It’s February 12th, and the long-awaited Super Bowl has just ended. Watched by over 100 million people every year, the game is far from a novelty event. However, for those who watched the game without any prior football knowledge, this is the guide for you. From the ins and outs of football to the much-anticipated halftime show, you will soon be an expert on all things Super Bowl.
What is football?
Of all the aspects to know entering the Super Bowl, the game itself is the most important. Football is played on a 120-yard field between two teams of 11 players at any given time. The offense’s goal is to get the ball into the opposing end zone, the final ten yards on each side of the field, leaving a 100-yard battlefield to be played on. The team’s offense gets four tries to get ten yards by running or passing the football. If they are unsuccessful in their attempt, they must turn the ball over to the other team. Depending on where the offense is on the field, the team may choose to punt the ball down the field to avoid turning it over closer to their end zone. Teams score points in two ways: kicking a field goal through 35-foot uprights at the end of each end zone awards three points, while scoring a touchdown by getting the ball into the opponent’s end zone earns six points. After the team scores, they have one chance to either kick the ball through the uprights from the fifteen-yard line for one point or get the ball into the end zone from the two-yard line for two points. If the defense catches the ball in the air when their opponent tries to make their way down the field or forces them to fumble and lose control of the football, the defense gets the ball for their team.
The two teams in the Super Bowl were the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers, which, as an Eagles fan, was arguably the worst match-up out of possible playoff teams, even though the game proved highly competitive. The 49ers, coached by serial playoff choker Kyle Shanahan, are filled with talent from All-Pro running back Christian McCaffery to star linebacker Fred Warner. Most notably, they are quarterbacked by the final pick of the 2022 NFL draft, Mr. Irrelevant, Brock Purdy. Now, some might see this as a great underdog story, and sure, Purdy has far outplayed his draft position and deserves a ton of praise, but he was also carried by his teammates. As a supporter of Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts, I confidently state that game managers who can turn check-downs and touchdowns simply by who they throw the ball to and be named a top quarterback do not get my support. Not to mention, the 49ers constantly claim that they would have beaten the Eagles last year in the playoffs if they were healthy, which causes vitriol among Bird fans worldwide. On the opposing side were the Chiefs, coached by Andy Reid and led by two-time MVP Patrick Mahomes, who is slowly but surely becoming more unlikable each year. Mahomes, Reid, and tight end Travis Kelce have played in the big game four out of the last five years, leaving NFL fans desperate for new faces to emerge.
So, what else is there to know? The halftime show, which has been inconsistent in recent years, featured renowned R&B performer Usher, who, despite volume issues and a slow start, delivered a performance stacked with star-studded guests. Taylor Swift, who is dating Kelce, was featured on television screens, to the dismay of some NFL fans. For rational fans, however, the singer was only on TV screens for under a minute, minimizing concerns. Several high-budget commercials entertained audiences during breaks, along with the consumption of millions of pounds of food. As the confetti settled and cheers faded, fans dispersed from their local Super Bowl gatherings, carrying with them the memories of wings devoured, the thrill of the night and a new understanding of the game.