1) The New England Patriots won… again
To even regularly compete for Super Bowls over such a long period, given the measures put in place by the NFL to ensure competitive parity, is like defying gravity.
The Patriots just defy gravity every year and with Tom Brady coming back for another season at age 42 and Bill Belichick showing no signs of being done at 66, there’s little reason to believe this pairing won’t be back at the big dance next year in Miami.
Brady and Belichick now have so many records between them that we couldn’t even fit them here but the key stats from Sunday night were these: Patriots 13-3 Rams.
The Patriots’ defensive scheme confused the Rams’ young quarterback, Jared Goff, and turned one of the league’s most explosive offenses into a team that struggled to even kick a field goal. It was a coaching masterclass that was executed - just about - by New England’s players.
2) Gladys Knight rocked it
While there has been plenty of controversy over the length of her national anthem, with bookmakers taking differing views on exactly how long Ms Knight sang for, the soul legend was one of the few performers at Super Bowl 53 that wasn’t an absolute disaster.
Maroon 5 were such an unpopular half-time show act that the traditional press conference given by performers was scrapped in anticipation of too many awkward questions. They wanted the music to do the talking, they said, but this wasn’t talking that anybody wanted to hear.
A curious mish-mash of purple lighting and a topless Adam Levine made for a pretty forgettable half-time show and one of the worst in a few years.
The best thing that could be said about it was that it won’t live long in the memory but its tedium will be overshadowed by the record-breaking, low-scoring nature of the game that sandwiched Maroon 5.
3) Patrick Chung lifted the Lombardi trophy with a broken arm
Patriots safety Patrick Chung had to leave the game in the first half with an injury.
Later on, we would discover that the defensive back had a fracture in his arm and he wouldn’t be able to return.
The Patriots survived Chung’s absence and managed to grind out a win, but Chung wasn’t heading to hospital to get his broken arm checked out anytime soon, oh no.
Chung was there with a sling on, celebrating through the grimaces as New England won their sixth Super Bowl of the Tom Brady era, Chung’s third.
4) Julian Edelman won the MVP
Some might say it’s a bad look for the NFL that a player who missed the first four games of the season after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs would come on so strong in the playoffs and win the Super Bowl MVP award.
Fortunately for the league, things move so fast in this sport that the beginning of the season might as well have been a decade ago.
Everything we thought we knew in September has been dissolved, reconstituted and reimagined in the intervening months and all the way back then we believed Edelman to be a declining slot receiver whose suspension made him an afterthought.
When it mattered in the biggest sports event on American soil, though, Edelman was at the centre of the action. Brady lasered several passes into his chest en route to victory, key short-yardage plays that kept the chains moving and continued to burnish Edelman’s legendary post-season record.
The diminutive receiver is verging on hall-of-fame status for his playoff numbers alone, as well as his handful of rings. Those four autumn weeks off might be the greatest gift this league ever gave him, and it’s given him a lot.
5) The commercials did their thing
Serena Williams appeared in an advert for dating app Bumble, Game of Thrones collided with Bud Light and John Legend was on ‘stinky booty duty’ for Pampers.
Yes, the Super Bowl commercials were as unexpected as usual.
While the best of them might have been the centenary advert from the NFL itself, acted out by a host of the league’s former and present stars, the Washington Post’s effort also stood out for its message.
For most people, though, it will be adverts like Burger King’s ‘Eat Like Andy’ that are talked about throughout Monday and this week.
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