The 2022 Super Bowl was a memorable affair, especially for The McGill Tribune sports section. The evening was hectic right from the start; accessing the biggest game in American football as Canadian university students and finding a good stream proved to be a challenge. As students without cable, armed with only a Roku TV, a laptop, plenty of snacks, and determination, we went through a number of options before finding a 20-dollar service.
Without further ado, The McGill Tribune sports editors present the most compelling moments from the 2022 edition of the greatest show on Earth: The NFL Super Bowl.
Just when things started to look bleak for the Bengals, Tee Higgins came to their rescue with two back-to-back touchdowns. One of them, a pass from Joe Mixon, constituted the very first throw of his five-year career to help the Bengals start their comeback bid, making the score 13-10. Higgins’ second touchdown in the third quarter was a 75-yard play off of a beautiful pass from Joe Burrow, putting the Bengals in a 17-13 lead. While Jalen Ramsey of the Rams allowed this reception, many were calling foul play, as Higgins grabbed Ramsey’s face mask to avoid being tackled. Ramsey’s defence was otherwise phenomenal and helped bring the Rams to victory. However, the Rams’ most important play of the game was arguably Aaron Donald sacking Joe Burrow and quashing any hopes of a comeback after the Bengals went down 23-20 with less than a minute left. The Rams would likely not have the Super Bowl title today if it weren’t for his efforts. However, the Super Bowl MVP was awarded to his teammate Cooper Kupp, who made eight catches for 92 yards and two touchdowns.
Bumps, bangs, and big bruises are a far too common occurrence in football, and this game was no exception. Quarterbacks for both teams sustained injuries, and Rams star Odell Beckham Jr. had to leave the game after his foot caught in the artificial turf and he suffered a knee injury. Before going down, OBJ opened up the scoring for the Rams with a 17-yard touchdown reception and another stunning 35-yard reception. A key player for the Rams, OBJ’s absence was certainly felt in the second half as the Bengals piled on the pressure with a touchdown and an interception all in the first 15 seconds of play. Nevertheless, the team prevailed, and although he was unable to play for much of the game, he still walked away with a Super Bowl ring.
The Halftime Show
This year’s halftime show featured hip-hop legends Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar, Eminem, and surprise guest 50 Cent. The star-studded lineup was complemented by a carefully crafted set exploding with detail, including what looked like a depiction of the Los Angeles city grid covering the field. While each act proved incredible, two of our favourites were Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar. Blige’s performance, a passionate act with powerhouse vocals, captured early-2000s nostalgia with flair. Eminem closed out the acts, capping off his performance by taking a knee for one minute, defying rumoured instructions by the NFL to keep politics out of the show. The rapper was largely met with praise, while activist and former quarterback Colin Kaepernick continues to be ostracized from the NFL for taking the knee in 2016.
Rams Final Touchdown
After a tumultuous push toward the end zone in the fourth quarter of the game, the Rams’ persistence, coupled with some questionable calls, led the team to score a touchdown. This tipped the scale, bringing the score to 23-20 and setting off what would ultimately result in a Super Bowl title for the Los Angeles team. After the Rams’ third down, Bengals linebacker Logan Wilson received a holding penalty. Referees ruled that the penalty would give the Rams an automatic first down. In the following play, both teams were given penalties, which referees ruled would “cancel out” the play and allow the Rams to start yet another first down. With a third opportunity in hand, Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp scored a one-yard touchdown with less than a minute and a half left of play.