Super Bowl LVI Aftermath

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Jake Miller, Staff Writer

Super Bowl LVI was a fun one. A clash between what looked like a super team and an underdog that made it further than anyone thought possible. While this is not completely off base, I think it is important to take a closer look at a few player’s experiences after the big game to truly appreciate the amount of heart and dedication both teams put into it. 

The Rams, the winners of the 2022 Super Bowl, have received criticism for building a super team with trades and big signings, going all in for this year alone. I cannot say this sentiment is wrong, but after seeing some of the amazing stories that came out of it, I am glad they got their win. One such story was Van Jefferson. A Rams wide receiver, Jefferson celebrated in the confetti with his kids before rounding them up and heading to the hospital to meet their new sibling. That’s right, while he was playing the biggest game of his life, his wife was giving birth to his son. This had to have been one of the best days of his life. A less upbeat story, but one that still is positive, is the possibility of Aaron Donald, Rams star defensive end, retiring at 30 years old. Before the game Aaron Donald made it clear retirement was a possibility after the Super Bowl. When asked about it after the game, he said he was focused on enjoying this moment with his kids. At the parade, however, he hinted at a possibility of doing it one more time, although who knows how credible these words were coming from a visibly inebriated Donald. There are plenty of fun stories from the Rams following the Super Bowl, like lifelong Lions QB Matt Stafford winning it all or Cooper Kupp getting Super Bowl MVP after arguably the greatest Wide Receiver season of all time, but I think it is also important to look at the losing side. 

The Bengals, the loser of this year’s Super Bowl, were a clear underdog coming into the playoffs, projected to win six or less games in the regular season. Young QB Joe Burrow proved the media wrong quickly, bringing them to a 10-7 record to win the division. After some close games in the playoffs, they found themselves at the biggest game in American sports, the Super Bowl. A heartbreaking loss played out in front of all watching the game. One person that I’d like to key in on is Joe Burrow, the aforementioned young QB that led his team to greatness. He was clearly shaken by the loss, but towards the end of his post game interview he said, “We have to let it fuel us.” This loss seems to not be the end to this Bengals team, not even close according to Burrow. Ja’Marr Chase, former college teammate of Joe Burrow and current NFL teammate, had a bit less to say, tweeting out “Damn” and being relatively quiet since then. While the loss was heartbreaking, I do not see this team going anywhere anytime soon. A young team with only one retiree this year, (Ricardo Allen) they should be able to keep this great team together and make another run next year.

Super Bowl LVI was a good one, a memorable matchup that had a lot of fun moments. One thing I want people to remember though is that these players are people too. They feel the same disappointment that you may have, but amplified by 1000. Even those that win want to hang it up to be with their family. All in all, have fun with football, and stop taking it so seriously if you’re not the one playing. 

 

* photo via Google Images under the Creative Commons license