Yeah, yeah, you saw the game. A five-point underdog won by 14. It was a defensive showdown with only two offensive touchdowns. The grizzled old veteran quarterback triumphed over the league’s controversial young gun.
You got all that, right?
But how about the music? Or ads? Or some of those sideline and postgame moments?
For the not-so-pigskin-inclined, here’s a rundown of what made Super Bowl 50 a moment in pop culture as much as it is a football game.
Lady Gaga kicked off the game, so let’s start with her “Star-Spangled Banner.” The popular word used on social media is “slayed,” though “destroyed,” “owned,” “merc’d” and “killed” — all good things, mind you — were also common descriptions. It had soul. It had heart. Her eyelids matched her shimmering pantsuit. And, it would appear, the rendition convinced a few stragglers she has some of the best pipes in the business.
Not to be outdone, Coldplay, Bruno Mars and Beyonce performed on a psychedelic stage to the crowd’s delight. They all belted out their own hits — including Coldplay’s “Adventure of a Lifetime,” Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk” and Bey’s new single, “Formation” — but the real treat came when the trio joined forces for Coldplay’s “Fix You/Up & Up” medley.
Not even Queen B taking a tumble could mar the moment.
By the way, were you one of the ones mocking Bey’s getup before realizing it was a Michael Jackson tribute? Mmmm-hmmm, you shouldn’t be so snarky.
Some fine shilling
A prudish giant squirrel, a tortilla chip-loving newborn, The Incredible Hulk v. the Ant Man tussle, Christopher Walken voicing a sock puppet, Steve Harvey showing he CAN read from a cue card, and a bridesmaid pulling an Odell Beckham Jr. with the bouquet (OBJ says she was out of bounds).
As usual, the Super Bowl is a time for advertising agencies and corporate marketing department to show off their best stuff. Also as usual, a few of the commercials provided comic relief to the very serious matter of determining the NFL champion.
Sure, Quicken earned a little ire with its push-button mortgage commercial, which some viewers felt was insensitive given the 2008 financial crisis, but c’mon, most of the ads were clever, or at least cute.
Snickers put Willem Dafoe in a white dress and heels, standing on an subway grate, a la Marilyn Monroe. You might be a doorjamb if that didn’t put a smile on your face.
There were plenty, of course. Always are. But perhaps none compares to Eli Manning’s stone-cold stoic reaction to his brother’s Denver Broncos scoring a fourth-quarter touchdown that essentially sealed their victory.
A little brotherly rivalry at play? After all, the younger Eli is often presented as the little, less-talented sibling To Peyton Manning, despite having one more Super Bowl ring than big brother. Until Sunday, that is.
Speaking of irked quarterbacks, what was Cam Newton thinking walking out of the postgame news conference? Surely those reporters couldn’t have been more annoying than game MVP Von Miller, who seemed to be camped out in the Panthers quarterback’s face for most of the game.
For a man who’s been dabbing and dancing all year, you’d think Newton would be a good sport about losing to one of the great defenses of all time. Maybe he would’ve been better off having a good cry like his teammate Josh Norman?
Yes, Norman’s sobbing has produced a meme, which shouldn’t outweigh his inarguably classy move of saluting Manning near the game’s end.
One for the aged
Broncos and Peyton Manning fans got the storybook ending they were hoping for. Manning was overheard after the playoff victory over the New England Patriots telling opposing coach Bill Belichik that this might be his “last rodeo.”
If so, he’ll follow in the footsteps of Broncos general manager and Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway, who went out on top himself.
Despite a subpar performance — he completed 57% of his passes for a measly 141 yards, no touchdowns and an interception — Manning still made his mark on the game.
He edged past Brett Favre to become the winningest quarterback in NFL history. And at 39 (with a birthday on the horizon in March), he is not only about a decade younger than the Super Bowl himself, but he’s the oldest quarterback ever to start in the big game.