There were so many good-feeling moments from Super Bowl LIV. Here in Mazatlán, Mexico, I had proudly worn my Chiefs’ shirt in anticipation of the big event. Sometimes a stranger would give me a “thumbs-up” and point to my shirt, but since many of the people who live here are from the San Francisco area, that not always was the case.
Dave and I were the only Chiefs’ fans at the Super Bowl party we hosted. That did not dissuade me from hanging two Chiefs’ banners, one in my window and the other in my living room. We were excited! Well, I was. As Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs’ quarterback, explained when asked in a pre-game interview how he remains so calm, he said he once was a baseball pitcher, and pitchers have to remain calm to do well. Enough said.
The pregame ceremonies were filled with nostalgia as the host city brought back the NFL’s top 100 former football players. Four centurions who served in W.W. II were introduced, with one presenting the token for the coin flip (at which point, I admit I teared up). Yolanda Adams’ rendition of “America the Beautiful” gave me goose bumps, as did the flyover with four jets streaming above in perfect synchronization. Players from both teams lined their respective 24-yard lines as a tribute to legendary basketball player Kobe Bryant who died in a tragic helicopter crash the week before.
And then there was the game which, for three quarters, looked like head coach Andy Reid would be denied his first-ever Vince Lombardi trophy. But then the Chiefs do what they do best: They came back. Down 20-10 midway through the fourth quarter, the Chiefs tacked on 21 additional points to win the game. During the postgame festivities, Chiefs’ CEO Clark Hunt credited the Lord for “blessing us with this opportunity. The glory belongs to Him, and this trophy belongs to the best fans in the National Football League.” According to the “Tyler Morning Telegraphy,” Hunt previously had shared his faith and spoken about how he makes spiritual development a priority. “In the National Football League, Christ is really glorified. My identity is my faith in Christ.”
Like I said, those were some of the many feel-good moments from Super Bowl LIV. My disappointment—shared by many friends—was the half-time show featuring two multi-talented, athletic, gorgeous Latino women: Jennifer Lopez and Shakira. Local Facebook postings were divided between those who considered it “the best halftime performance ever” and those who considered it the worst. In reading several reviews the following day, the word “sexy” appeared in most. But is that the goal of entertainment at the Super Bowl?
One of my girlfriend’s eight-year old twins commented on how “nasty” the dancers were. Granted, the show was intended to pay tribute to the Latin culture (at one point, Lopez’s caped American flag was reversed to the Puerto Rico one), but I felt this show’s vulgarity failed to live up to the dignity that preceded–and followed–it in what is supposed to be a family-friendly event. Both of these entertainers are too talented for such a performance! What confused me was how the NFL speaks out against human trafficking yet allows women to become objects who use their bodies to bring attention to the plight of their country. (As an aside, while the two dancers were entertaining the crowd, a dear friend was rescuing prostitutes on a trafficking sting.) No doubt that adds to why I found this show particularly offensive.
Christ certainly was not glorified during that act, and I was disappointed that an otherwise classy event was marred by such an unclassy performance. Nothing about it made me proud to be an American, except, I guess, that we are a nation of freedoms, even to the point that such freedoms give us the right to pole dance at a football game. Remember Yolanda Adams lyrics, “America, America, God shed His grace on thee…”? Fortunately, that covers even the Lopez/Shakira halftime show.