Shania Twain “returned” to the Super Bowl on Sunday to take in the big game, and cheer on the fact that “there will be more women in on-field roles” than ever before.
Watching from the Las Vegas Raiders suite at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Fl., Canada’s country-music crossover champion witnessed down judge Sarah Thomas become the first woman to officiate the Super Bowl. She also took in two other NFL milestones, as Maria Javadifar (Buccaneers Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coordinator) and Lori Locust (Buccaneers Assistant Defensive Line Coach) cement their places in history as the first female coaches to win a Super Bowl.
Interestingly, these empowering firsts all took place on the 26th anniversary of the release of Twain’s “The Woman in Me” album, which sold more than 20 million copies worldwide, and spawned smash hits like, “Any Man of Mine” and “Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?”
Plus, there’s the question of whether or not Twain is the Buccaneers’ lucky charm. Twain co-headlined the Super Bowl XXXVII halftime show with No Doubt and Sting back in 2003, which happens to be the last time the Tampa Bay team won the main event. Coincidence or not, Canada shares a connection to the Buccaneers’ win too, as Sunday’s game marked the first time a Canadian — Scarborough, Ont.’s The Weeknd — had ever headlined the halftime performance as a solo performer.
A lot can happen in 18 years, but like Timmins’ Ont.’s favourite daughter sang back then, when it comes to female visibility in professional sports, it can “only go up from here.” Twain is currently in “new music mode,” and besides, as she sang in her 2003 opening number, “the best thing about being a woman is the prerogative to have a little fun,” in football … and beyond.
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