For the past 53 years, the NFL has celebrated the closing of their season with the Super Bowl, a title match between the two greatest teams of that season. However, it seems that the Super Bowl may be running its course. This year’s match up of the New England Patriots versus the Los Angeles Rams was the lowest rated Super Bowl ever, and it is clear to see why.
Even in the lead up to the game, it was hard to be excited. This was the third Patriots Super Bowl in a row and 9th in the last 17 years. Patriots fatigue is growing strong for anyone not in the fan base. There is no excitement seeing the same team win over and over again.
Their opponent left much to be desired as well. While the Rams had an impressive 13 – 3 season, they lacked those star players that people could root for. Their only true star, Todd Gurley, had spent the last two playoff games on the bench, replaced by the perennial journeyman, C.J. Anderson. Further, the Rams have a very small fan base. This is only their second year in LA, after the team moved from St. Louis where they had been for almost 20 years. Even during the regular season, the Rams’ home games were filled mostly with fans of the opposing team.
As well, it did not feel like the Rams had truly earned their way into the Super Bowl. During the NFC Conference Game, it was tied 20 – 20 with 1:40 to go. The Saints passed on 3rd down to Alvin Kamara, but the pass was broken up when a Rams’ defender tackled Kamara before the ball was even near him. This is a clear defensive penalty and should have resulted in a first and goal for the Saints. They could easily have run out the clock and kick a game-winning field goal to send them to the Super Bowl. However, the refs decided not to call the penalty, the Rams got the ball back, and the rest is history. Sports News site 538, who calculate game-winning percentages, had the Saints at a 98 percent chance to win had the proper call been made.
This made it hard to root for either team. The Rams had no fans to root for them, no draw for neutral fans to cheer them on and most people did not even believe that the team deserved to be there. The Patriots had overstayed their welcome and no neutral fan would want to cheer on a team going for its 6th title win when almost a third of the franchises have one or less.
This all would not have mattered if the game had been fun to watch, but it was not. This was the lowest scoring Super Bowl ever, with a final mark of 13 – 3. And even that seems too generous for the game. The game was 3 – 0 going into the half and the first (and only) touchdown was scored with only seven minutes left to go in the game. There was a total of 23 drives during the game. Fourteen of those were punts, three were turnovers and two were missed field goals. That’s 83 percent of the game ending in nothing.
Even with all this, there are still other things people can enjoy able the Super Bowl. Many casual fans like watching the commercials or the halftime show. However, both of these were complete disasters as well. The commercials were nothing special and lacked in quality compared to previous years. However, nothing was as bad as the halftime show. Maroon 5, well past their prime, tried to be entertaining. And by try, I mean Adam Levine gave about 50 percent energy and tried to make up for it by taking off clothes.
It could have been saved though. A vocal online presence had been campaigning to get the song "Sweet Victory" from an episode of the cartoon, “SpongeBob,” performed during the show. With the death of Stephen Hillenberg, the creator of “SpongeBob,” it seemed like a natural tribute.
The NFL made it seem like this was going to happen. The voice actor for Squidward, a character of the show, was going to announce the halftime show. As well, in a promotional ad, a clip from the episode of “SpongeBob” was used. Then, during the show, it happened. The feed cut to the episode of SpongeBob and the opening fanfare began for "Sweet Victory." But, quicker than it had begun, “SICKO MODE” began playing as Travis Scott came barreling into the stadium on an asteroid destroying any hopes people had for a good show; a perfect metaphor for the game.
I have been a fan of the NFL for a while now. I love watching the Super Bowl as there is always some amazing play or storyline that I will never forget. From the Saints’ onside kick to start the second half, to Cam Newton’s game ending fumble, to Nick Fole’s Philly Special. All great memories of fantastic games.
This Super Bowl had nothing. There is not a single play or moment that I can remember from this game as spectacular. Trying to recount this game, even a few weeks later, is difficult. This truly was the most abysmal Super Bowl ever played.
PJ Seeberger is a staff writer.