Another year, another Super Bowl, another underdog victory. The amount of money lost last Sunday was probably more than the economic crisis of 2008. But enough talk of dollars and cents. This Super Bowl was special. It marked half a century of great American football. To celebrate this wondrous occasion, the NFL decided to host the championship game’s 50th birthday at the brand new 49er’s stadium, Levi’s stadium. Ever since the Super Bowl turned 38 years old, I have had the privilege of watching this championship game age first hand as apart of a tradition between me and my father. I must say, Super Bowl 50 was nothing short of a grand show.
In the days leading up to this monumental game, fans flooded the Bay Area. No matter where one went — from San Francisco to San Diego — boys, girls, men, women, and even figures dressed like “the Pope of the Super Bowl” claimed ownership of the dry California land. All one would see — across the street, at the local In-N-Out Burger, even in a random restroom — were pigments of orange/blue or black/blue jerseys and hats. The overwhelming amount of football in the three short days I was in California felt like a laser pass from Peyton Manning straight to the gut. Even an animal rights activist, against the use of pig skin being used to make footballs, would not be able to hide from the excitement and joy that trailed this game even moments before kickoff. Do they still even make footballs out of pigskin?
The atmosphere inside the young, one year old stadium, was magnetic. The fans, mass amount of retired football stars, commentators, and 15 dollar beers pulled you into fun and passion that surrounds the sport. Well maybe not the last one. I say this because walking into the game I had no preference as to who won — being from Miami, I have learned to enjoy every Super Bowl without malice since my team does not even remotely get close to even advancing into the post-season — but the positive energy that loomed over the stadium and pure excitement from every single individual Sunday, the 7th of February, forced me to burst out into cheering and high fiving as the game progressed.
California being on the West Coast meant a slew of Denver fans were certain to permeate the seats of Levi’s Stadium. In fact, there were so many Denver fans outweighing the Carolina fans in the stadium, that it basically looked like a field of yelling tangerines. When Denver would make an incredible defensive play — which at one point there were too many to count — the crowd of anxious tangerines would roar uncontrollably. So much so, that my ears are still ringing. Around halftime, the air in Carolina fans had already been knocked out. Halftime came, Bruno Mars, Beyonce, and Chris Martin (the English guy between Bruno Mars and Beyonce in the pictures) gave their haphazard 15 minute concert, and we were back to football. Denver fans were in nirvana while Carolina fans were nervous, but the game was not over yet. Carolina fans gained their momentum after a couple of great plays in the second half, but were eventually thwarted by the best defense in the league.
After Super Bowl 50 came to a close and people were leaving the stadium, the only thing that stayed behind was the passion of the game. Leaving the stadium, people cried out in horror because their team had lost, others cried out in pure ecstasy and basked in the last dying moments of the NFL season. All in all, being in California for the “big game” was an incredible experience and one to never forget.