Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Students react to this year's unusual Super Bowl amid COVID-19

February 8, 2021
<p>Junior defensive end William Gholston pumps up the crowd Nov. 3, 2012, at Spartan Stadium. Gholston was a member of the Superbowl LV winning Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who defeated the Kansas City Chiefs on Feb. 7, 31-9 to become the first team to pay in and win a Superbowl at their home stadium. (Adam Toolin/The State News)</p>

Junior defensive end William Gholston pumps up the crowd Nov. 3, 2012, at Spartan Stadium. Gholston was a member of the Superbowl LV winning Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who defeated the Kansas City Chiefs on Feb. 7, 31-9 to become the first team to pay in and win a Superbowl at their home stadium. (Adam Toolin/The State News)

Photo by Adam Toolin | The State News

During the big game Sunday, students in East Lansing are usually busy gathering around the big screens with friends and family as they cheer on for their favorite teams and pass around snacks. However, the scene in the city looked a bit different this year.

With the COVID-19 restrictions still in place and the 'enhanced physical distancing' issued by MSU, students watched the game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers while maintaining the pandemic limits.

“We still gathered, but it was in a smaller number than it would be normally," packaging sophomore Cole Arnold said. "We still did everything that would be normal for a Super Bowl celebration, there were still snacks and appetizers. Everything was normal just in a smaller quantity, probably.”

About 30,000 cardboard cutouts filled the stands of Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Florida, where the game took place. These customized cutouts, which fans could purchase for $100, sat between real spectators to ensure social distance was maintained during the game. With a smaller crowd at the stadium, Arnold noticed the the halftime performance was smaller as well.

“I thought it was just like any other halftime performance, except it looked a little more dead because obviously there weren't the amount of fans that there would normally be at a Super Bowl watching,” Arnold said. “But, then again, there’s the same amount of people watching from home, if not more, so it’s just as exciting.

Arnold, who was rooting for the Chiefs, was underwhelmed by their performance when they lost, 31-9, to the Buccaneers.

“I was not satisfied with their performance," Arnold said. "But that’s only because the other team played better defense.”

Although Arnold did not get to see his team win, he did get to see the commercial for Alexa, featuring actor Michael B. Jordan, which was a favorite among him and his friends. 

“I sat in my living room with my roommates and did homework while it was playing in the background," pre-med junior Hannah Visser said.

Visser lives in an apartment of four and was able to enjoy the game as well as the halftime show while keeping the gathering small. 

“Overall, I think he (The Weeknd) did a good job," Visser said. "There’s a high expectation for halftime.”

Visser was also impressed by the Paramount streaming services commercial for its celebrity flair.

Computer science sophomore Ben Schlussel spent his night in a similar way to Visser's. 

“I just stayed in my room and watched it with my roommate,” Schlussel said.

But unlike Visser, Schlussel was less impressed with The Weeknd’s performance and said it was like any other halftime shows.

Schlussel was also supporting the Chiefs to win, though he thought the team did not try their best. 

“It wasn’t really a good game, but whatever," he said.

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