When discussing the latest edition of the Super Bowl, what is arguably the most important aspect to discuss is its growth in popularity, especially in streaming. This is because it is the best representation of the astronomical growth that the sport is having. The best examples of this can be seen by the fact that this year there were 113 million viewers in cable television, which is the highest number recorded since 2015. Additionally, there were more than 7 million viewers across all digital platforms, which is an increase of 108% from 2020, and the highest recorded value ever. Furthermore, if you exclude who only watched the half-time show, there were 120 million viewers when combining digital and cable platforms, totaling in the highest recorded value ever.
This year's edition of the Super Bowl, happened between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles, which were each the number one ranked teams in their respective conferences, being the first time this has happened since the 2017/2018 season. They are both extremely complete teams, with depth in almost every position (especially the Philadelphia Eagles), and they also had a plethora of different stars.
The Philadelphia Eagles lead the league with six players nominated for the Pro Bowl (the equivalent to the NBA’s All-Star game), their quarterback was in the race for the MVP (Most Valuable Player), until he got injured, and their coach is a serious candidate for the Coach of the Year award.
On the other hand, Kansas City had the player who ultimately won the MVP award, and is commonly referred to as the best active player, and the face of the league in Patrick Mahomes. They also have Andy Reed, who is one of the greatest coaches ever, and Travis Kelce, who is in the conversation for best Tight End ever.
The Game Itself:
There were countless different reasons why the game was amazing, and lived up to all of the anticipation it had. The first one is that it was extremely close throughout the match, with the tie being broken eight seconds before the match finished. The second was that it was an incredibly high-scoring match, with the score finishing 38-35, thus resulting in this game being the highest scoring Super Bowl since 2018, and the second highest scoring since 1996. Furthermore, it felt like all players played some of the best matches they had ever played, and an abundance of different amazing plays happened throughout the game. In the end, the Kansas City Chiefs, who managed to keep the score close but were behind the majority of the match, managed to pull the comeback and win the game.
The main critique about this game was the awful field used. This happened because the NFL chose to try a new method of creating and cultivating the playing surface for the Super Bowl. This resulted in the grass being grown close to the stadium, and after it was installed two weeks before the event, it was manicured and rolled out every day until the game. This resulted in the league spending upwards of U$800,000. However this resulted in the players constantly slipping and sliding everywhere, even when they were celebrating. This is horrible, because it is the biggest game of the year, and far from the place to test new technologies.
A minor complaint is about the refereeing. Whilst it usually is immoral and unprincipled to complain about such things, it was awful throughout the entirety of the postseason, and especially in the two most recent games (Bengals-Chiefs and the Super Bowl). It got to the point where accusations were constantly being made that the NFL was rigged. In the Super Bowl itself, it happened because with less than two minutes remaining, the referees called a foul on the Philadelphia Eagles, basically concluding the game, since it resulted in the Eagles receiving the ball with eight seconds left instead of the one minute and forty eight seconds that would otherwise have happened. Whilst it probably would have resulted in the same winner, and most likely the same score, it was an extremely underwhelming end to an otherwise amazing game.