hallmark of America and so much more than a sports game. It embodies American culture by bringing together people from all walks of life with iconic half-time performances, annual watch parties, memorable ads, and, of course, football. This year’s face-off between the Chiefs and the 49ers (again) seems to have caught a whole new level of attention by catching the eyes of 123.7 million viewers, making Super Bowl LVIII the most-watched telecast in US history.

The Big Game

Super Bowl LVIII  was unique enough with the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers once again vying for the NFL championship. In 2020, these two teams battled it out in an intense game that ultimately led to a convincing 31-20 victory for the Chiefs in the last quarter. Since then, the Chiefs have made an appearance in the 2021 and 2023 games, securing yet another victory over the Eagles in a close 38-35 game. The Chiefs have proven themselves to be a dominant team in the NFL, making it no surprise that this powerhouse returned for the trophy in 2024. But what about the 49ers? The 2023-24 season was a big one for this team, especially for quarterback Brock Purdy. Purdy is a relatively new name in the NFL, being the last picked out of the NFL draft in 2022. This put Purdy’s name out in the world, but only as “Mr. Irrelevant”. Fans didn’t expect much from this college quarterback, but after being forced into the 49ers’ starting lineup, Purdy proved to be a hidden talent and anything but irrelevant as he led his team to the Super Bowl. Fans were eager to see how Purdy would play in the face of Chiefs quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, who has proven his talent time and time again.

Patrick Mahomes (left) and Brock Purdy (right)

The game started with a defense-dominated first quarter with no one scoring. In the second quarter, the 49ers took the lead with a field goal and a touchdown with an exciting trick play, while the Chiefs had a last-ditch field goal, bringing the score to 10-3 (49ers) at the half. The second half saw more offensive action as the Chiefs took a lead with a touchdown in the third quarter, bringing the score to 10-13 (Chiefs). The two teams were neck and neck in the fourth quarter with another touchdown, a missed extra point, and a field goal for the 49ers. The Chiefs responded with two field goals, tying the game 19-19. This brought the game to overtime, making it the second Super Bowl to do so. The 49ers, after winning the coin toss, chose to take the ball first, yet they only managed a field goal while the Chiefs secured a touchdown, claiming victory 25-22. The game had the record for longest field goal broken twice with 49ers kicker Jake Moody making one from 55 yards in the first quarter, and then Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker making one from 57 yards in the third quarter. Patrick Mahomes was named Super Bowl MVP, unsurprisingly, and it’s the third one in his young career, putting him on track to become one of the NFL greats.

Disappointed 49ers players after the game

This game, while bringing joy to the Chiefs Nation, was a great upset for 49ers fans. The 49ers were rueful with numerous injuries, a failed extra point, and a messy punt, leaving them to ponder multiple “what ifs” about the game. Overtime was also messy with players from the 49ers claiming they weren’t aware of the new rules that guaranteed both teams got possession of the ball, instead of whoever scored first. Fans left the game blaming everyone from Purdy to coach Kyle Shanahan, prompting speculation on what the future could look like for this team. Changes are already underway within the team with defensive coordinator Steve Wilks fired recently after his first year. In the end, the Chiefs once again proved to be one of the most dominant teams in the NFL, leaving all eyes on them and whoever challenges them next year as they go for a first-ever three-peat Super Bowl victory.

Half-Time Show

From left: Ludacris, Usher, Lil Jon

The Super Bowl Half-Time show is always one of the most anticipated shows of the year, bringing in big-name artists to the big game itself. With last year’s show a huge success with Rihanna’s return to the stage, becoming the most-watched half-time show in history with 121 million viewers, all eyes were on Usher to deliver for this year’s show. Usher has always been known for being a performer, and he definitely showed up with large-scale acrobatics, dances, and even roller skates, all while sporting sparkly statement outfits. While chaotic at times, the show was ultimately a nostalgic tour of all of Usher’s greatest hits, as he brought Alicia Keys (and her voice crack) and Ludacris on stage. Many, however, had their hopes too high and were disappointed after rumors that Justin Bieber would also appear on stage didn’t pan out. Whether it was good or not depends entirely on how big of an Usher fan you are, but the show was ultimately a success as it reigned in 129.3 million viewers – surpassing Rihanna’s show last year. Who do you think is going to perform at next year’s show? 

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift and Brittany Mahomes sporting custom-made jackets by Kristin Juszczyk

Listen up Brads and Chads, this one’s for you. There has been a recent strife over whether Taylor Swift is getting way too much screen time for someone who has nothing to do with the actual football game. Many argue that Taylor Swift’s constant camera recurrence “ruins the game’s culture”, turning it into a media coverage event rather than one focused on the great American football game. What’s important to note is that not only has Taylor Swift been accredited with $331.5 m worth of revenue since her first appearance at the September game between the Chiefs and the Bears, but her appearance at the games has also generated a whole new fan base for the NFL. From dads bonding with their daughters to girlfriends actually watching the game with their boyfriends instead of their eyes slowly glazing over, Taylor Swift and her relationship with Travis Kelce has curated a new way of bonding between fans new and old. Furthering the media coverage for the NFL were the countless TikToks made by the limitless middle-aged Taylor Fans who forced their husbands to twin with them in matching Chiefs Taylor and Kelce jerseys. And let’s not forget, Kristin Juszczyk, wife of 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk, created a whole company surrounding making cute clothes for WAGS of footballers. Well-known celebrities like Taylor Swift, Brittany Mahomes, and Simone Biles were seen sporting her stylish looks. Kristin’s project was so admired that she now runs a company, selling these iconic looks. All of the above shows how the NFL audience has grown exponentially over this season and definitely for the better. The Super Bowl was just the beginning of demonstrating the culmination of new and excited fans for the upcoming seasons.

Ads

The celebrity-studded “Dunkings” ad

With the Super Bowl constantly bringing in millions of viewers year after year, various companies seize the game as an opportunity to advertise, producing iconic ads filled with celebrity cameos and surprise announcements. This year it’s no different. We got Beyonce revealing a new and long-awaited country album with her Verizon ad, Dunkin’s “DunKing” ad with Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopez, Tom Brady, Matt Damon, and more (somehow), Jennifer Anniston tragically forgetting Friends costar David Schwimmer in an Uber Eats ad, and that’s only to name a few.

Michael Cera for Cera Ve

One of our personal favorites from this year’s ad lineup included Micheal Cera’s Cera Ve ad, in which he claimed to be the real creator of the popular skincare brand. To even out the silliness, however, we also got a controversial “He Gets Us” foot-washing commercial that took viewers by surprise, along with a Robert Kennedy Jr. political campaign ad for the Independent party candidate, which left most confused rather than moved. Finally, we also got the first look at some of the most anticipated movies of the year, including Wicked, Deadpool, and Wolverine.

Viewers were also taken with the numerous Temu ads broadcasted during the game. Temu is an online marketplace owned by a Chinese e-commerce company, priding itself on being able to supply consumers with just about anything at an extremely low price. It became a viral hit through TikTok this past year, but it’s just about as sketchy as you can imagine. That’s why people were shocked by the company’s ads as they were able to pull out, not one, but six high-quality ads, probably costing them tens of millions of dollars. Many were alarmed by this major marketing move, as they were concerned about American security concerning China, as well as the promotion of a company many believed to be a scam. Whether or not Temu is a safe place to buy from, it’s clear that their marketing strategy worked, given the increased numbers of searches for the Temu app during the game.

We got so many ads this year, and, unfortunately, not enough space to talk about all of them. Check out this link to view all of the ads that were aired this year. 

About the Contributors
Anusha Mahbub
Anusha Mahbub, Editor
Anusha Mahbub is an 11th-grade day student and a new addition to The Bell this year. She can be found on the volleyball court or hanging out in Ms. Murphy’s office (usually the latter). She’s so excited to explore her love of writing this year and share her interests with the community.
Aubrey McDougal
Aubrey McDougal, Editor
Aubrey McDougal is an 11th-grade day student who joined The Bell in her sophomore year. She is a part of the Soccer Academy and the Varsity Soccer team at St. Stephen's. Her favorite classes are English and Photography.