Author: Olivia Branan
Feb. 3 marked the day of the 2019 Super Bowl, a game between the National Football Conference champion, the Los Angeles Rams, and the American Football Conference champion, the New England Patriots. The heavily-anticipated match, taking place at the Mercedes-Benz arena in Atlanta, Georgia., generated buzz for months, and along with the hype a great deal of controversy.
Before this year, the Rams had been to the Super Bowl a total of three times, with a single win in the 1999 season. Meanwhile, the Patriots were no strangers to the stress of the Super Bowl; this year marked their 11th trip to the game, the most in NFL history. The team is also followed around by the ghost of a 2015 controversy: Deflategate. During the 2014-2015 AFC Championships, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, was accused of deflating the game’s footballs, leading to a victory against the Indianapolis Colts. Deflategate has sparked retaliation against Brady and his team, which sticks with them to this day.
The Super Bowl Halftime Show is often regarded as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for even the highest-paid performers; musicians that performed this 2019 included Maroon 5, Big Boi and Travis Scott. However, artists such as Rihanna and Cardi B reportedly rejected the offer in light of the movement started by Colin Kaepernick, a former member of the San Francisco 49ers who began kneeling during the National Anthem as a peaceful protest against police brutality towards African-Americans. The NFL announced that players would be fined for participating generated even more backlash. Kaepernick’s supporters have heavily criticized the performers, especially Travis Scott, who played this Super Bowl Halftime Show.
Super Bowl 2019, with its already enormous buzz, was a game of many firsts. The L.A. Rams made history by bringing in two male cheerleaders, Napoleon Jinnies and Quinton Peron, the first two to ever appear in a Super Bowl game.
Jinnies told USA Today, “If it’s inspiring people, helping motivate them not just in dance but in any goal, I’ll take it...My hope is that this is going to become the new normal.”
As for the game itself, bettors, who favored the Patriots to win by 2.5 points, turned out to be right. However, with the Rams at a winning record of 13-3 and the Patriots 11-5, the odds of winning seemed possible for both teams. This year being Tom Brady’s 9th Super Bowl, the seasoned quarterback was very much expected to retire with a 2019 Super Bowl trophy. The Rams, with their continuously strong offense this season, failed to make ends meet this 2019 in the lowest scoring Super Bowl ever. The game was a close call this year, but New England came out in the end with their sixth Super Bowl title after a 13-3 win against Los Angeles.