Taylor Swift (top right) in her box in Las Vegas
The turning point:
The turning point:
At the beginning of Super Bowl LVIII, almost nothing was going well for the Kansas City Chiefs. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes hardly made a pass to his teammate. And Travis Kelce, better half of two superstars (Mahomes and Taylor Swift), was only on the ball once. The Chiefs had to give up their right to attack very quickly four times and were lucky that the San Francisco 49ers did little offensively. At least the Niners scored a field goal in the second quarter and took a 3-0 lead. From the Chiefs’ perspective, something had to happen. Something that should add a bit of inspiration to their previously lifeless game. They needed something like a divine sign. And so they looked up, but instead of the sky all they saw were the oversized video screens at Allegiant Stadium. And then the much-needed wake-up call: Kelce's friend Taylor Swift drank her glass - apparently it was a beer - on ex. From that moment on, the Chiefs were in the game, scoring their first points before halftime, even taking the lead in the second half and ultimately winning in overtime. What does this have to do with Taylor Swift and beer? Of course nothing.
The crazy hype surrounding Taylor Swift reached unhealthy proportions even before the game. Fans wondered whether the pop superstar would even make it to Las Vegas in time. She made it and was photographed and filmed practically constantly in her box. Both Swift and the NFL are profiting from the madness. The singer also inspires football fans, and the sport has managed to reach a younger female target group. Win win. But we don't want to ignore one thing amidst all the hustle and bustle: there was also football being played. The Kansas City Chiefs won 25:22 (3:10, 19:19) after overtime against the San Francisco 49ers. Click here for the match report.
The strong defenders of both teams dominated the action for a long time. The kickers were repeatedly asked to punt the ball into the opponent's half. In addition, both teams lost the ball unnecessarily in a promising position. The 49ers completed the first really good offensive series of the game shortly before halftime with a trick play worth seeing: their young quarterback Brock Purdy threw the ball diagonally to the left back to Jauan Jennings, actually a classic pass receiver. But instead of tucking the egg under his arm and running with it, Jennings simply threw the ball back to his right as if he'd never done anything else. The Chiefs defense was confused. Running back Christian McCaffrey caught the ball and was able to run into the end zone without any major resistance. Two passes, one touchdown – the only one in the game until halftime. The 49ers led at halftime in a game in which neither team allowed much.
The Super Bowl is the magical goal in American football, the final opponent. The final of the best league in the world, in front of an audience of billions. It is important to take advantage of the opportunity, it could be the only one. Dre Greenlaw, linebacker for the 49ers, was in the Super Bowl in 2020 – and lost to the Kansas City Chiefs. He and his teammates seemed even more motivated this time. In the first half he was just dying to get on the pitch. He jumped up and down on the sideline several times, then started to sprint. Suddenly Greenlaw fell to the ground, clutching his left leg, and was later driven into the catacombs with suspected Achilles tendon rupture. In the USA there is a word for such accidents: freak injuries. Also in the Super Bowl. With this exit. Greenlaw is one of the night's tragic heroes.
Usher was dressed all in white at the start of his halftime show. As if he wanted to send a message of peace to the many people who had previously criticized the decision to offer him this big stage. Many saw Usher as an alternative solution because the music elite preferred to make themselves comfortable in their boxes with Taylor Swift, Jay-Z and Beyoncé or even Justin Bieber. But Usher reached deep into his bag of tricks or his phone book and brought a whole bag full of stars with him: Alicia Keys, Jermaine Dupri, HER, Will.i.am, Lil John and Ludacris. Especially Alicia Keys in the red glitter lace outfit on the red grand piano followed by a dance performance provided one of those wow effects that a Super Bowl halftime show needs. Usher himself remained rather pale - despite a supposed Starlight Express reminiscence. He did his rounds on roller skates in blue glitter. A touch of Bochum in Las Vegas.
The Chiefs got the ball after the break - and somehow everyone in the audience expected Mahomes' comeback to start immediately. Instead, the quarterback threw an interception and immediately restored the right to attack. Luckily for him, the playmaker was able to continue to rely on his defense, which repeatedly forced Purdy and the 49ers off the field, giving Mahomes enough time to find his way into the game. Shortly before the end of the third quarter, the Chiefs scored their first touchdown and took the lead for the first time. They had to give it up again in the fourth quarter, but were lucky that an extra point attempt was blocked by 49ers kicker Jake Moody. A field goal was enough to equalize. Another field goal on both sides later went into overtime.
The 49ers got the ball and completed their attack with a field goal. Not bad, but ultimately not enough. Because the Chiefs marched down the field and were close to the end zone when time threatened to run out. What was Mahomes doing there? Doesn’t he want to take some time off? The Chiefs had two timeouts left, so why did they let the clock continue? Were you just too tired at the end of the longest Super Bowl in history to realize what was happening? No, Chiefs coach Andy Reid and especially Mahomes knew exactly what they were doing. They caught the very stable 49ers defense in a moment of carelessness, with three seconds left in the game, Mahomes found his pass receiver Mecole Hardman, who strolled unchallenged into the end zone. Touchdown, final whistle, Super Bowl champion. Because Reid didn't get nervous - and trusted his golden boy's arm.
No Purdy Party:
No Purdy Party:
It's possible he saw it coming. Like so many things this evening. Brock Purdy is the last player taken in the 2022 draft, a complete underdog who made it to overtime of the Super Bowl as a quarterback. Purdy played a strong game, made no mistakes and found his teammates even under the greatest pressure. As Patrick Mahomes made the winning play in overtime, the cameras caught Purdy on the sideline for a moment. Marked by more than 70 minutes of play under extreme stress, he threw a few balls to keep himself warm. Maybe, that was the hope, he would get another chance. He didn't get it. At the end of this Super Bowl, we're not talking about the babyface who went from the bottom to the front. People talk about the dynasty of his rival: Patrick Mahomes. But that combination of words, being Patrick Mahomes' rival, perhaps says it all in these times.