If Sunday's Super Bowl had ended with the beautiful national anthem from Atlanta native Gladys Knight, everything might have been fine. Instead, they insisted on playing the game — an outcome that was probably deserved but not at all wanted.

More than great defense, the game contained lousy offense. Tom Brady threw a terrible pass on his first drive interception and was below-average. Jared Goff was a nightmare, and what proved to be the game-clinching interception was a poorly thrown ball.

The MVP was a possession receiver. Neither team even ran a play in the red zone until the fourth quarter! There wasn't a single "Wow!" moment or whiff of controversy. The halftime show by Maroon 5 was utterly forgettable. The commercials were bland.

Let's just remember how lucky we were to get a classic in Minneapolis a year ago … and hope that things are better a year from now.

Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. mrand@startribune.com