Super Bowl congratulations for Kansas?

Associated Press

Trump fumbles tweet congratulating Kansas City

President Donald Trump fumbled his congratulatory tweet following the Super Bowl.

On the heels of the Kansas City's 31-20 Super Bowl victory over the San Francisco 49ers, Trump tweeted his congratulations for a "fantastic comeback." He added: "You represented the Great State of Kansas and, in fact, the entire USA, so well. Our Country is PROUD OF YOU!"

Plenty of people in Kansas are indeed Chiefs fans. But just as many and likely more are in Missouri. Just ask the season-ticket holders at Missouri-based Arrowhead Stadium. Or the thousands cheering Sunday night in downtown Kansas City, Missouri.

Although the Missouri-Kansas state line divides metropolitan Kansas City, the team itself is based on the Missouri side.

The president's tweet was quickly deleted and later replaced with a new message: "We are proud of you and the Great State of Missouri. You are true Champions!"

Leaving out Kansas altogether might annoy those on the other side of the state line.

Kansas City did it again and are Super Bowl champions.

Patrick Mahomes threw for a pair of touchdowns in the game's final 6:13, helping Kansas City erase a 10-point deficit and beat the San Francisco 49ers 31-20 in Super Bowl 54.

The go-ahead score: A 5-yard touchdown pass to Damien Williams with 2:44 left. Williams is a former Miami Dolphins running back and returned to his former field — Hard Rock Stadium — to enjoy the most significant night of his career.

Williams finished off the title march with a touchdown run with 1:12 left, a 38-yarder around the left end to seal the outcome.

It's the first Super Bowl crown for Kansas City coach Andy Reid, who'll no longer wear the distinction of being the winningest coach in NFL history without a championship.

Kansas City had a comeback flair throughout the playoffs, getting down 24-0 to Houston in the divisional round and then rallying from deficits of 10-0 and 17-7 to beat Tennessee in the AFC championship game.

They did it one more time, on football's biggest stage, and are Super Bowl champions for the second time. Kansas City lost the first Super Bowl, then won Super Bowl 4 — some 50 years ago.

San Francisco was in the Super Bowl for the seventh time and fell just short of winning what would have been a record-tying sixth championship. Only New England and Pittsburgh have six titles, and the 49ers were about six minutes away from joining their club.

And then they collapsed, giving up three touchdowns in a span of about five minutes. Mahomes finished 26 of 42 passing for 286 yards, his last pass intentionally going incomplete on the final play — a heave downfield to erase the final 5 seconds of Kansas City's 50-year wait.

Super Bowl ads dialed up fun as an antidote to politics

NEW YORK (AP) — In the real world, political primaries are looming, impeachment is ongoing and heavy news never seems to stop. But during commercial breaks in the Super Bowl, advertisers did their best to serve up an antidote heavily spiked with fun.

True, political ads did invade the game, with President Trump and Michael Bloomberg, one of his Democratic challengers, both running spots. But mostly advertisers struck back with millions spent on celebrities, humor and even some weirdness.

"Just let us have fun," said Stacey Wykoski, an administrative assistant in Grand Rapids, Michigan who watched the game at a Super Bowl Party with around a dozen people. "We're going to be so deluged with political ads over the next nine months."

For the most part, Super Bowl advertisers tried to oblige. They stayed away from social-cause messages and focused on lighthearted ads, stuffing them with popular celebrities, hit songs, funny dances and other gambits to appeal to Americans.

"This year it's all about a return to Super Bowl basics," said Kelly O'Keefe, managing partner of consultancy Brand Federation. "This is a year of pure escapism at a time when we all crave a little escape."

DELIVERING ON FUN

Since the Super Bowl falls on Groundhog's Day this year, it was nearly inevitable that there would be a nod to the classic 1993 movie. Jeep took the ball and ran with it, painstakingly recreating the town square and other locations from the film and casting original actors Bill Murray, Brian Doyle Murray and Stephen Tobolowsky. The twist: instead of a Chevrolet truck, Murray uses a Jeep Gladiator truck for his daily exploits.

Cheetos capitalized on nostalgia by using the 30-year old MC Hammer classic "U Can't Touch This." The snack-food ad featured a man with bright orange Cheetos dust on his hands who can't stop to help move furniture or take care of office tasks. Hammer himself — "Hammer pants" and all — also kept popping up to utter his iconic catchphrase.

If ads starred one celebrity, they often had more. Coke launched Coke Energy with an ad showing actor Jonah Hill rallying to meet Martin Scorsese at a party by drinking Coke's new energy drink. 

But stuffing celebrities in ads didn't always work. Hard Rock International enlisted Michael Bay for a frenetic commercial showing a frenzied heist caper involving Jennifer Lopez, Alex Rodriguez DJ Khaled, Pitbull, and Steven Van Zandt.

Charles Taylor, marketing professor at Villanova University, said many ads were "busy" with a lot going on. "They're going by quickly and it is hard to pick everything up."

That was true for Mark Nelson, watching the game at home with friends in Chicago. He said the Hard Rock ad stopped conversation at the Super Bowl party he was at, but "the story overwhelmed the brand. As one of my friends said, "I have no idea what that was for,'" he said.

ELECTRIC VEHICLES

The Super Bowl is always attracts automakers launching a new vehicles, and this year nearly every carmaker touted an electric car. 

Audi showed "Game of Thrones" actress Maisie Williams singing "Let it Go" to promote Audi's suite of electric vehicles. Hummer introduced Hummer EV with a cinematic black-and-white ad touting how quiet yet powerful the car is. 

Porsche promoted its Taycan electric car with a frenetic car chase. And Ford showed off its electric Mustang with the help of Idris Elba. 

SURREAL HUMOR

A tinge of weirdness crept into this years barrage of humor and celebrities. Quicken Loans Rocket Mortgage had an unsettling ad that showed "Aquaman" star Jason Momoa, known for his buff physique, heading home to "be himself" — as he strips off his muscles and hair to reveal he is skinny and bald. TurboTax tried to tie doing taxes into a CGI-enhanced dance of wobbling knees to a bouncy song, "All People Are Tax People."

Snickers imagined a world where people sing on a hilltop (an homage to a famous "Hilltop" Coke ad) about digging a giant hole and putting a giant Snickers in it because the "world is out of sorts."

And Pringle's enlisted Adult Swim's animated "Rick and Morty" duo with a meta ad in which the characters realize they're stuck inside a Pringles commercial. 

QUIET MESSAGES

Advertisers worked hard to avoid the return of "sadvertising" from a few years back — when Nationwide Insurance did an ad about a child who died, among other gloomy spots — and generally steered clear of polarizing issues like income inequality or immigration as we saw in 2017.

But there were still some serious messages in the mix.

The NFL ran a 60-second ad about the devastation police violence has on families and its Inspire Change Initiative that was created to spread awareness of social justice issues. But some criticized the ad as league hypocrisy given the exile of former player Colin Kaepernick over his activism on similar issues.

Kapernick started a wave of protests about social and racial injustice by kneeling during the national anthem at games. "Every attempt by the @NFL to rehabilitate its image among Black viewers will ring hollow as long as Kaepernick is still unsigned to an NFL team," tweeted Rashad Robinson, president of advocacy group Color of Change. "You cannot co-opt his message and blackball him at the same time."

Microsoft showcased Katie Sowers, the first female coach in a Super Bowl game. And New York Life focused on the different types of love in its ad. Verizon enlisted Harrison Ford to voice an ad that salutes first responders.

Google's ad stood out. It features a man reminiscing about his wife, using the Google Assistant feature to pull up old photos of her and past vacations.

Courtney Effinger, watching the game with her family outside of Detroit, Michigan, liked the ad. 

"It struck the heart chords," she said. The ad worked because not many ads took the "quiet" approach this year, said Paul Argenti, a Dartmouth College professor of corporate communication. 

"That's why it stands out, it's a little bit slower and focused on a social theme," he said.

Lopez, Shakira in joyful, exuberant halftime show

NEW YORK (AP) — Seizing their opportunity to make a cultural statement, Jennifer Lopez and Shakira infused the Super Bowl halftime show with an exuberance and joy that celebrated their Latina heritage.

Their breathless athleticism matched that of the football players waiting in the locker room.

Shakira opened with, yes, a hip-shaking performance of "She Wolf" and a fast-moving medley that included bits of "She Wolf," "Whenever, Wherever" and a snippet of Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir." She managed a belly dance, some rope dancing and even backed into a crowd surf. Shakira ended her with her signature song, "Hips Don't Lie."

Lopez, in a black leather outfit that her dancers matched, started with a nostalgic snippet of "Jenny From the Block." She exhibited some startling pole-dancing moves, a reference to her much-celebrated turn in the movie "Hustlers." At one point she bent into a deep squat while standing on the shoulders of a dancer that likely had muscles aching across the country in sympathy.

She tore through "Love Don't Cost a Thing," "Get Right, "On the Floor" and "Que Calor," finding time to slip away from the black leather in to sparkling silver outfit that left little to the imagination.

Having, essentially, an opening act for a concert that stretches not much longer than a dozen minutes was a risky move. At times the performance seemed rushed, as if they were trying to say too much in too short of time. The guest acts, J. Balvin and Bad Bunny, were superfluous and only served to better emphasize the talents of the headliners.

The first halftime show to celebrate Latino artists could rightly be declared a success, and it also bodes well for the management of Jay-Z, who packaged the program for the first time on a new deal with the NFL.

Memorably, Lopez's daughter, Emme, joined her mother for a verse of "Let's Get Loud," where the 11-year girl sang the chorus of Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A." Her mother then held out her arms and showed off a red, white and blue cape to the crowd that was a representation of the Puerto Rican flag in its inner lining, with the stars and stripes on the outside.

It was a reminder to a television audience that approached 100 million that a different part of America was making a powerful statement in favor of inclusion.

The two women came together at the end to sing "Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)," the song Shakira composed that was the theme of the 2010 World Cup.

"Muchas gracias," Shakira said as the camera pulled away.

"Thank you so much," Lopez said.

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