Super Bowl LIII was historic — historically boring. After the New England Patriots plowed down the Los Angeles Rams 13-3, the event was declared the lowest-scoring Super Bowl in NFL history. Tom Brady, who was by all accounts not deflating footballs, spent his time deflating our hopes and dreams of something interesting actually happening. His team scored just 3 points in the first half, and the Rams didn’t even score until the second. The most exciting thing might have just been discovering that Adam Levine has a giant stomach tattoo of the word California. Why? Maybe he really wanted the Rams to win (Sorry, dude).
Luckily, things were pretty interesting outside of the gameplay. The NBA became the NFL’s biggest Twitter trolls, and more than a few celebs publicly voiced their support for former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. In fact, the most interesting parts of the 2019 Super Bowl were all of the people who chose to boycott it. Also, the $5 beers didn’t hurt.
From the male cheerleaders who made history to some Harry Potter trash-talk, here’s what you didn’t see on TV.
Not your average stadium prices
Tickets to Super Bowl LIII may have cost a minimum of $2,716 each, but fans who made it into the stadium didn’t actually spend all that much during the game. According to CBS News, Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium « unveiled a grand experiment » two years ago by actually charging decent, affordable prices for concessions. Who would have thought?
Instead of shelling out $20 or more for a beer-and-hot dog combo, Atlanta sports fans can purchase beers for just $5 and hot dogs for just $2 at the stadium. In other words: the stadium is probably cheaper than your local hot dog cart — and it actually works. Despite slashing prices by 50 percent in the first year, the stadium increased profits. Falcons president and CEO Rich McKay told CBS that game-goers spent « 16 percent more overall. » The stadium even decided to keep their prices the same for the biggest game of the year.
« They’ll see a volume like they’ve not seen before because people that will be in the building for the first time are always a little bit, like, ‘Really? So I can have these two hot dogs, two sodas. I can have popcorn. I can have a beer and I’m still under $20?’ That usually shocks some people, » McKay told CBS.
JetBlue cooked up something special for Pats everywhere
Super Bowl Sunday saw one very specific flight deal for jet-setters looking to fly out of Boston or Atlanta. The only catch was your name had to start with the letters P-A-T.
JetBlue — the official airline of the New England Patriots — was apparently so psyched for Tom Brady playing his ninth Super Bowl that they were issuing flight credits to anyone whose names were blessed with the sacred first three letters of New England’s favorite (and the rest of the country’s seemingly least favorite) NFL team. If you happened to be named Patrick, Patricia or Patty, your JetBlue flight to or from BOS or ATL would essentially be free as long as it was booked before Super Bowl Sunday and you were traveling on the day of the big game. Let’s be real though: the biggest Pats fans wouldn’t dare stray too far from their TVs on the most holy of all secular holidays.
« It can be hard out here for a Pat. There are so many of us … but we’re so used to hearing people root for the New England Pats, » JetBlue’s copywriter Patrick Ramsay said in a statement. « So, it’s nice to see JetBlue taking such an interest in showing their appreciation for the rest of the Pats … the ones who aren’t pro football players. »
Stars used #ImWithKap to boycott the big game
Maroon 5’s halftime performance was totally devoid of any political commentary, but that doesn’t mean every celeb kept their mouth shut. Several stars vowed to boycott the Super Bowl on behalf of former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick (pictured above). The former 49ers star began kneeling during the national anthem to raise awareness for racism and police brutality. Kaepernick was subsequently not offered a new contract, and the NFL enacted a fine for teams whose players took a knee.
According to USA Today, film director Ava DuVernay was the first to announce she’d be boycotting the game for the second year in a row. Rosanna Arquette followed. Rapper Common posted a quote from Dr. Angela Davis that read « I’m no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I’m changing the things I cannot accept » with the hashtag #ImWithKap. Nick Cannon also showed his support by posting a graphic video depicting historical racism and donating to Kaepernick’s charity.
Despite all the stars who boycotted the Super Bowl on behalf of the former QB, it seemed like there was at least one person who boycotted Kaepernick on behalf of the Super Bowl. According to The Root, an Atlanta mural of the former NFL quarterback was destroyed when the building was demolished ahead of Super Bowl weekend. Coincidence or not?
Maroon 5 was the NFL’s backup plan
Forbes hailed Maroon 5’s halftime performance as « incredibly boring. » That was sort of the consensus aside from the small fraction of internet users who happened to be fans of Adam Levine’s bare nipples and awkward stomach tattoos. It’s not really surprising considering the band was, at the very most, the NFL’s third choice.
According to Entertainment Tonight, both Rihanna and Pink passed up the NFL’s offer for the 2019 Super Bowl halftime show. Rihanna was reportedly the NFL’s first choice, and one source claimed she declined the offer in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick. A second source claimed both stars declined because negotiations took too long rather than for political reasons.
If there was one person who could have saved Maroon 5’s performance, it was Cardi B, who makes a cameo on their single « Girls Like You. » Unfortunately, the star opted out in order to stand behind Kaepernick. Cardi told The Associated Press (via Fox 5), « I got to sacrifice a lot of money to perform. But there’s a man who sacrificed his job for us, so we got to stand behind him. »
Travis Scott ended up performing alongside Levine and company, but Variety reported that Jay-Z tried to dissuade him from doing so. There was even a (very unsuccessful) petition to get Maroon 5 to withdrawal from the performance in solidarity with the former 49ers quarterback.
Colin Kaepernick’s lawyer thought Adam Levine copped out
There was more than just a failed Change.org petition challenging Maroon 5’s decision to play the Super Bowl. Colin Kaepernick’s attorney, Mark Geragos (above left), publicly slammed Adam Levine for his « cop-out » of a performance. In an appearance on Good Morning America (via Deadline), the attorney claimed, « It’s a cop-out when you start talking about, ‘I’m not a politician; I’m just doing the music.’ Most of the musicians who have any kind of consciousness whatsoever understand what’s going on here. » The attorney was referencing an interview Levine did prior to the event.
According to Deadline, Levine spoke to Entertainment Tonight and claimed no one had « put more thought and love » into the decision to perform at the Super Bowl amidst the political controversy than he did. Ultimately, the singer decided to move forward with the gig but hinted that it would include some sort of message regarding the controversy. He claimed he wanted to « move on » from it « and speak through the music. » As you probably know, there was no such message unless you count spelling the words « one love » with glowing drones a political statement.
Daniel Radcliffe wanted to make football great again
It’s undeniable that lots of folks are sick of watching Tom Brady incessantly win everything. The star currently holds the record for most Super Bowl wins by an NFL player (with or without his under-inflated balls). As it turns out, even football fans abroad are getting fed up — and over there football is soccer.
In an interview with Variety, Daniel Radcliffe basically said he wishes he could perform a vanishing spell on the Patriots QB. He claimed the « whole world » was rooting against the Pats (at least, the whole word besides New England) and that the star, who’s one of President Donald Trump’s golf buddies, should quit showing off his MAGA merch.
« Take that MAGA hat out of your locker, » Radcliffe said. « I feel like that was the moment when as a country we were all like, ‘Come on, dude! You’re awesome … Don’t put that in here.’ So, Rams. I don’t know if they’re going to win, but I want them to. »
The NBA seemed super bored
If you found yourself eating mass amounts of buffalo chicken dip to avoid perpetually yawning at your TV, you’re sincerely not alone. A few NBA stars tuned into the Super Bowl and nearly perished from boredom as the game transformed into the lowest-scoring Super Bowl in history. In the very least, they were definitely bored enough to troll the event on Twitter.
LeBron James started his tour-de-tweets at the halftime show when he commented with a confused-looking emoji on the fact that Travis Scott only sang a single song. He then got even spicier with a meme of himself dancing. « Me next year at halftime show! Not!! » he wrote with the added emphasis of exactly seven crying-slash-laughing emojis. According to Uproxx, the NBA star thought the game was such a snoozefest that he begged NBA news writers to leak « juicy » information before « the trade deadline. » This resulted in one of his followers asking him to « stay off the wine » (and to be honest, we don’t blame him solely based on the sheer number of missed field goals).
The NBA tweet storm continued with Portland Trailblazers point guard CJ McCollum, who asked for Netflix suggestions, and Detroit Pistons small forward Reggie Bullock, who called it a « good hockey game. » Well-played (but the same thing can’t be said for the Rams).
Barstool Sports undoubtedly annoyed Super Bowl security
Shock of the century: Barstool Sports managed to cause a scene at the Super Bowl, just like they have at basically every other NFL event they manage to attend. According to the New York Post, the media organization’s founder Dave Portnoy (pictured above) and his mustache were spotted being carried out of their seat at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The media bro, whose company has been « banned from NFL events since 2015, » was reportedly trying to « stand out as much as he could while ostensibly blending in » and made a big fuss about being at the game despite being banned. That’s what everyone does when they’re trying to lay low, right? Moments later, Portnoy was spotted being « carried from his seat. » Earlier in the week, the OG Barstool bro was kicked out of Super Bowl media night because, well, he’s banned.
PFT Commenter, a separate Barstooler, also made it known that he was a fugitive at Super Bowl LIII. He tried to avoid security by hiding out in a bathroom but not before snacking on the macaroni and cheese in the NFL media press box. Who tries to blend in with a cowboy hat, anyway? Yawn.
Is the Situation rooting for LA or New England?
It’s t-shirt time, or rather, football jersey time if they let you change out of prison uniforms at FCI Otisville, where Mike « The Situation » Sorrentino is serving his eight month sentence. The reality star may have traded the shore house for a prison cell, but he apparently still gets to partake in America’s favorite pastime from behind bars.
According to a source, who spoke to The Blast, Sorrentino planned to watch Super Bowl LIII from his temporary home at the New York prison in one of the joint’s communal TV rooms. Apparently, watching the game is a yearly tradition, and prisoners are even allowed to chow down on snacks. Though we’re fairly certain fresh mozzarella isn’t on the menu, the prison reportedly does have « pasta and pizza-making kits. »
There’s no word on whether Sorrentino rooted for the Pats or the Rams, but in the very least, we know the star enjoys college football.
New Orleans fans held a protest-slash-funeral for the Saints
It wasn’t just Kaepernick fans who boycotted the Super Bowl. Leagues of New Orleans Saints fans took to the streets of the French Quarter to protest the NFL ahead of the big game after a referee failed to make a potentially game-changing call during the NFC Championship game two weeks prior.
According to The Washington Post, thousands of Saints fans gathered near Jackson Square in protest of the hotly debated « no-call » that helped push Los Angeles into the final game. Earlier in the week, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell admitted the Rams should have been « flagged for pass interference. » As a result of the no-call, the Saints couldn’t « run down the clock and end the game with a short field goal. » Los Angeles ended up taking home the win.
The no-call was such a big deal that Louisiana senator Bill Cassidy « denounced [it] on the Senate floor, » and fans filed lawsuits. The game day protest was dubbed the « Blackout and Gold Second-Line Parade » (a cheeky ode to the Saints’ team colors) and fans sang « we got robbed » through the streets. One woman even sold t-shirts depicting a « referee voodoo doll. » Because it’s New Orleans, the parade included « a jazz funeral » to pay respects to the premature death of the Saints’ season. May it rest in peace (or, you know, we could have a do-over).
Male cheerleaders made history
Most of us don’t pay much mind to the cheerleaders on the Super Bowl sidelines, but this year, they made history. For the first time ever, men were included on an official cheer squad. And no, they didn’t wear mini skirts and crop tops.
According to Time, Napoleon Jinnies and Quinton Peron (pictured above) are the first men in Super Bowl history who are officially designated as cheerleaders. Previously, men who joined the cheer squad were dubbed the « male stunt team. » This time, the pair tried out for the Los Angeles Rams alongside the ladies and landed a genuine spot on the 40-person squad. It all came together about a year prior.
« If you have the talent and skill set, you shouldn’t be discriminated on the basis of sex. My hope is that this is going to become the new normal, » said Molly Higgins, the team’s VP of community affairs and engagement (via USA Today).
According to USA Today, there was never a specific rule that banned men from trying out for the Rams’ cheer squad, but no male had ever done so in the franchise’s entire more than 80-year history.
Kylie Jenner didn’t get engaged, but she did show up
Travis Scott performed alongside Maroon 5 and Big Boi at the Super Bowl halftime show, so it’s not surprising that his baby mama would be there to support. According to People, Kylie Jenner watched the show backstage with their daughter Stormi, who danced along to her daddy’s performance on TV while wearing an adorable tie-dye sweatshirt.
Cosmopolitan reported that the budding billionaire showed up to the event with her BFF Jordyn Woods, and there was major speculation that the rapper would finally put a ring on it during the halftime show. Of course, that didn’t actually happen — because almost nothing actually happened during the game. As it turns out, the reality star might actually already be engaged.
If you troll Jenner’s social media posts long enough, you’ll notice that the star was wearing a large diamond ring on her left ring finger (i.e. the finger you put a diamond ring on if you’re getting hitched) during the game. According to People, the star has been wearing the bling since early January. Let’s hope she has a prenup!