It’s been over a week since Super Bowl LV concluded on the field at Raymond James Stadium. With The Echo publishing on Mondays now, there’s a good chance that if you’re reading this, you’ve read just about every single Super Bowl take in the last week.
“Tom Brady is the greatest winner in the history of team sports,” ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky said on Get Up.
“Has Brady separated his legacy from Belichick with win? ” Fox Sports’ Nick Wright asked.
“Mahomes has been way overhyped bc of WOW factor,” Skip Bayless tweeted.
There’s a good chance some of those hold truth.
But the biggest takeaway for me was this — Super Bowl LV may have been the most disappointing Super Bowl that I’ve watched.
Think about the most memorable play from the game. Even the Super Bowls which are viewed as generally boring are either close late in the game or had a season-defining moment.
Super Bowl LII, between Tom Brady’s New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams, was at least close, despite the low-scoring affair.
Super Bowl XLVIII, a game generally remembered for the Seattle Seahawks utterly suffocating the Denver Broncos record-breaking offense, was chock-full of memorable moments. Specifically the first play of the game going for a safety, and the “defense wins championships” narrative gaining more credibility.
Maybe last week’s game wasn’t as bad as those two, but it was infinitely more disappointing.
The NFL never needs more money, but if there ever was a year to get the ideal Super Bowl matchup, this was it. COVID-19 kept fans out of the stands, for the most part, and while the league’s owners weren't hurting, getting Mahomes vs. Brady was a legendary marketing opportunity.
The two weeks prior to the showdown were spent hammering home the age of Brady, the dominance of Mahomes and the symbolic nature of Super Bowl LV.
Did you know that Antoine Winfield Sr., father of Tampa Bay’s Antoine Winfield Jr, played against Brady in college? Odds are, if you’re an NFL fan, you’ve seen that anywhere from 15 to 20 times this season.
As I sat down to watch the Super Bowl, I was filled with intrigue and something that I rarely feel if not watching one of “my” teams: excitement.
By the middle of the fourth quarter, I was off the couch and working on homework, not sure what I had just watched.
The play that stuck with me from the game was an incompletion from the early fourth quarter. Mahomes had thrown a dart to running back Darrel Williams while nearly parallel to the ground and scrambling for his life on fourth down, and Williams bobbled away any chance Kansas City had.
To me, that was the defining moment of the game, because it was the only time that the game felt as intriguing as it was billed to be. It was the only time I felt like the game had legitimate stakes.
Kansas City’s offense had looked lethargic, possibly due to missing both their starting tackles, and Tampa Bay was putting the Chiefs away slowly. Brady was good, but I was still left hoping for that defining moment.
Ask yourself this, what play from this game would go into a “Super Bowl Greatest Moments” montage on YouTube? There isn’t one that I can think of.
Blowouts in the Super Bowl aren’t fun. Slow, plodding games aren’t fun. Both can be redeemed. A slow blowout in a game that was billed to define both the past and future of the NFL? Nothing about that is particularly exciting, or fun.