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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 24 June 2018

Super Bowl LII: Five of the best and worst non-sport moments 

From 29 seconds of dead air to Pink getting criticised for spitting out gum 

Pink sang the US National Anthem ahead Super Bowl LII and was wrongly accused of spitting out gum just before her performance. Angela Weiss / AFP
Pink sang the US National Anthem ahead Super Bowl LII and was wrongly accused of spitting out gum just before her performance. Angela Weiss / AFP

The 52nd Super Bowl is now over (the Philadelphia Eagles beat the New England Patriots 44-33). But for those of you less interested in the NFL and more interested in pop star controversies and pop culture moments, here are the must-see moments...

1. THE BAD: 29 seconds of dead air

The Super Bowl ads are often as talked about as the end result of the game, and this means they are expensive commercial real estate, with ads broadcast on NBC during the halftime break costing around US$5 million per 30-second slot (Dh18.4 million).

This means 29 seconds of black, 'dead air' being broadcast halfway through the second quarter was a very expensive mistake. The blunder was reportedly during an ad space that was supposed to be geo-targeted, with the network planning to show state-specific ads to viewers in the US.

Instead, they got this (and so we imagine refunds are in order):

Or maybe this is all the start of a genius viral marketing campaign that has everyone talking already? Next season of Black Mirror, perhaps?

2. THE CONTROVERSIAL: Prince's projection

Singer Justin Timberlake pays tribute before a towering projection of Prince in the late singer's hometown during the Super Bowl LII Halftime Show. Angela Weiss / AFP
Singer Justin Timberlake pays tribute before a towering projection of Prince in the late singer's hometown during the Super Bowl LII Halftime Show. Angela Weiss / AFP

The Super Bowl took place in Minneapolis, which was the late, great Prince's hometown. In this sense, it's fitting that Justin Timberlake paid homage to the singer, who died in 2016, by singing a rendition of his song I Would Die 4 U as footage of Prince was projected onto a huge purple screen behind him.

But, Prince's fans took to social media to complain about the moment, pointing out that Prince had said in an interview in 1998 with Guitar World magazine that digital duets with artists that have passed seemed "demonic" to him.

The late singer added, "to prevent that kind of thing from happening is another reason why I want artistic control."

You can see the full Prince tribute by Timberlake at 8 minutes and 50 seconds in the video at this link.

3. THE MISUNDERSTOOD: Pink disposing of her chewing gum

Singer Pink (aka Alecia Moore) sang the United States national anthem beautifully ahead of the show. However, as is common in the age of armchair Twitter commentary, most people focused on the fact that she had to quickly dispose of what looked like a piece of gum on live TV just before her big moment.

Pink later dispelled the chewing gum rumours, and pointed out that she was sucking on a throat lozenge (and so having it at hand just before singing may have actually been a necessity):

You can catch the moment in question at 0:37 seconds in the video at this link (and the rest of her performance follows).

4. THE GREAT: How into the game Bradley Cooper was

Actor Bradley Cooper is clearly an Eagles fan - a picture speaks a thousand words on this matter:

Film fans will remember that Cooper's character in Silver Linings Playbook, Pat Solitano, was also a huge Eagles fan - it seems that this was a case of art imitating life.

5. THE EXCITING: The Westworld season two trailer

It has been more than a year since Westworld first debuted on HBO in December 2016, and keen fans got to see their first slice of the second season of the Christopher Nolan series during the Super Bowl screening.

We now know that it will be released on April 22 (and, fast fact, apparently much of the footage in the trailer was shot exclusively for the ad - and won't actually be seen in the final show):

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Read more about Super Bowl LII:

Highlights: Nick Foles 'speechless' after Philadelphia Eagles win

Super Bowl LII: 'Underdog' Eagles stand in way of more records for Tom Brady and Patriots

The Super Bowl, markets and myths. What to believe

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