Super Bowl: Why New England Patriots vs Los Angeles Rams was one of the worst ever

From the football itself to Maroon 5's 'dynamically flat' half-time show, the 53rd edition of the Super Bowl was one to forget

Samuel Lovett@samueljlovett
Monday 04 February 2019 13:05
Adam Levine strips off during Maroon 5's Super Bowl performance

The football was woeful

The fact there was just 16 points on the final scoreboard tells you everything you need to know. This year’s Super Bowl, as the lowest-scoring title game in history, was an absolute slog.

Compared to results down the years, yesterday’s showdown stands as a major outlier in the NFL’s offense-first era. The Patriots and Eagles combined to score 74 points at last year’s Super Bowl. Before that, the Patriots and Falcons notched 62 points between them. Even recently lower-scoring games, between the Panthers and Broncos in 2016 and the Giants and Patriots in 2008, saw 30 points scored.

The stats behind Sunday’s game paint the same agonisingly boring picture. No other Super Bowl has seen the teams combine for fewer than 5 red zone plays. The Rams are the 2nd team in Super Bowl history to fail to score a touchdown (1971 Dolphins in Super Bowl VI). Twenty-seven of the Rams’ 60 plays went for 0 or negative yards (45%). Etc, etc, etc.

At this point, I'd like to draw attention to this outstanding tweet.

Seems to sum it up nicely.

The Patriots won. Again...

There are many things that divide America but, when it comes to the Patriots, the nation stands largely united in its hatred for the Boston-based franchise. From pure, plain jealously to their automated style of play, there are numerous reasons to despite the team. This resentment has become so prevalent, and widespread, that the Patriots themselves have started to embrace this hate as a badge of honour. If anything, this made the sight of Tom Brady lifting the sixth Super Bowl of his career even more galling. An awful outcome deserving of an awful game of football.

The half-time show

I’ll be honest. I didn’t watch it. I left the room to rub sand in my eyes. It was a long, painful night.

So, yes, when it comes to throwing scorn at the half-time shittery that was Maroon 5 I’m not that well qualified to join in with the fun. As such, here are a few of the most damning reviews from the internet.

The New York Times described Maroon 5’s performance as “dynamically flat, mushy at the edges, worthy of something much worse than derision: a shrug”.

It added: “In a year in which the Super Bowl halftime show has become a referendum on political mindfulness, in which the N.F.L. has become a staging ground for conversations about racial justice in America, Maroon 5 was a cynically apt choice. It is neutral, inoffensive, sleek without promising too much.” Burn.

Tom Brady...winning...again...

The Guardian was similarly scathing in its assessment “As far as half-time performances go,” it wrote, “the show itself was a pretty toothless, cookie-cutter affair, marked by the requisite pyrotechnics and some floating lanterns as Adam and co ran down a list of radio hits.”

The Washington Post kept up this theme. Describing Maroon 5 “as a sanitary wipe of a rock band”, the newspaper wrote that Levine and co “sidestepped controversy and posterity” before “vanishing into the Georgia night.”

And here’s a final gem courtesy of the Atlantic: “Possibly the most distinctive voice in Maroon 5’s halftime show was Drake’s, pre-recorded and piped in, praising Xanax as a sleep aid. The most recognizable face was that of SpongeBob Squarepants, who popped up on viewers’ screens just before a cartoon comet hit Maroon 5’s set, sending it into polite spouts of patio-furniture flames.”

Any redeeming features?

Yes, actually. I'm glad you asked. For the first time ever, two male cheerleaders appeared at a Super Bowl. Napoleon Jinnies and Quinton Peron made history when they stood on the sidelines with the LA Rams during America's most-watched TV event.

Napoleon Jinnies peforms for the Rams during last night's Super Bowl

The Rams duo became the first male cheerleaders in the NFL earlier this season, along with Jesse Hernandez of the New Orleans Saints.

Every cloud, and whatnot.

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