This past Sunday in the Super Bowl XLVIII game, the Denver Broncos played against the Seattle Seahawks at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey while many Vassar students attended programming around campus. The Seahawks defeated the Broncos 43-8, a score difference not seen since Super Bowl XXVII in 1992.
ViCE collaborated with the VSA Programming Board, Lathrop and Raymond Houses and organized a Super Bowl viewing in UpC on Sunday night, complete with free wings and pizza for those who arrived early enough to get some. Viewing parties were also organized by Strong, Joss, Davison and Jewett’s House Teams in their respective dorms. Jewett and Davison offered pizza to their attendees, while Strong’s Floor Fellows provided chips and dip. Lorraine Kwok ’15, who watched in Jewett, said the event was a good opportunity for people in the house to come together and be sociable. “I thought the organization of the Super Bowl party was a great way for members of Jewett to share the same space, given that there are so many of us living in a such a large dorm.”
The Super Bowl is one of the most-watched televised events, and this year’s game brought in 111.5 million viewers, making it the most watched TV show in US history (“Foxes Super Bowl Scores…” deadline.com, 2.3.14). In addition, because of the high number of people who attend the games—over 80 thousand—the Super Bowl is considered a Level 1 national security event; there were state troopers, patrol cars, K9 bomb-sniffing dogs and around 3,000 private security guards present at this year’s game (NJ.com, “Super Bowl 2014”, 2.2.14).
Vice President of Raymond House Lauren Garcia said the UpC event went off without too much competitive tension. “No one started pummeling anyone during the opposing team’s touchdowns, so I’d say it went fine.” A floor fellow in Strong, Maddy Vogel ’15, similarly confirmed in an emailed statement, saying,“The atmosphere was very chill and nice! We had more people there than we expected and everyone was friendly.”
This year’s game was the first Super Bowl where two states, New York and New Jersey, were both hosts to the annual game. There were three stadiums bidding to be the host of the games: Metlife Stadium in New Jersey, Raymond James Stadium in Florida and Sun Life Stadium, also in Florida. After four rounds of voting, it was finalized that the game would take place in East Rutherford, NJ, making it the first time for the game to be held in an open stadium in a cold-weather city. However, game day actually turned out to be warmer than usual, at 49 degrees during kickoff at 6:32 p.m.
The Seahawks won this season’s NFC West division and finished the season 13-3. Their second-year quarterback, Russell Wilson, was at the head of the offense for the team. The Broncos were led by 16-year veteran quarterback Peyton Manning; they finished 13-3 and won the AFC West division. After the first two quarters of the game, the Seahawks were leading 22-0; after the half-time show, the Broncos finally made it on the scoreboard at the end of the third quarter, leaving the score 39-8 with the Seahawks 31 points ahead.
As always, while many were there for the sports, there were others more interested in the ads, halftime show or food. Lucia Zampaglione ’15, who watched the game in the Raymond MPR, admitted, “To be honest I was more preoccupied with the fact that me and my friends got wings and were eating them together than the game itself.” House President of Davison Khasi-Marc Jamieson ’16 observed, “All who were there seemed to thoroughly enjoy the halftime show and though we had an overall large turnout, a majority of the members of the house left promptly after it.”
One of the most anticipated performances every year is the halftime show, this year featuring Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Mars performed a mash-up of his many hits in the 14-minute performance, including “Billionaire”, “Locked Out of Heaven” and “Treasure”, with his band The Hooligans. The Red Hot Chili Peppers later joined Mars in singing their 1991 song “Give It Away” and collaborated in singing “Runaway Baby.” Mars finished the performance with his song “Just the Way You Are,” raking in over 115.3 million viewers for the whole performance, breaking the record that Madonna set two years ago with 114 million viewers.
Mars’ halftime show was well-received at Vassar, too. Jordan Burns ’16 commented, “Who knew Bruno Mars and the Chili Peppers would be so awesome together? One of the classiest and most rock and roll performances I’ve seen at the Super Bowl.” Still, some comparisons to last year’s performance, for better or worse, were inevitable. Vogel admitted, “I didn’t pay attention because it wasn’t Beyoncé.”
The Seahawks were generously rewarded for winning their first Super Bowl Championship, with each member of the team receiving a $92,000 bonus check. Although the Broncos lost the game, each of their players still receive a bonus check of $46,000. The league itself for the players pays the bonuses, with the total bonus for the Seahawks and Broncos to be 5.8 million and 2.9 million dollars, respectively. In addition to the bonuses, the Seahawks received post-season paychecks with a total post-season NFL payout of $9.9 million for the whole team.