Super Bowl LVII

James Derfner ’26

On February 12, 2023, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles faced off for Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. Aside from one controversial holding call with only two minutes remaining on the clock, the back-and-forth battle delivered the type of game sports fans dream about. The Eagles looked to be winning after the first half, but in a thrilling comeback, quarterback Patrick Mahomes led the Chiefs to secure the Lombardi Trophy for the second time in four years with a final win of 38-35. 

Heading into the game, the close match-up showed the Eagles as a 1.5-point favorite over the Chiefs. The first points on the scoreboard came with 10:09 left in the first quarter when Philadelphia’s quarterback, Jalen Hurts, ran in a one-yard touchdown. However, the Chiefs also scored on their first drive as Mahomes threw an 18-yard pass to tight end Travis Kelce. This set the tone for the rest of the game. 

By the end of the first half, the Eagles were leading the Chiefs 24-14. After halftime, however, the Chiefs scored on their next three drives with touchdowns from running back Isiah Pacheco and wide receivers Kadarius Toney and Skyy Moore. This gave the Chiefs a lead of 35-27 with nine minutes remaining. Nevertheless, the Eagles were able to tie it up from Hurts’ third rushing touchdown of the day. The Chiefs then took up nearly the rest of the game on their last drive and hit a game-winning field goal with eight seconds left. There was some controversy on that Chiefs’ final possession, as on 3rd and 8, Mahomes threw an incomplete pass to wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, but a flag was thrown for a holding call against the Eagles. Philadelphia fans were furious over this, as they couldn’t believe the flag was thrown with such little time left. This one penalty cost them their entire season. Ultimately, this led to the Chiefs bringing home the coveted Lombardi Trophy.

Football’s biggest night, however, was not merely about touchdowns. For many viewers, especially fans of mega-star Rihanna, the Superbowl’s halftime performance was the highlight of an already electric evening. Taking the “stage” on a levitating platform, the second best-selling female artist of all time performed some of her biggest hits, including “Umbrella,” “Diamonds,” and “We Found Love.” Rihanna also made history as the first Super Bowl headliner to perform while pregnant – a surprise she revealed to fans when she took the stage in an ensemble that showed a baby bump. This will be her second child with boyfriend and world-famous rapper and record producer ASAP Rocky.

Rihanna wasn’t the only celebrity to take center stage at the Super Bowl. This year’s highly-anticipated television commercials reached an audience of 113 million people (according to numbers released by Nielsen) and featured a mix of high-profile figures, including Amy Schumer, Jennifer Lopez, Will Ferrell and Ben Affleck. T-Mobile’s commercial starring John Travolta singing a new version of Grease’s “Summer Lovin'” was among the fan favorites. Other best-ranked advertisements were those from Google Pixel, Kia and PopCorners, according to Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, which ranks the commercials each year.

The biggest winner of the evening, however, was unquestionably Mahomes. The reigning Super Bowl Most Valuable Player was again awarded the title, as he went 21-27 throwing for 180 yards with three touchdown passes, and he also helped in the running game with six carries for 44 yards. He accomplished this feat with an injured ankle. After the victory, Mahomes carried out the 36-year-old Super Bowl tradition of the winning team visiting Disneyland. As part of the celebration, he rode on a Kansas City Chiefs parade float with Mickey and Minnie.