Think of this morning like you’re having the worst-ever hangover of your life. Only, rather than having gorged yourself victoriously on Jägermeister, yellow tequila and cheap beer, you swallowed a dozen league regulation weight footballs to go with having gobbled your pride after victory was snatched from under you – and only because you stupidly grabbed another guy’s shirt.
Have another drink. Or swallow another football.
Last night was gorgeous for Kansas City and its Chiefs, and congratulations. It was gorgeous for Super Bowl halftime queen Rihanna and her pregnant self, and congratulations. It was actually the very same gorgeous night for Philadelphia and its Eagles, until it wasn’t. And after it wasn’t, Philadelphia, being Philadelphia, took to its streets – Broad Street in particular – and expressed its ruined fan pain and anger like sad, braying elephants for their loss. Interestingly too, Philly set off fireworks, as if they had an expiration date and needed to be exploded before going bad. Which was weird.
Still, save for mistakes, Philadelphia, be proud and take a chill pill. Breathe deep. Have an holistic, mellow cocktail – certainly Kambucha with a shot of vodka can’t be bad for you – think of green pastures (wait, green, EAGLES, ACK) and relax. Everyone who played this season will be around next season, and we can still snatch victory. Just let go the shirt.
All that aside, there were deep and reverent moments to be considered from last night’s Super Bowl, some of which had nothing to do with handling pigskin.
One: We know that Babyface (cooled out) and Philadelphia’s Sheryl Lee Ralph (bombastic, in a good way though) helped open the Super Bowl with their own individual skill sets. But face it, having country-known guitarist Chris Stapleton’s play the National Anthem as a deeply soulful, elegiac yet exuberant MOMENT may have been its most perfection rendition in sports history. How good, or effective, was Stapleton’s bluesy performance? Grown men, players and coaches, cried. Like tear streaming down face crying. Nick Sirianni, in particular, looked like a human faucet. And with that, Chris Stapleton set the new National Anthem high bar’s standard: if you can’t make everyone cry, don’t even step up to the mic.
Two: I have to be honest: I was skeptical about that whole Downy Unstopables’ Super Bowl commercial secret reveal until the Big Game. Honestly, for months Downy teased us with all of this sniffing around like pigs for truffles. Thankfully, not only did Downy Unstoppables do right by having comic actor and writer, Righteous Gemstones and Eastbound & Down’s Danny McBride as its featured mystery star, airing right before half time – McBride and his great-smelling hoodie were awesome. “You’re gonna sniff this stuff ASAP. Look alive.” Brilliant.
Three: Bradley Cooper. Knowing he’s around, even when things went south in the last minute of the game, somehow seemed comforting.
Four: Patrick Mahomes ankle. C’mon man. That’s heart playing as he did – and hardcore running for real yardage despite that already funny stride of his – with that fucked up ankle.
Five: The Beastie Boys’ “Fight for Your Right.” Everyone has their own opinion of “The Eagles Fight Song.” Let’s for now, say it is fine. It’s rousing, no doubt. But c’mon. One of the greatest party anthems of all time by three guys from Queens, New York at the top of the rap game? Pretty diabolical.
Six: Travis Kelce’s calling everyone out – media, audience. Yup, at the end of the Super Bowl, Kansas City’s Kelce got on the mic as Terry Bradshaw was congratulating him for a well-deserved victory, barked, and let American have it for not having any faith in the Chiefs. “Not a one of you.” Wow.
Seven: Rihanna’s making many different kind-of waves during her Super Bowl Halftime Show. In what was one of the most suspenseful resolutions since…. well, the end of this fucking game… Rihanna kept the crowds gazing up at State Farm Field in Arizona, along with the viewers at home: WTF? Is she pregnant again? Because while being dazzled by RiRi’s suspended in mid-air performance and the seamless fashion in which she segued from hit to hit, and wondering why she seemed so low-key about her dancing, as an audience member, you were forced to focus – for how long, five minutes? Was it less? More? – on this superstar’s belly? And it was weird, and fun, watching dozens of male dancers in baggy, industrial off-white hazmat-style suits dancing besides and in-front of her, singing “uh uh uh umbrella” and being mesmerized by the wonder of possible child birth. And then you had to count backwards to recall when she and her partner, A$AP Rocky, had their first child – all the while, Rihanna is wearing that bright red jumpsuit with its plastic halter, and kicking into “Bitch Better Have My Money” (skipping the first word) and going into her “workworkworkworkwork” toast. Then finding out as soon as the performance was over – a set ending “Diamonds” as the platform ascended again into the sky – that Rihanna was indeed pregnant in an international breaking news forum. AMAZING.
Eight: U2’s creepy Vegas ad. Admit how weirded out you were by that gigantic floating baby face in a bubble over an apocalyptic desert city scape during the Super Bowl’s second half only to realize it was an announcement of this autumn’s Las Vegas celebration of U2’s 1991 album “Achtung Baby” without drummer Larry Mullen Jr., for “‘U2:UV Achtung Baby Live at the Sphere,” launching the new venue, MSG Sphere at the Venetian. These guys have to stop doing ads.
Nine: The surprise Indiana Jones upcoming movie commercial/first trailer with the guy from 1923.
Ten: Trugoy the Dove from De La Soul passed away just as the Big Game was starting. Respect must be paid.