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There is no bigger moment in pop culture in our country than the Super Bowl.

It ranks, every year, as the most-watched TV event. It offers, every year, the most-talked-about commercials. It presents, every year, the most-critiqued performances by broadcasters, halftime and pregame entertainers and, of course, the players and coaches.

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Jay Greeson

Since the Super Bowl, at its core, is a sporting event, let's look at the winners and losers:

WINNER: Donald Trump. The President of the United States had an excellent weekend. A day after playing golf with Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods on Saturday, he had an interview on CBS. President Trump did not over-tweet or become part of the Super story in any real measure — something that could have easily been the case considering his back-and-forth with the NFL in recent years. All things considered, the president acted mostly presidential as he — hopefully — prepared for tonight's State of the Union address.

LOSERS: Super Bowl commercials. OK, count me among the group who gets a headache thinking about paying more than $5 million for 30 seconds of TV time. But you have to spend money to make money. Well, they spent the money but they assuredly did not make many folks laugh. In fact, the comedy punchlines and Monday morning water-cooler chat from the commercials may very well be a thing of the past since, well, which advertising firm wants to make a funny soda pop ad or a potato chip spot that runs the risk of offending the 12 people with six toes on their left foot in this day and age?

WINNER: The NFL. The league makes billions off this game for sure, but beyond the forgettable commercials, the NFL continues steadily to rebuild its brand among the public with commercials about NFL players in Chicago working with police officers and the players across the league praising first-responders. And that was the plan even before the NFL 100 — the campaign to celebrate 100 years of professional football — delivered arguably the best commercial of the night. I'll admit, the folks at our gathering rewatched the NFL commercial several times to try to identify all of the superstars battling over the loose football. And know this: The NFL did not pay for its commercials and did not pay the galaxy of stars in those ads beyond travel costs. Winning.

WINNERS: Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. Each has been a part of the Patriots' six Super Bowl titles after Sunday's 13-3 win over the Rams. Belichick has the most Super Bowl wins of any head coach, and Brady can say the same among any NFL player. In fact, Brady's six rings matches some dude named Michael Jordan, and each has a hard-to-beat-argument as the best professional team sports athlete of the last 50 years.

LOSER: CBS. The ratings were down sizably from a year ago. The postgame on-the-field news conferences ranked somewhere between a county fair and a third-grade field day on the organized scale. Tracy Wolfson was lost, and sports commentator du jour Tony Romo was rather pedestrian. All things considered, CBS execs had to be happy that the Rams offense was that bad, otherwise the Eyeball network would have looked like the most ineffective group in Atlanta on Sunday. And, while we classified President Trump as having a rather quiet Sunday for the most part, the young lady for CBS News who interviewed POTUS 45 was not going to make Edward R. Murrow wake up and take notice with her river of softball questions.

WINNERS: The city of Atlanta. The ATL has had a mixed bag in hosting world-class events. This was the third Super Bowl Atlanta has hosted; one was marred by snow and a future NFL Hall of Famer named Ray Lewis being involved in a double murder after the game. The other was fine, which is no one's goal before an event of this size. We all remember the headaches from the 1996 Olympic Games. Well, Sunday, the city was blessed with perfect weather and an almost universal avalanche of praise and positive feedback — that is until the Super visitors met Super delays at the Atlanta airport on Monday.

LOSER: The still unsettled future of the growing aspect of sports gambling. This is the prom of the sports betting world. There were more than 440 different wagering options, including the length of the national anthem. Wellllllllll, there was controversy about the way Gladys Knight finished her rendition of the anthem — she added an extra ''Brave'' at the end — and betting houses are paying both sides of the wager.

WINNERS: Boston sports fans. And this is going to be painful, but for those of us trying to fondly remember an Atlanta-franchise title in the mid-1990s or the UT football national championship in 1998, it had been all of 97 days between the Patriots' title and the Red Sox title. Oh, the hardship.

LOSERS: All other sports fans, because with all due respect to March Madness or the Masters in April or a couple of other events, it will be Labor Day until football in earnest returns. And know this: The Patriots will be right there from the start again.

Contact Jay Greeson at jgreeson@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6343.

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