A Super Bowl for the History Books

Pre-game endeavors and historical feats make Super Bowl 57 one to remember


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Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes had much to celebrate that night: the team’s big win and his second NFL MVP nomination.

The energy was electric from the get-go in Glendale, Arizona’s State Farm Stadium, on February 12, for Super Bowl LVII between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles. The fans were fully-spirited with jerseys and outfits representing their respective teams, the players were ready as ever to take home the Vince Lombardi and add a new flashy ring to their fingers, and the referees were controversial — which is, of course, nothing new. 

But what differs this Super Bowl from all the rest are the incredible historical occurrences before, during, and in-between quarters. From the first performance of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” (a song widely considered to be the Black National Anthem) at the Super Bowl, the all-woman navy flyover, the leaders of the teams, and a historical halftime show, Super Bowl LVII will be one to remember. 

Before kickoff, Emmy-winning actress and singer Sheryl Lee Ralph belted “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” accompanied by a chorus of many other African-American singers. While well-known American singer, songwriter, and pianist Alicia Keys performed the song in a pre-recorded Super Bowl broadcast two years ago, Super Bowl LVII was the first time in which the ballad was performed on the field, then and there. When referencing her performance before the game, Ms. Ralph shared on Twitter, “It is no coincidence that I will be singing the Black National Anthem, Lift Every Voice and Sing[,] at the Super Bowl on the same date it was first publicly performed 123 years ago (February 12, 1900). Happy Black History Month!”

“I think as a country, we’re trying to be more aware of what we do with all races and ethnicities,” Knights Football Coach and Director of Student-Athlete & Coaching Development Mr. Shane Walton (‘98) said. “Hopefully [the performance] starts increasing awareness for everyone about all of the different races, and how everyone plays a part in what America is,” he added.

But the vocal performance wasn’t the only historical pre-game event. For the first time, fans watched in awe, as an all-woman Navy fly-over team marked the beginning of the game,  commemorating 50 years of women flying in the U.S. Navy since 1973. May McConkey (‘21), a current sophomore studying in the U.S. Naval Academy, said, “The flyover was inspiring; it’s amazing to watch these powerful women and know that I could one day be in their shoes. A couple of the pilots were Academy grads, as well, which makes it even more special because of the same USNA-specific experiences we share.”

May also clarified that although “it is a male-dominated force, the military is comprised of more women than people are aware of.” As of now, the Academy is roughly a third female, and the number grows each year. She continued by saying that the diversity of the Navy is their greatest strength, in her opinion. “It’s like football; each team needs a quarterback, but they also need a kicker. There are several different types of players but their unique strengths are what bring the team together. This flyover really showcases the diversity in the military, and I hope that it inspires young people to look into joining,” she added.

During the actual game, fans intently watched the well-fought match between the two teams, both led by African-American quarterbacks — for the first time in League history. Jalen Hurts led the Eagles with over 304 passing yards, 70 rushing yards, one touchdown pass, and three rushing touchdowns, according to BetMGM

Patrick Mahomes not only ended the game with the Chiefs with 182 passing yards, 44 rushing yards, and three touchdown passes, according to the Los Angeles Times, but also with his second Most Valuable Player (MVP) nomination in his NFL career. With the Chief’s Super Bowl win, Mahomes is the first player in NFL history to win multiple league championships and MVPs in his first six professional seasons, according to ClutchPoints; on top of being the first quarterback since Kurt Warner in 1999 to win NFL MVP and the Super Bowl in the same season, according to Rams Wire, with USA Today Sports.

Super Bowl LVII also marked the first time brothers would square off in the Super Bowl on opposite teams, according to NBC Connecticut. Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce took on his older brother, Eagles center Jason Kelce, during the game.

But it wasn’t just the plays during the quarters that were historical — the halftime show was nothing short of iconic. Rihanna’s performance at the Super Bowl was her first in around five years, after her performance at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards in New York City; talk about “Where Have You Been”? And according to Front Office Sports, she is now the first pregnant person and first woman billionaire to own the stage at the Super Bowl Halftime Show. “Take A Bow.”

It’s no secret that Super Bowl 57 is one for the history books. Averaging over 113 million viewers, Super Bowl 57 became the third most-watched television show in history, according to USA Today. Can Super Bowl 58 top that? Only time will tell.