Super Bowl lives up to hype

Michael Guido, Managing & Sports Editor

Super Bowl LVI had all the intangibles to be a memorable game: legendary players, the backdrop of California weather, an A-list halftime show and multiple story lines. 

In the end, it all lived up to the hype. 

The Los Angeles Rams captured their second franchise Super Bowl title by defeating the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20. 

The win marked the first championship for the franchise since they were the St. Louis Rams in 1999. 

This also served as the first Super Bowl for an LA-based team since the Los Angeles Raiders beat the Washington team 38-9 in Super Bowl XVIII, bringing the city a trophy that had eluded it for decades.  

The Rams were led by a cast of title-starved talent, such as Matthew Stafford, Aaron Donald, Odell Beckham Jr. and Andrew Whitworth. 

Stafford, who was acquired from the Detroit Lions last offseason, had never won a playoff game coming into the postseason, as his 12 years in Detroit were marked by mediocrity; however, in just his first season as a Ram, Stafford guided his team to the Super Bowl, reminding the world that the talent was always there, albeit with a weak supporting cast. 

Beckham Jr. has been regarded as a top wide receiver in the NFL but remained someone who couldn’t seem to win the big ones.  

After beginning the season with the Cleveland Browns, Beckham Jr. was released following off-the-field issues and as a result landed with the Rams, believing it was his best shot at winning a title; he wound up being correct. 

Donald, a product of Pittsburgh and regarded as perhaps the league’s best defensive player of the 2010s, came into the game chasing his first ring; despite all the awards and career achievements, one thing stood to be gained, and it was the achievement of winning a Lombardi.  

Then there was Whitworth, a career lineman who had spent most of it in Cincinnati before joining the Rams. At the age of 40, Whitworth is the oldest player in the league and after 16 seasons got his first shot at a title.  

Coached by the Rams’ Sean McVay and the Bengals’ Zac Taylor, the game featured the youngest matchup of head coaches in Super Bowl history, with McVay at 36 years old and Taylor at 38.  

The game featured it all, with exciting trick plays, electrifying throws by both Stafford and Bengals phenom Joe Burrow and of course the superb halftime show that at times made you think the world had taken a DeLorean back to 2004.  

Overall, Super Bowl LVI will go down as a solid championship game.  

While it may not have been on par with, say, Super Bowl XLIX or Super Bowl XLIII, it still gave football fans all around a grudge match that went down to the wire and in the process showcased new blood in the big game. 

A solid game that won’t soon be forgotten.   


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