February 12, 2024
After a grueling five months, the 2023 NFL season finally came to an end on Sunday night. Millions of football enthusiasts around the world watched as the Kansas City Chiefs won their third Super Bowl since 2019 with a 25-22 victory over the San Francisco 49ers at Allegiant Stadium.
San Francisco wideout Jauan Jennings had quite the showing despite being far from the biggest name involved in the festivities. The former 2020 seventh-rounder was somewhat quiet this year, recording only 19 receptions for 265 yards and a touchdown during the regular season. But sometimes it’s the least expected players who step up in the playoffs and that was the case with Jennings in Las Vegas. The 49ers drew up quite the trick play while they were up 3-0 in the second quarter. Quarterback Brock Purdy took a snap but immediately lateraled it over to Jennings, who threw it to running back Christian McCaffrey for the 21-yard passing touchdown. While it wasn’t quite on the level of the infamous Philly Special, the fact that Jennings pulled off the trick play should still be celebrated. It isn’t easy to perform on football’s biggest stage as it is, so one can imagine how tough it is for a non-QB to throw a TD pass at the Super Bowl. Unfortunately, the 49ers couldn’t capitalize on Jenning’s heroics.
NFL enthusiasts had high hopes for Super Bowl LVIII due to the sheer number of offensive superstars involved. Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Brock Purdy, Deebo Samuel, Isiah Pacheco, Christian McCaffrey, and Brandon Aiyuk are some of the best players at their positions, hence why it wasn’t a shock that some people were taking the Over on the 47.5-point total. But instead of a shootout to begin the game, fans were treated to one of the most boring starts in recent Super Bowl history. For starters, the 49ers and Chiefs didn’t combine for a single point in the first quarter. Things only marginally improved in the second frame when San Francisco scored 10 points to open up the quarter before Kansas City kicked a 28-yard field goal with 20 seconds left for a total of 13 combined points. The offense ramped up as the game went on, but that first half left a bad taste in a lot of people’s mouths. While two strong defenses can partially be blamed for the lack of offense early on, the 49ers and Chiefs’ sloppy performances didn’t help.
Everyone who knows anything about the Super Bowl knows that the commercials are one of the most popular parts. There were several great commercials this year, however, one clearly stands above the rest: the Dunkin’ commercial starring Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez. The commercial opens with Afflect and rapper Jack Harlow showing up at a studio where Lopez is recording a new album. Upon his arrival, Affleck shows up with the DunKings; a group that features multiple Boston-area icons like Matt Damon and Tom Brady. Lopez, unsurprisingly, isn’t impressed by the performance and tells the DunKings to leave (except for Brady). It’s the perfect Super Bowl commercial — simple yet hilarious. It also shows that Affleck and Lopez aren’t afraid to poke fun at themselves while also showcasing Brady’s comedy chops. It had a little bit of something for everyone and that’s all you can ask for when it comes to Super Bowl commercials.
While several of the new commercials were duds, none annoyed me as much as the one from Temu. For those unfamiliar with it, Temu is a China-based company that offers thousands of products at shockingly low prices. We’re talking about things that could cost hundreds of dollars in stores only to be available for $8 on the website. If that sounds too good to be true, though, it’s because it is. The consensus when ordering from websites like Temu is that you’re going to get what you paid for with products often feeling cheap and flimsy upon arrival. As for the commercial itself, the jingle is all about how you can “shop like a billionaire” on Temu, which we know isn’t true. What’s worse is that the commercial aired not once, not twice, but three times during Super Bowl LVIII (four if you count the time it aired in overtime). For those keeping track at home, that means Temu likely spent around $28 million for that advertising space. Between having to hear this annoying jingle four times and the fact that it encourages people to buy cheaply made products, I can’t help but feel like the Temu ad was the worst of Super Bowl 58.
If you were born before 2000, chances are you were pretty excited to see Usher as the Super Bowl LVIII halftime performer. After all, he was one of the biggest R&B stars of the 2000s and possesses a massive catalog of hits. “Yeah!” is, by far, the biggest song of his career, which is why people were dying for him to perform it. Fortunately, Usher saved the best for last, performing it as his final song. What’s even better is that Usher managed to bring the track’s two featured stars — Lil Jon and Ludacris — on stage with him. Considering how big of a star he is, Usher could’ve performed without the duo, so it was great to see them involved. It truly was like taking a time machine and traveling back to 2004. Unfortunately, not all of Usher’s guests lived up to the hype…
Don’t get me wrong: Alicia Keys is also one of the most talented performers of our generation. She’s put forth multiple award-winning albums, sold out arenas, and done everything in between. Having said that, Keys’ Super Bowl performance started off… rough. Joining Usher on stage for 2004’s “My Boo,” Keys’ voice cracked upon singing her first note. Singers can’t be perfect 24/7, but it was tough to see given that the Super Bowl halftime show is, arguably, the biggest concert of the year. Keys managed to recover as the song went on, but nothing was good enough to make everyone forget about her mistake. Everything lives on the internet forever, so chances are that Keys’ voice crack is going to be a meme for years to come.
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Ethan "BetMaster" Moore, born amidst the pulsating energy of London, combines a sharp analytical mind with the excitement of sports. As the chief writer for BettingRanker, he offers a unique blend of stats, strategies, and stories, making the world of sports betting both accessible and thrilling.