The Super Bowl reflects poorly on Tampa

COVID-19 cases will likely rise


Photo Nancy Oben

Downtown, Curtis Hixon Park is decorated for the Super Bowl. Decor stuck with classic Super Bowl themes while promoting the city.

Hanna Malone, Sports Editor

The Super Bowl, of course, was a celebration of significance that the entire city of Tampa took place in. The Buccaneers were the first team to ever play a Super Bowl at home, and they won. Responsible fans stayed home to watch the game, and celebrated in a socially distanced fashion with COVID-19’s continued prominence.

However, other fans’ reactions were not as amendable; some acted out in a tremendously unsuitable manner, partying in the streets in large crowds, disregarding CDC and state guidelines entirely.

On game day, restaurants and bars were, as expected, packed and police blocked off sections of the city from traffic, correctly anticipating crammed streets of people on South Howard, Ybor and Downtown Tampa. Many who gathered together opted not to wear masks, and some drunkenly took part in ripping up road signs and trashing areas of the city in an overly excited frenzy. I understand sports fans’ exhilaration, but I refuse to condone their actions as it threw away the city’s efforts to keep the Super Bowl 55 event as safe as possible.

This past Wednesday, the city celebrated yet again, but this time with a boat parade. The purpose of the parade was to create a safer, more socially-distanced environment, but of course there were still many unmasked fans and even NFL players themselves present and in close proximity of each other.

These irresponsible actions will likely result in a spike of COVID-19 cases, which is honestly a frightening thought due to the fact that the Lightning’s Stanley Cup win back in September did contribute pretty heavily to the count and the Super Bowl is arguably a larger event. Quite frankly, fan uproar and continued failure to acknowledge the COVID-19 as a serious pandemic left me feeling more than embarrassed.