Evan McPherson watches Super Bowl 56 halftime ‘a real sensitive topic’ for Bengals special teams coach

Most people found the Super Bowl 56 halftime show entertaining. Darrin Simmons did not.

The Bengals ended up losing the final game of the season to the Rams, but the fiery upstart Cincinnati rubbed some of them the wrong way with their bluster. Simmons, the team’s special teams coach, could be in that group.

During halftime, Evan McPherson – everyone’s favorite new kicker who shot to fame with his perfect playoff run – decided to watch the show instead of returning to the locker room with his teammates.

This did not sit well with Simmons:

“It’s a sore subject,” Simmons told The Athletic when asked about the image of McPherson taking part in the performance. “It’s a real sore subject.”

Simmons made it clear numerous times throughout the playoffs that McPherson far “exceeded expectations,” so this is likely a more bitter and enduring picture than true vitriol.

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The kicker made his intentions to sneak in and watch the performance of Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, Dr. Dre, Mary J. Blige and Eminem known days in advance.

“I don’t know if they’re going to force us to go into the locker room (and say) ‘You can’t stand outside and watch anything,'” he said. “I’ll be super disappointed if we can’t at least watch it on a TV or something. Hopefully I can watch it, hopefully I can be out there and experience it.”

McPherson staying at half time was nothing new: the kicker usually shortens the locker room time to return to the field and warm up away from the team.

The rookie helped the Bengals enter the Super Bowl, going a perfect 14-for-14 in playoff berth attempts.

He could kick himself if that image haunts him ahead of the 2022 season, though.

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