A Super Game, except for …

COOPER KUPP made the game-winning catch for the Rams on Sunday in the Super Bowl (Jeff Lewis/LA Rams photo).

If you didn’t watch Sunday’s Super Bowl LVI contest between the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals, you are a member of one of the smallest minority groups in America.

In case you were unable to turn on the TV, the Rams won the Big Game by a score of 23-20 for the first time as a L.A. team, and brought an NFL title home to Southern California for the third time in over 70 years.

There were many highlights to the game, especially the Rams’ stirring fourth quarter drive, capped by memorable performances by quarterback Matthew Stanford and wide receiver Cooper Kupp.

A drive that lasted almost five minutes and covered 79 yards was punctuated by a “must-have” seven-yard run by Kupp on a fourth and one, and capped by Stafford’s 1-yard scoring pass to Kupp that essentially won the game.

But there were lowlights, too.

  • The first Bengals’ touchdown should have been disallowed. As you and 900 jillion other people saw during the broadcast, Bengals’ receiver Tee Higgins disposed of the Rams’ Jalen Ramsey – who was providing close coverage – by grabbing his facemask, twisting the helmet and thereby getting open for a 75-yard touchdown. Otherwise, it’s a 23-13 Rams win, in all likelihood.
  • Some folks have proclaimed the halftime show the “greatest ever,” but we beg to differ. The set – intended to evoke images of Compton from which a certain type of rap and hip-hop music emerged – was indeed innovative and creative. But the rapid-fire and sometimes muttering delivery of the singing, totally disregarding any attempt at enunciation left the vast majority of us mystified about what was being said/sung. It reminds one of the lines from William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth,” referring to “a tale … full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

    Before the game started, there were beautiful renditions of “America The Beautiful” by Jhene Aiko (who is an Asian American) and “The Star Spangled Banner” by Mickey Guyton (who is African American). However, the broadcasters had them mixed up and even ran Aiko’s name superimposed over an image of Guyton.

  • File this last one under: “What Have You Done For Me Lately?” ESPN immediately ranked the league’s teams for 2022 and somewhat disrespected the two teams who actually made it to the Super Bowl. That network has the Kansas City Chiefs in first, followed by the Buffalo Bills in second and the champion Rams in third. Fourth were the Green Bay Packers and in fifth were the Bengals, who came within 75 seconds of becoming the “world” champs. For Bolts fans, the Chargers are placed 11th, suggesting that Justin Herbert – still young and very talented – won’t continue to improve.

Oh, well, that’s what you get when you have 24 hours to fill and no action to show.

What about the …?

Yes, we’re focusing this week on the NFL, which won’t return until September. But we will return next week with an update on how our “winter sports” are doing, including the Lakers, Clippers, Ducks and Kings as well as the frozen fun in Beijing.

Pete Zarustica writes “Sports Monday.”

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