The Denver Broncos, led by 39 year-old quarterback Peyton Manning, won the National Football League’s Super Bowl 50, beating the Carolina Panthers with a score of 24-10. The Broncos, with the top-ranked defence this season, stifled the Panthers’ top-scoring attack. It is the Broncos’ third title, following wins in 1997 and 1998.
Beyoncé and Bruno Mars steal Coldplay’s moment in the spotlight
British band Coldplay was in charge of the half-time mega show but fail to seduce the American audience. “Martin and Coldplay have a good ear for pop hooks and although they try hard, have difficulty commanding a stage as big as this” the Associated Press wrote. “With the opening ‘Viva La Vida’ and snippet of ‘Paradise,’ they seemed to get lost in their surroundings — the pinwheels of colour on the floor of the stage, the young people coming out with violins, the dancers working on the field.”
Coldplay’s guests, Bruno Mars and Beyoncé ended up stealing the show. Mars wowed the crowd with his hit “Uptown Funk” and Beyoncé rocked one of her new song, released only last weekend.
The rest of the show included Coldplay’s frontman Chris Martin tributes to previous half-time performance (U2, Prince). Beyonce’s outfit itself may have been a tribute to Michael Jackson’s 1993 show, which brought Super Bowl halftimes into the modern age, the AP notes.
The Super Bowl is the most watched sporting event in the US
Filmed this year by 36 cameras, the Super Bowl attracts millions of fans to their TV screens. In 2015, over 114 million people watched it in the US, making it the most watched sporting event in the country. TV ad prices reached up to $5 million for a 30 second spot.
If watching the game from the stadium is more your thing, the average price for a ticket to the finale was just over $6,000.
A record-breaking SB50
At the start of the game, 5 time NFL MVP Peyton Manning was the oldest quarterback ever to start a Super Bowl finale. A few hours later, Manning was the oldest QB to win one. He had already won a league title back in 2006 with the Indianapolis Colts.
The SB 50 was also the game with the game where the winning side gained the fewest yards (194) in total. Of those, 61 were one single punt return, a new NFL record.
Kevin Norwood 61 yard return pic.twitter.com/yXmB9yT0tt— ⓂarcusD (@_MarcusD_) 8 Février 2016
Symbol of its defensive dominance, the match saw the most sack ever in a final, with 12 sacks in total.
More controversies surrounding Cam Newton
Cam Newton, the Carolina Panthers’ 26 year-old quarterback had divided opinion in the run-up to the final. He had faced criticism for his attitude, his on-field celebrations, seen as excessive, and his $20.8 million a-year salary.
There are few African-American quarterbacks in the NFL, especially as young and talented as Newton, and some of the criticism hinted at racial undertones.
The SB 50 will not help improve Newton’s reputation, despite his crowning as this season’s MVP.
In the post-game press conference, he offered the most laconic of answers: “We lost” he answered when asked about putting his disappointments into words, and walked out on the journalists after six questions.
"I'm done."— ESPN (@espn) 8 Février 2016
Cam Newton was not long for the postgame news conference. https://t.co/0Vezyh7xyU
His supporters were quick to note that bad manners are far from the worst thing NFL players have been accused of in recent years.
They're mad when he celebrates, mad when he's pissed. He's a professional athlete, folks, not a Supreme Court justice. #camnewton— Melissa Luck (@MelissaKXLY4) 8 Février 2016
More people are mad at Cam for silently walking away from a press conference than at Manziel for going ham and hitting a woman. Come on.— Comfortably Smug (@ComfortablySmug) 8 Février 2016
Beyoncé‘s homage to the Black Panthers
With black berets, black leather body suits and an afro, Beyoncé‘s dancers channeled the style of the Black Panther Party, a radical 60’s-70’s Black political movement.
“It was a visual homage to the Black Panther Party of Self Defense, the radical black political group that claims its roots in nearby Oakland, California, circa 1966; the Super Bowl is being played less than 50 miles away, in Santa Clara” wrote Jamilah King for MIC.com
The homage was not limited to aesthetics. Some of the dancers posted a picture online where they paid a tribute to Mario Woods, a black man fatally shot by the police in San Francisco in the beginning of December 2015 in controversial conditions.
#SB50trending on Twitter
#SB50, the Twitter hashtag of the game was top of the trending topic in the world during the game.
#SB50 is now trending WorldWide, ranking #1 [00:27]— TopTrends WORLDWIDE (@TopTrendWW) 7 Février 2016
You can see all the tweets around the game worldwide with this data-visualisation .