Culture / Sporting Life

Jennifer Lopez’s Surprise Political Statement and Andy Reid’s Coaching Clinic Steal the Super Bowl

Patrick Mahomes Gets the Trophy, But There are Other True MVPs in an Unusual Big Game That Breaks Boundaries

BY // 02.03.20

Patrick Mahomes has nothing on Jennifer Lopez and Shakira when it comes to wizardry. The Latin power women somehow work kids in cages singing “Let’s Get Loud” into a Super Bowl halftime show and slip it past the radar of the corporate overlords who obsessively review the plans for this highly choreographed mega event.

Lopez also sings Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” while draped in a Puerto Rican flag. Yes, JLo actually made powerful political statements in the Super Bowl halftime show — and they weren’t about selling something, the usual domain of these loud, highly produced performances.

And you thought Mahomes leading three scoring drives in the fourth quarter to erase a 10-point San Francisco 49ers lead was impressive?

Super Bowl LIV will one remembered for that halftime (the buttoned-down NFL may turn to Tony Bennett for next year’s halftime in Tampa Bay after this) and for Andy Reid getting his long deserved championship. Mahomes walks away with the MVP Trophy, the trip to Disney World and the fawning love of star chasers everywhere.

But the truth is the Kansas City Chiefs young quarterback icon did not play that well for most of the game. Instead, the aggressive coaching of Reid sets the stage for this 31-20 comeback win. The coach who is supposed to melt in big games, goes for it on fourth down twice in critical first half junctures, refusing to let his team be overwhelmed by a 49ers team that is playing with much more force and confidence.

Reid tells his young quarterback to keep firing, to keep trusting what he sees no matter how many shaky passes he throws.

The 61-year-old nicknamed Big Red knocked on the door so many times in Philadelphia, making the NFC Championship Game five times and losing a Super Bowl to New England when Donovan McNabb, another quarterback he mentored, seemed to run out of gas in the fourth quarter, dry heaving and perhaps throwing up in the huddle. Reid lost another heartbreaker to the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game last season.

“No one deserves this trophy more than Andy Reid,” Clark Hunt, the Chiefs co-owner and CEO, says in the postgame trophy ceremony broadcast around the globe.

Reid finally kicked down the title door and sweetly brought his wife of more than 40 years, Tammy Reid, along for seemingly every postgame TV interview he did.

The sight of Reid getting that long-awaited Gatorade shower (it was orange Gatorade for the prop bettors out there) is going to be one of enduring images of this Super Bowl. Along with Jennifer Lopez’s 11-year-old daughter, Emme Maribel Muñiz, emerging from one of those cage-like contraptions to sing even louder than her mom.

It’s a night that lets Bill O’Brien and the Houston Texans tell themselves that they lost that 24-0 playoff lead to the Super Bowl champs, a team that would not be denied. It’s a night that puts 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan on the fast track toward becoming this generation’s Marv Levy.

The creative Shanahan keeps orchestrating big Super Bowl leads — 28-3 over New England in Houston’s Super Bowl host city moment when he was offensive coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons and 20-10 over the Chiefs in the fourth quarter with a 95 percent expected win percentage — and losing them.

You get that idea that Shanahan could lose a race even if had Secretariat. He does not come close to trusting his quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, the way Reid trusts Mahomes. That whole legend of Jimmy G thing effectively died in this big game.

Then, there is Mahomes ending the Madden Curse (the idea that whoever graces the cover of the famed video game every year is destined to have their season doomed) and cementing his status as the best quarterback in football on a night when he doesn’t even play that well. (Chiefs running back Damien Williams actually should have won MVP.)

No matter — as long as Andy Reid gets to hug that Lombardi Trophy.

“He’s one the greatest coaches of all time, and he already was before this game,” Mahomes tells FOX afterwards. “But he deserved this.”

The 24-year-old from East Texas always seems to know exactly what to say.

It turns out Jennifer Lopez does too. The 50-year-old who’s been a superstar for more than 20 years gives a worldwide audience plenty to think about. A Super Bowl that produces deep thoughts? Something not about commercials or quarterbacks?

That’s a feat in itself.

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