The first weekend in February is among the most anticipated weekends of the year for one reason: the Super Bowl.
This past Sunday, the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers carried two compelling narratives into Super Bowl LIV. On one side, there was Head Coach Andy Reid for the Chiefs who is regarded by some as one of the greatest coaches to have never won a Super Bowl. On the other side was 49ers’ Head Coach Kyle Shanahan, who was known as one of the league’s most innovative play-callers.
But in the end, there could only be one winner. Reid and the Chiefs came back from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter to win 31-20 over the 49ers.
While the game itself was quite exciting, plenty of other factors — like the halftime show and commercials — enhanced the fun. Below are some of the best and worst moments from Super Bowl LIV.
Best Touchdown — 49ers’ Kyle Juszczyk
Down by seven in the second quarter, 49ers’ quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo found fullback Kyle Juszczyk barely open near the endzone. Juszczyk outmaneuvered the grasp of the Chiefs’ defense and made a glorious dive into the endzone to tie the score. Not only was it an impressive play, but Juszczyk was the first fullback to score in the Super Bowl in 17 years. Though the 49ers weren’t able to pull off the victory, the squad still had one of the game’s best plays.
Best Drive — Chiefs’ Penultimate Possession in the Fourth Quarter
This drive, with less than five minutes in regulation, propelled the Chiefs to victory in Super Bowl LIV. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes led the team in a 65-yard march down the field that ended with a quick pass to running back Damien Williams, who ran the ball five yards for a touchdown. While the Chiefs’ touchdown a few minutes before this drive took the team out of their scoring slump, this 65-yard drive sealed the deal for the Chiefs and proved that their momentum was not dying. Even though Mahomes threw two interceptions earlier in the game, his clutch gene came out when it counted the most. While he was well-deserving of the Super Bowl MVP, he wouldn’t have been my pick.
The “Should Have Been” MVP — Chiefs’ Damien Williams
With 104 rushing yards, 29 receiving yards and two touchdowns, Williams was the unstoppable force of the irresistible force paradox question. Early on, when Mahomes wasn’t performing well, Williams kept the Chiefs in the game with his quick jukes and unorthodox play. On his 38-yard touchdown run at the end of the game, Williams was supposed to go inside the block. Instead, he went outside, following fullback Anthony Sherman, which ultimately accommodated the final glorious play. In fact, Williams’ unique style of play helped him become the second undrafted player in NFL history to run over 100 yards in the Super Bowl. Overall, Williams was there and ready to compete during the entire game, unlike Mahomes, which is why the former better deserves the MVP.
Best Catch — 49ers’ George Kittle
It seemed as though the 49ers had the game in the bag when they were up 10 points with 11 minutes to go in the fourth quarter. However, 49ers’ tight end George Kittle felt no such security, giving the game his all as he made an incredible catch after a lousy throw from Garoppolo. Kittle snagged the ball just milliseconds before it was to hit the ground, securing a first down for the 49ers. Although the 49ers got complacent and took their foot off the gas, it was refreshing to see Kittle continue to fight until the end.
Best Celebration — 49ers’ Family Photo
The fourth quarter was home to many of these categories, including the best celebration. While looking for Chiefs’ wide receiver Tyreek Hill, Mahomes threw the ball short and into the arms of 49ers’ defensive back Tarvarius Moore. After the interception — the second for Mahomes at this point — Moore led his teammates down to the other end zone and gathered the group for a “family photo” type shot. Some players were sitting and others were standing in the back, with hands up in celebration like one big, happy family. It was a simple yet powerful celebration that topped all others during this Super Bowl — save the halftime performance.
Halftime Performance — 7/10
While there were some flaws in their performance, Jennifer Lopez and Shakira stole the show on Sunday and trampled many previous Super Bowl halftime performances. They combined vigor, choreography and vocals to create an entertaining break from football. However, some aspects of the performance diminished its overall rating. J. Lo’s daughter, Emme, made an appearance during the show, singing “Let’s Get Loud,” originally a Gloria Estefan song that J. Lo covered in her debut album. Though Emme had an unbelievable voice, it was not the show many fans tuned in to watch. J. Lo and Shakira’s outfits were very bold wardrobe choices and strongly contrasted the “family-friendly” vibe that Emme symbolized. J. Lo evidently capitalized on this opportunity to put Emme in the spotlight, and though J. Lo will definitely win “Mom of the Year” from Emme, she does not have my vote.
Best Commercial — Google’s ‘Help with the Little Things’
I have personally never found the various personal assistant devices helpful, but Google’s commercial made me reconsider my opinions. The commercial featured the voice of an elderly man with trouble remembering important information, including details about his presumably late wife, Loretta. He would ask Google to display images from different events and remind him of certain facts about Loretta. The commercial was no doubt a tear-jerker, and promoted Google’s many uses even for “the little things.” The commercial was very clever and well-written. However, Cheetos’ “Can’t Touch This” commercial deserves special recognition for their comedic pun with the song’s performer, MC Hammer.
Worst Commercial — Tide ‘Laundry Later’
At first, I was excited to see actor Charlie Day promoting Tide, but it felt like the commercial was never going to end. During the segment, Day worries about a sauce stain on his shirt while the Super Bowl is playing on the TV in the background. His presumed wife continuously tells him to relax, as the laundry can be done later with the effective Tide Pods. The concept “Laundry Later” is clever, as it highlights how Tide Pods can remove stains long after they even got there. However, the commercial lost touch with the main message, including a quick Bud Light throwback midway through. The idea was innovative, but the execution was poor.