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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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NU students gather to snack, shout and swoon at Super Bowl watch parties on campus

Illustration by Shveta Shah
McCormick freshman Vaibhav Mehra is from India and only started watching football last year. He said he enjoyed the Willard Super Bowl party because of the passion Americans display for the sport.

If you witnessed students cheering, jumping, or dancing Sunday night at Northwestern, you probably came across a Super Bowl watch party. Whatever the reason for watching — the friends, the food, or the Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce love story — students gathered in their dorms and apartments and with student organizations to watch the Kansas City Chiefs play the San Francisco 49ers.

Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman, Jr. hauled in the game-winning touchdown reception to beat the 49ers 25-22 in overtime.

While not all NU students are avid football fans — or Taylor and Travis enthusiasts — many said they chose to attend on-campus watch parties to socialize.

“Even if you don’t like football, people still come hang out, there’s good food and good company,” Medill freshman Ethan Weinberg said. “In general, it fosters a kind of community in the dorms and on campus that we haven’t really been able to get as much of recently.” 

Super Bowl LVIII was a record-breaking “Sunday showdown” for the NFL. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes set the Super Bowl record for the most career rushing yards by a quarterback, and Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker’s 57-yard field goal was the longest in Super Bowl history.

Weinberg said he attended a Super Bowl party at Hillel which offered pizza, Oreos and other snacks. He said he returned to his dorm, Allison Hall, to watch the second half with his friends.

“I was rooting for the 49ers simply because I’m tired of seeing the Chiefs win,” Weinberg said. “But I wasn’t too upset that the Chiefs won. I like Patrick Mahomes — I just wanted someone different to win for once.”

Medill freshman Spencer Stein said he attended a Super Bowl party for the first half and then returned to watch the second half in his dorm room with friends.

“I’m a very passionate fan, but I happened to like both teams this year a fair amount, so I didn’t know who to root for,” Stein said.

Many football fans have unique Super Bowl traditions. Stein said he continued his personal tradition of “Super Bowl Squares,” a game in which participants predict the last digit of each team’s score.

McCormick freshman Vaibhav Mehra attended a watch party in Willard Residential College. Although he is from India and only started watching football last year, he said he enjoyed seeing the passion Americans display for the sport on Super Bowl Sunday.

However, Mehra said the commercials and the Halftime Show — featuring Usher, Alicia Keys, Ludacris and other special guests — did not meet his expectations.

“I think the Halftime Show was lackluster this year,” Mehra said. “And everyone kept talking about the commercials before the game, how they would be funny, and I just didn’t get it.”

Although NU students did not love every commercial, there were several standouts. Musical megastar Beyoncé “broke the internet” by teasing a new album in a Verizon commercial, Ben Affleck broke into Jennifer Lopez’s recording studio with “DunKings” Tom Brady and Matt Damon in a Dunkin’ commercial, and Arnold Schwarzenegger starred as a State Farm agent who was unable to pronounce “neighbor” due to his Austrian accent.

Medill freshman Mia Rooney said big events like the Super Bowl help improve social life on campus.

“I walked outside my dorm to heat up my chicken tenders and I could hear people from the other dorm yelling and cheering,” Rooney said. “It was humans being cute.”

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