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Student news of Olympia High School

The Olympus

Super Bowl 2024: record viewership and global controversy

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Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes celebrates win against San Francisco 49ers after being named Super Bowl LVIII MVP. Photo courtesy of Timothy Clary.
Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes celebrates win against San Francisco 49ers after being named Super Bowl LVIII MVP. Photo courtesy of Timothy Clary.

The night of February 11th came with both enthusiasm and growing concerns. This year, Super Bowl Sunday has brought attention to various issues, ranging from Taylor Swift’s media prominence to Israeli airstrikes in Rafah.

Public sentiments have been expressed largely through social media platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter, and influencers worldwide continue to analyze the night’s events.

The 2024 Super Bowl was a head-to-head matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs, led in large by MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes, secured a 25-22 victory in overtime. This was a record-breaking game with viewership reaching an all-time high, at around 123.4 million viewers, as per initial Nielsen ratings disclosed by CBS the following day.

Other notable records include a 57-yard field goal by Chiefs’ kicker Harrison Butker, marking the longest field goal in Super Bowl history, and the longest recorded run time in Super Bowl game history, at just under 75 minutes. 

In the weeks leading up to the Championship, there have been frequent updates about Taylor Swift’s relationship with football star, Travis Kelce, and her influence on NFL viewership. Debate arose among football enthusiasts and Taylor Swift fans as to the NFL’s marketing strategies and the impact of her central role in the media.

Swift is currently one of the most well-known and influential celebrities of the time, keeping her in the spotlight for speculation. Swift’s critics bring about concerns regarding her environmental impact and her lack of response to world issues, such as the Israel-Palestine war.

Some have even theorized that the game’s results were manipulated in favor of increased viewership and profits brought in by the publicity of Taylor’s relationship with Kelce. However, evidence backing this theory is minimal.

Following the celebration, social media influencers took to the web with strong opinions regarding the Taylor Swift & Travis Kelce relationship, Super Bowl advertisements, and also events that occurred related to the Israel-Palestine war.  

During this year’s Super Bowl, Israel launched an airstrike on Rafah, Egypt, killing an estimated 67 Palestinians, according to data released by the Gaza Health Ministry. The city is currently the most populated in the world, housing about 1.4 million Palestinians, and was previously classified as a “safe zone” by the Israeli Defence Forces leading up to the attack.

Several prominent global influencers and activists have suggested that the extensive viewership of the Super Bowl was utilized by Israel to divert attention from the attacks on Rafah.

Conversation surrounding these events takes up a large presence in the news and on social media, as many hope to bring attention to the new developments of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

The timing in connection with the Super Bowl has also caused collective reflection on the values and priorities of many American citizens, as shown by influencers and activists on many popular media platforms. 

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About the Contributor
Sami Potvin, Journalist
Sami Potvin, a senior at Olympia High School, is a sports writer for the Olympus. In her free time, she likes to read, watch sports, listen to music, and spend time with friends and family. She also is committed to play fastpitch at Iowa State University where she will study Aerospace Engineering.

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