- American Kahani caught up with some GenZers to find out what they were up to on Super Bowl Sunday and how they felt about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers demolishing the Chiefs 31-9, Sunday night.
Super Bowl Sunday is a favorite TV watching day alongside the Oscars and Grammys, even if one is not a sports enthusiast. For many, Super Bowl Sundays are an excuse to get together with friends, watch the latest and coolest ads, the half-time show, eat, drink and make merry.
However, the Super Bowl Sunday 2021 looked a little different. No big party. No friends. Just family and the television.
American Kahani caught up with some GenZers to find out what they were up to on Super Bowl Sunday and how they feel about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers demolishing the Chiefs 31-9, Sunday night.
Fifteen-year-old high school Sophomore Friana Siganporia, who loves watching the Super Bowl every year hoped that the Kansas City Chiefs would win and believed that although Tom Brady (Buccaneers quarterback) was “good but Mahomes (Chief’s quarterback) had got it in the bag”.
However, Siganporia was very disappointed seeing the game unfold because not only did her team lose but “it wasn’t even close.” Siganporia, a good sport does tell American Kahani that although not cheering for the Buccaneers, she enjoyed watching “their defense at the 1 yard line.”
Unlike previous years when Siganporia would gather at family friends’ homes to watch, this year, she curled up with a bowl of popcorn on the couch with her family. “But I Facetimed my friends throughout the game,” she said.
Ninth grade Rohan Kumar (14), who got together at home with a friend’s family to watch Super Bowl LV says he picked the underdogs – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – to win because, “I like Brady. He has a family and has still managed to keep up with his game.”
Rohan said that he was looking forward to an evening of “good food and a great offense and defense game.” And although the game wasn’t exciting per se, Kumar was thrilled his team won.
Kamyaab Kotwal Cornett, who along with his parents and brother Shayaan joined the Kumar family said, “I think the Chiefs will win, but I am rooting for the Buccaneers.”
Kamyaab who was hoping for an “exciting and close game” believes that Brady is an amazing athlete with tremendous longevity. “Probably the greatest football player of all time,” says the 15-year-old Brady fan.
His 13-year-old brother on the other hand, Shayaan, who was looking forward to some good ol’ “smack talk”, was rooting for the Chiefs, although he secretly believed the Buccaneers would emerge victorious.
A very politically-savvy middle-schooler, Shayaan, added of the Trump-supporting, MAGA-hat wearing Brady, “He is a terrific player. Age doesn’t seem to affect his game. But I wish his politics were different.”
He added with a laugh, “Maybe the many hits to his head explains his friendship with Trump!”
But at the end of the day, regardless of the side you rooted for Shayaan was just glad football was taking place. “It directs our attention momentarily away from the pandemic. The Super Bowl is entertaining in so many ways, I’m just glad football is happening.”
As to the food for the party, mom Nairika Cornett chimes in, “BBQ in honor of the Chiefs and coconut shrimp for Tampa Bay was on the menu last evening!”
Speaking to the Cornett brothers at the end of the game, they both echoed the same sentiment – disappointment at how one-sided the game was. “There was very little mojo in the room. It seemed the victory belonged to the Bucs, from the get go.”
However, they did point out that although they found the half-time show subdued in keeping with previous years (“J-Lo and Shakira were awesome last year”), they appreciated that the celebration wasn’t tone deaf to the ongoing pandemic, which was “the clear message sent by the face coverings dancers wore during the half-time show”, they said in unison.
Ivan Chaitanya Chariatte (13), an eighth grader in Miami ordered some pizza and watched the teams duke it out for Super Bowl LV with his family, who are following strict social distancing during Covid. “We are not getting any balloons or confetti like we did before, as those are only fun when we have friends over.”
But even without a party, an upbeat Chariatte said, “I love the music of Weeknd, so I am looking forward to the half-time show. But above all, I am excited to see Tom Brady play. Go Bucs!”
After the game, Chariatte told American Kahani that the half-time performance did not disappoint and he was thrilled that a Miami team had won.
However, not everyone was planning a quiet evening in. Carl Billimoria, a sophomore at University of Georgia (UGA) is excited about Super Bowl LV as he had “plan to watch it in my apartment with a few friends and have a good time.”
Bilimoria who prior to kickoff thought the Chiefs would win, however, does admit that “it could be anyone’s game.”
Bilimoria also pointed out that he had respect for Brady’s game and honestly, believes he has the best team accomplishments of all time. “At the end of the day, regardless of whoever wins, I was just sad to see my team (Green Bay Packers) lose, basically the same game for the past few years in the playoffs, coming so close and then end up choking and going home empty-handed, says the devoted Packers’ fan.
Speaking to American Kahani, a disappointed Billimoria said, “It was sad to see such a talented player like Mahomes have his whole team quit on him at the end of the game.”
Eighth grader Brady Banerjee lives in a house divided. Dad Bobby and he root for the Chiefs, while mom, Kelli is rooting for the Buccaneers. “The Chiefs have Patrick Mahomes, so of course they will win,” said the 14-year-old Pennsylvania resident, prior to the game. This year Banerjee stayed home with his family, due to Covid concerns, noshing on a multi-cultural fare – from samosas to chicken strips and of course, shrimp!
After the game, a despondent Banerjee, whose beloved Chiefs got hammered by the Buccaneers says, “That blowout was awful. I think the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won because I was cheering the Chiefs….but maybe next year….” trails off a hopeful Banerjee.
And as Tom Brady and the Buccaneers head home victorious, another Super Bowl, albeit a little different in 2021, is in the books.
Anu Ghosh immigrated to the U.S. from India in 1999. Back in India she was a journalist for the Times of India in Pune for 8 years and a graduate from the Symbiosis Institute of Journalism and Communication. In the U.S., she obtained her Masters and PhD. in Communications from The Ohio State University. Go Buckeyes! She has been involved in education for the last 15 years, as a professor at Oglethorpe University and then Georgia State University. She currently teaches Special Education at Oak Grove Elementary. She is also a mom to two precocious girls ages 11 and 6.