Super Bowl Sunday is the day football reigns supreme and all other professional sports take a back seat. The NHL only had two matchups scheduled in the early afternoon. After that, all eyes were turned to Las Vegas for the matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs.
Halfway through the game was the great American tradition known as the Super Bowl halftime show. This year’s performance featured Usher and quite a few celebrity guests.
One of which was rapper and Vegas enthusiast Lil’ Jon. In between Usher’s roller skating and excessive sweating, eagle-eyed hockey fans might have noticed something interesting.
Yes, that was a Vegas Golden Knights Stanley Cup ring on Lil’ Jon’s finger. Lil’ Jon has been perhaps the most passionate celebrity fan for the Golden Knights in a town full of celebrities since their inception.
The NHL had a good time online on Sunday during Super Bowl LVIII
He’s a regular at games and on the team’s social media accounts. Head coach Bruce Cassidy even called on him for an assist in a team meeting last season.
Lil’ Jon and Vegas professional sports seem like a perfect match, but Lil’ Jon was a noted hockey fan even before the Golden Knights came to town. In his youth, he was a fan of the Atlanta Flames, before their relocation to Calgary.
He was also one of the few loud and proud celebrity fans of the Atlanta Thrashers. His fandom produced one of the most unique and memorable Stanley Cup photoshoots of all time,
There were rumors he considered making a financial investment in the Thrashers before their fate to move to the Great White North was sealed.
When the team moved to Winnipeg to become the revival of the Winnipeg Jets, Lil’ Jon’s fandom didn’t follow suit. Instead, he waited for an expansion team to be awarded to Las Vegas to add jerseys to his collection.
Even if Sunday was the NFL’s time to shine, the cameo on Lil’ Jon’s finger was the only mention of the hockey throughout the game.
With the Super Bowl being held in the hometown of the current Stanley Cup champions, could we have expected more? Maybe an appearance by the Stanley Cup to keep their Lombardi Trophy brethren company?
Maybe borrowing the famous siren from T-Mobile Arena to rile up the crowd of San Francisco and Kansas City fans? Maybe a quick cutaway of a few of the Golden Knights enjoying the game in their home city? Nope, there was none of that.
Even if there was a lack of Golden Knights representation, some team Twitter accounts had fun during the big game.
The St. Louis Blues, who lost their city’s NFL team in 2016, “threw some shade”, as the kids say, at their cross-state rivals. The Blues joke referenced Kansas City's lack of offense in the first half before their comeback overtime win.
Meanwhile, someone might have to teach the Nashville Predators mascot that NFL overtime rules differ from NHL overtime rules just a little bit.
Other than a tweet wishing encouragement, the San Jose Sharks, who share the Bay Area with the 49ers, remained silent.
The New Jersey Devils compared a hug between Usher and Alishia Keys to one between Jack Hughes and captain Nico Hischier. Former New York Rangers goaltender turned commentator Henrik Lundqvist also posted a picture of himself in attendance.
The usually active Golden Knights' Twitter remained mostly quiet during the Super Bowl down the street from their home arena. their only in-game Super Bowl-related tweets were a few about Lil' Jon's ring and a reminder that the last overtime championship game in Vegas was the Golden Knights Cup clincher.
Vegas did tweet about a different "bowl" game, the Puppy Bowl, featuring their team dog Maverick making an appearance.