Half-time show

Not only did Jennifer Lopez and Shakira put on one of the greatest Super Bowl half-time shows ever, they were part of something far, far greater at the Hard Rock Stadium.

Amid a worldwide climate of division and suspicion, the significance of two Latina women headlining the biggest 12 minutes in showbiz cannot be understated.

Their 15-song extravaganza took viewers from Miami to New York, from New York to Colombia, from Colombia to Puerto Rico, and from Puerto Rico to beyond.

Their performance will have inspired millions across the world, while proving that even the NFL can learn from its mistakes.

The organisation has not always been seen as inclusive, a theme which culminated in last year’s half-time show as Maroon 5 put on a tone-deaf performance that made Travis Scott, one of the world’s biggest artists, an afterthought.

The enlistment of Jay Z’s Roc Nation as creative advisers in the wake of that disaster certainly did the trick, and a new bar has now been set for future half-time shows to follow.

Mahomes the man

For three-and-a-half quarters, Patrick Mahomes was nowhere to be seen.

Last season’s MVP, widely touted as the best quarterback in the game right now, was in the midst of one of his worst career performances.

With 12 minutes remaining in the game, Mahomes had completed just 18 of 29 passes for 172 yards and no touchdowns, while throwing two interceptions.

Four minutes later, however, he was back. Over the six minutes Mahomes did what he had done twice before in these playoffs – flipped the game on its head.

In leading the Chiefs back from a 10-point deficit, Mahomes became just the third black quarterback to win a Super Bowl, and just the second to win the game’s MVP award.

In a season where Lamar Jackson, Deshaun Watson and Russell Wilson also shone, a new era for the NFL is now well under way.

Tom Brady's teaser

You can’t keep Tom Brady out of the Super Bowl.

The New England Patriots may have missed out on a fourth consecutive big game appearance, but the veteran quarterback still managed stamp his mark on another Super Bowl.

Brady had teased an announcement before the game and, for 25 seconds of Hulu’s clever ad, it looked like he was stepping away from the game.

Instead, Brady declared: “Me? I’m not going anywhere,” so confirming his return for a 21st season in the NFL.

While his destination is not yet clear, the likelihood is that the 42-year-old will remain a Patriot and go for a record seventh championship with his beloved New England.

Quite frankly, anything else would be downright weird.

Reid’s redemption

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Before Sunday, no head coach had won more games than Andy Reid without winning a Super Bowl ring.

The 61-year-old had presided over 221 victories – the sixth-most of all-time – but was yet to taste victory in the big game.

Every coach above him on that list had at least two championships to their name, and it looked for a while like Reid’s Super Bowl curse was to continue.

A few dodgy play calls and a couple of on-field mistakes had the Chiefs staring down the barrel, but Reid and his players cleared their minds to mount three consecutive touchdown drives in the final eight minutes.

Reid was likely to be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame regardless of the result on Sunday, but his first Super Bowl means that is now nailed-on.

Aside from devastated 49ers fans, there will be few people across America who won’t crack a smile for the moustachioed maestro.

Shanahan’s hoodoo continues

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Three years on from overseeing the biggest capitulation in Super Bowl history, Kyle Shanahan has yet another collapse to contemplate.

The 10-point lead that his 49ers blew was nothing close to the 25-point advantage surrendered by the Falcons in 2017, but a narrative is now inevitably forming around the 40-year-old.

Choker. Bottler. Whatever you want to call it, Shanahan has work to do to shake that tag.

The big positive for him is that time is on his side. Unlike his 61-year-old counterpart, who could well have coached his final Super Bowl, Shanahan has most of his career ahead of him.

His achievements in just three years as a head coach are a testament to his talent, and there is little doubt that he will compete in the big game again.

When that chance comes, he simply must take it.

Katie Sowers

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The names most closely connected to Super Bowl LIV will inevitably be Patrick Mahomes, Andy Reid, Kyle Shanahan and Jimmy Garoppolo, but time will see Katie Sowers on that list, too.

The 49ers offensive assistant made history on Sunday as the first woman to coach at the Super Bowl.

Not only that, but Sowers also became the first openly gay person to coach at the big game, smashing down two barriers at once.

While the achievement of being the first woman and the first LGBT+ person to win the Super Bowl remains up for grabs, Sowers is the one who has laid the platform for that to happen.

There remain just a handful of women who have coached in the NFL, or at the top level of male sport in general, but Sowers’ success will ensure that number grows significantly in the coming years.


It was no secret that president Donald Trump and Democratic hopeful Michael Bloomberg had both splurged $10m on Super Bowl ad spots this year.

It did, however, remain to be seen exactly how both men would use their airtime ahead of the presidential election later this year.

To their credit, both men helped shed light on major social issues – Trump on criminal justice reform and Bloomberg on gun control.

Whether their ads will have had any effect on their chances of election is yet to be seen, but there can be no doubting the significance of their $10m decisions.

In wading into Super Bowl advertising space, they became the first politicians to advertise nationally at the event, potentially setting a trend for years to come.

Kobe tributes

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It is not often that a sport pays significant tribute to an athlete who made their name playing a totally different game, but such was the impact of Kobe Bryant.

The basketball great, who died alongside his daughter and seven others in a helicopter crash on 26 January, was remembered in a touching moment before kick-off on Sunday.

Players and coaches from both sides lined up on their 24-yard lines – 24 was the jersey number immortalised by Bryant at the LA Lakers - to observe a moment of silence for the nine dead.

Bryant also featured in the half-time show, with a giant cross above the stage lighting up in purple and gold – the colours of his beloved Lakers.

It was a fitting tribute for a sporting legend.

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