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Super Bowl blazes new trails

MON. | 03-08-21 | SPORTS

     Although Super Bowl LV was Feb. 7, and may not have been the most entertaining game ever football-wise, it did include some trailblazing accomplishments. From women breaking glass ceilings to players throwing trophies off of boats, this year's Super Bowl was unique.

     The final score of the game was 31-9 in favor of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers over the Kansas City Chiefs. The Buccaneers made history in this game before the ball had been kicked off, but went on to make more after the final whistle. They were the first team to play a Super Bowl at home, which is rare as stadiums are selected years in advance, then after winning they became the first team to win a Super Bowl at home. The Bucs also have one of the most diverse coaching staffs in the entire National Football League (NFL) as they are the only team in the NFL who have


Photo contributed by John Biever/NFL

black coaches calling the shots in all three aspects of the game. Their offensive coordinator is Byron Leftwich, their defensive coordinator is Todd Bowles and their special teams coordinator is Keith Armstrong. This was groundbreaking because they are not only the first team in NFL history to advance to the Super Bowl with all black coordinators, but also the first to win it.

     In addition to their coordinators, the Bucs staff also includes two of the eight female coaches in the NFL. They are the only team in the NFL who have multiple women coaching for them. Maral Javadifar is an assistant strength and conditioning coach while Lori Locust is the assistant defensive line coach. This pair made history by becoming the first female coaches to win a Super Bowl.

     However, they were not the only two women who made history that night as Sarah Thomas became the first female referee to ref a Super Bowl. She was hired as the NFL’s first full-time female referee in 2015. She reffed her first playoff game in 2019 and reffed this year's Super Bowl as a down judge. Although it was her first Super Bowl, it was the Buccaneer’s superstar quarterback’s tenth.

     Tom Brady played his 21st season this past year, but it was his first year where he was not a part of the New England Patriots. Brady won six Super Bowls in his time with the Patriots and has been considered the greatest quarterback of all time even before this year. He joined the Bucs last March and people were excited to see how he would play under a system other than his career long head coach Bill Belichick in New England. Brady has definitely proven that he does not need Belichick’s system to be competitive. With his seventh Super Bowl ring, he extends his lead for the most in the NFL amongst players and now has more than any NFL franchise. He also passed Michael Jordan who won six rings in the NBA. After winning this Super Bowl he and his teammates decided to celebrate in style.

     To celebrate Super Bowl wins, most teams parade through their home cities main streets, but due to COVID-19, the Bucs took to the water with a boat parade in Tampa Bay, FL. The team and their families split up among different boats. Their boats moved through the Hillsborough River past cheering crowds gathered on the riverside. The city encouraged face coverings and altered the initial route to assure more room for fans to spread out among the riverside. The ceremony concluded with the team returning to land where players and coaches gave speeches to onlooking fans thanking them for their support and encouraging another successful year next year. However, the most iconic moment of the parade was when Brady tossed the $10,000 trophy from his boat to tight end Rob Gronkowski’s boat. The catch was made by his fellow tight end Cameron Brate.

     This Super Bowl will not only go into the books for being the conclusion of a COVID-19 restricted season, but also for the history that was involved including the venue, coaches, referress, players, the annual parade and the trophy itself. Until next September, when the 2021 NFL season begins, sports fans will have a lot to look back on from Super Bowl LV.

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