Last weekend, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, led by quarterback Tom Brady, beat the Kansas City Chiefs with a score of 31 to 9—- securing Tampa’s second Super Bowl championship win.
There are many stories that should be told about this game, as well as the stars of this game. For 43 year-old QB Tom Brady, this became his seventh Super Bowl win. However, this win was much different than his first six. Up until this year, Brady had been playing for the New England Patriots, and had become a figurehead of the wildly successful team. His decision to sign a $30 million dollar contract with Tampa Bay shocked the entire sports world, and many considered it to be ‘the end of an era.’
At 43, Brady became the oldest person to participate in a Super Bowl— much less as the starting quarterback, according to the New York Times. To put his age into perspective, Kansas City Quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ mother was a year old when Brady was born. For many NFL players, 40 becomes the age synonymous with retirement. Football can be an incredibly aggressive game, and it is no secret that it takes a toll on a person’s body. John Elway won his last Super Bowl at 38 and Peyton Manning retired at 39, according to the New York Times.
But Tom Brady wasn’t the only reason why this game was historic. Super Bowl LV was played during the global COVID-19 pandemic, and there were little reminders of the pandemic spread throughout the game. The game was attended by 22,000 fans, 7,500 of which were vaccinated health care workers who were invited as guests of honor for their ongoing work throughout the pandemic.
On top of this, several major brands decided against running commercials this year— including Budweiser, Coke, and Pepsi. These brands have become staples of the game, and have been known for releasing iconic advertising campaigns in the past. Instead, some of these brands chose to instead donate money to vaccination awareness efforts— another reminder of the ongoing pandemic which continues to reshaped our lives.
Super Bowl LV also made Tampa Bay the first team to play a Super Bowl at their home stadium. While other teams may have played in their home towns in the past, none of them got to play in their designated home stadium. Some fans worried that this would give Tampa Bay the advantage. And to keep the stadium as neutral as possible, the team was prohibited from firing their customary cannons after touchdowns and big plays.
As we continue to weather the pandemic, last weekends Super Bowl provided Americans with a much needed break. And regardless of who won, I think that we can all agree that it felt nice to come together and enjoy something as normal as football for a change.