Super Bowl LVII: Culture Review

Mariah Gaines, Charles Sweeney (Juniors)

Super Bowl LVII was played on February 12, 2023. The Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles faced each other at the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The 67,827 people in attendance watched the Chiefs defeat the Eagles 38-35. 

Per usual, the 60 minutes of gameplay was broken up by notable commercials and the highly anticipated halftime performance. To many non-football fans, these moments are what entice them to tune into the game at all. The Eagle Times is no sports network. We do, however, feel more than qualified to share our thoughts on the halftime show and commercials. 

On September 25, 2022, the National Football League (NFL) announced that pop-icon, Rihanna, would be this year’s halftime performer! “Rihanna is a once in a generation artist who has been a cultural force throughout her career,” the NFL said in a statement. Rihanna was asked to perform at the 2019 Super Bowl, however, she turned down the offer in protest of the NFL’s treatment towards Colin Kaepernick. 

The announcement came as a surprise because Rihanna hasn’t dropped a full album of her own since 2016. People speculated that she might release something new in between the time of her announcement and the Super Bowl, however, that did not happen. Instead, Rihanna seamlessly performed a medley of her top hits from over the years. 

Credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

One would not have been able to tell this was Rihanna’s first live performance in 5 years. She spent a chunk of her performance suspended in the air on a moving platform and the rest dancing amongst the 80 back-up dancers. Rihanna wore a monochromatic red outfit that revealed what looked to be a baby-bump. This was later confirmed, meaning that Rihanna actually performed on one of the world’s biggest stages for 13 minutes while pregnant.

Rihanna took a refreshing approach to the show. Insead of the flashy and intricate halftime performances we have seen in recent years past, Rihanna’s performance was nonchalant and effortlessly entertaining. There were no special guests or dramatic changes in tone or energy. Rihanna let her iconic music speak for itself. 

Admittedly, the Super Bowl commercials, as a general rule, aren’t as anticipated or exciting as the halftime show, but this year the commercials certainly were interesting. As usual, there were countless stars appearing in funny, strange, or in some cases, just plain terrible commercials, and The Eagle Times decided that it would be interesting to go over some of our favorites (and least favorites) from this year’s big game.

Credit: Frito-Lay

This year’s commercials were a mixed bag, but we feel that three stand above the others. The first is the Doritos ad featuring Jack Harlow and a cameo from Elton John, where music and just about everything becomes conquered by the triangle, including the musical instrument. Very strange, but entertaining and fun, which is the Super Bowl commercial sweet spot. The GMC EV ad was another favorite here, showing Will Ferrel traveling between a few very recognizable franchises, like Stranger Things and Squid Game, simultaneously doing his usual nonsense in a very entertaining commercial. Of course, we also had to mention the Breaking Bad commercial for Popcorners, with some fun cameos and references for the many fans of the massive show.

Credit: Frito-Lay

Quite a few commercials were odd or just plain bad. The baby wedding commercial—that in all honesty we still don’t know what it was advertising—and the rabbit commercials from Tubi were a little disconcerting. One ad for TurboTax had an old man (very poorly) dancing in front of a fountain. Why? We don’t know, and we suspect that neither do the people that made these commercials.

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