Kansas City takes Super Bowl LVII

Kaylee Donnelly, Senior Writer

The NFL season finally came to a head last Sunday in Super Bowl LVII where the Kansas City Chiefs played the Philadelphia Eagles at the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. It was a tight game, with both the Chiefs and the Eagles remaining relatively close to each other in score throughout the match. 

The end of the game saw the two teams tied at 35 with relatively little time left. This fourth quarter proved to be the decider for the match, as the Chiefs held their position in front of the goal line until the last couple seconds of the game. 

A field goal by Harrison Butker with eight seconds left in the match put the Chiefs ahead of the Eagles at 38-35. Despite the Eagles attempt to come back with one last deep throw, quarterback Jalen Hurts’ arm fell short and the ball fell to the ground. With this play, the Chiefs won the Super Bowl. 

This game was not without its complications. Two controversies arose from this match, one about the field and one about the refereeing. 

The first was the grass in State Farm Stadium. This grass is different from many of the fields in the NFL. The stadium itself is quite unique because outside of football, the area holds banquets and consumer events. To accomplish this, the field is built on retracting rollers so that it can be rolled away whenever needed. The roof on the stadium is also retractable, and is only opened during the daytime to expose the grass to sun when needed, and closed at night. 

The specific grass itself is natural grass, classified as Tahoma 31. Despite the field and stadium occasionally being referred to as “revolutionary,” it didn’t appear so during the game. Both teams seemed to be losing their footing and slipping on plays. Fans could see key players like Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes slipping on several running plays, as well as Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco slipping during his touchdown celebration. 

The grass caused several players to change their cleats, including Philadelphia quarterback Hurts. While the coaches and players stressed it wasn’t an excuse for faulty plays or the score of the game, it was clear it did affect certain players and their movement. 

The other complication was the controversial calls by the referees that had fans up in arms throughout the game; the most notable being the call in the final moments of the game. 

With a little under two minutes left, with the ball in the Chiefs’ possession, it seemed as though Kansas City was going to have to kick a field goal and return the ball to the Eagles. Instead, a flag was thrown on the play. Juju Smith-Schuster, a Kansas City wide receiver, was held back on the play near the pylon, causing a holding call on Philadelphia defensive cornerback James Bradberry. 

While the call was technically correct, it caused a lot of uproar by fans in real life and on social media. Many believed the call to be nit-picky, and furthermore speculated that the game was “rigged.” It was this call that led Kansas City back to a first down, where they kneeled the ball twice, running the clock down to 11 seconds to kick their winning field goal. This call could have literally changed the game.

Afterwards, Bradberry admitted to the holding, as minor as it was. The refereeing itself was not incorrect, but the discontentment that fans felt in the final moments of the game was palpable. In all, Super Bowl LVII had its great moments, and was all together an entertaining game. For Eagles fans specifically, it was a great disappointment, but each team has half the year to rebuild and try to come back for another great season this fall.

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