clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Worst Super Bowl Ever

New, comments

Even the ads were bad. Even TOM BRADY was bad.

Pepsi Super Bowl LIII Halftime Show Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

Well, that sucked. Don’t even try to pose as a hardcore football nerd by saying “I prefer a good defensive battle.” No one believes you, and SB 53 wasn’t that anyway.

This game stank from the coin toss to Greg Zuerlein’s missed field goal — the second shank of the game in a dome. The halftime show was the worst ever — seriously, the Up With People medleys of 20-year old pop songs were more entertaining. Even the commercials sucked.

Gritless Jared Goff choking massively on the biggest stage shouldn’t have surprised anyone. All season long, Sean McVay has been bringing in Johnny Hekker to throw key fourth down passes on fake punts, instead of giving Goff the ball; that’s how much he trusts his “franchise QB” in clutch situations. It’s now a real question whether the Rams will even extend Goff past his rookie contract, which is all good news for Niners fans.

Even so, the intense failure of Sean McVay’s “genius” offense was astounding. 260 yards total. TWO rushing first downs, with both Todd Gurley and C.J. Anderson and supposedly the best offensive line in football. 19 for 38 passing, with most of them check downs (4.7 yards average). This was New England’s lowest point total in 147 Super Bowl appearances — and their largest margin of victory.

The real surprise was Tom Brady also looking rattled and missing throws. The Rams defensive line is tough but it certainly didn’t dominate; Brady was only sacked once. Aaron Donald apologized to fans after the game, and Ndamukong Suh seemed to wear himself out after a frenzied first quarter.

Maybe Brady is finally starting to feel his age; that would explain his frightened look. It was always stupid and cocky for him to challenge Time itself to a fight. (Bovada rates Brady as a 27 to 1 underdog in the Tom vs. Time battle.)

I’m not even sure what Tom winning would look like. Does he collapse space-time into just space through the sheer force of his will? I imagine it’s something sadder and duller, like this scenario:

Brady doesn’t seem like the kind of guy to gracefully quit at the top of his game, even though right now is the perfect moment to do that. Dude has won a ring more than one out of every 3 seasons in his career. It’s not getting better, pal.

All that can happen is a series of gradually declining seasons for lots of money he doesn’t need. If Bill Belichick hangs it up, Brady’s NFL future could get really ugly, like the sad tail end of Muhammad Ali’s boxing career.

The Black Eyed Peas and Coldplay are the only people that halftime show made happy, because they’re no longer atop the discussion of “All Time Worst SB Halftime Shows.” Levine was a great poster boy for the truth that “more tattoos don’t automatically give you more personality.”

I’ve made my peace with glittery pop stars (e.g. Bruno Mars put on a great show), but if you’re not going to write any songs or show any chops, you’d better glitter and you damn well better dance during your friggin’ halftime show. How do you be a celebrity pop star and not dance, or hire dancers? Even bad ones — that show desperately needed a Left Shark.

FFS, their only relevant hit was “Move Like Jagger,” who is 75, and Adam Levine couldn’t even hit that low bar. Everyone knew his band was talentless, but at least try to put on a show. Bring in wild animals. Little kids in cute outfits. Do some ice skating while you sing.

Any gimmick would have been appreciated. Their budget was unlimited, and the only trick they had was fire jets? You need to be more entertaining than a Mongolian grill.

I’m struggling to find things to like about that whole “spectacle.” The John Malkovich opening clip (with Peyton Manning playing the fool) was funny. Two ex-Niners got rings (despite Trent Brown’s potentially disastrous hands-to-the-face penalty with the game on the line), and Brian Hoyer even had a starring role of sorts, by embodying Goff’s cluelessness:

Budweiser’s surprise attack on Big Corn Syrup was exciting and unexpected. They cut right to the chase: if corporations run everything, why shouldn’t they openly fight for power? This foretells a future of Brand Warlords, with the Kingdom of Co’Cola centered in Atlanta bumping up against the Halliburton Empire in Houston, but I’m safely inside the walls of Nike Nation so bring it on.

Ultimately, this Super Bowl was good only for Niners fans looking forward to the rivalry with the Rams over the next few years. LA is exposed, Goff’s weaknesses were spotlighted and his confidence will be shaky in any clutch situation. Patriot’s linebackers coach (and effectively, their defensive coordinator) Brian Flores drew a template for playing through McVay’s motion trickery, and will be justly rewarded with a head coaching job in Miami.

Big pieces of the Rams’ defense will be lost to free agency (Suh, maybe Marcus Peters). How badly is Gurley injured, and how pissed will he be about his benching? Left tackle Andrew Whitworth is 37, and said after the loss that “At the end of the day you all die...” Lighten up, Sunshine, most of us have at least a few weeks left. Years, even.

The bottom line is that the Rams are stumbling out of that debacle and into their divisional rivalry with a questionable, gritless QB, a collection of aging stars and a gimmicky offense that just got exposed. Hey, I’m starting to like this Super Bowl better already.