The Most Emotional Moments From The 2023 Super Bowl

If there's one event that gets football fans' hearts racing, it's the Super Bowl. This year's game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles left sports enthusiasts on the edges of their seats. But whether you're into the game or not, the Super Bowl is known to be an emotional rollercoaster, from the exhilarating halftime performances to the sappy Super Bowl ads.

The annual event is also an occasion where celebrities sometimes make major announcements. One memorable example is when Beyoncé made a surprise pregnancy announcement during the 2016 halftime show (per OK! Magazine).

With so many stars in one stadium and so many people watching from home (208 million tuned in last year, according to the NFL), it's easy to see why the Super Bowl can be such an emotional whirlwind. Here are the most emotionally charged moments from 2023's game night.

The Damar Hamlin tribute

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin started the year off in a frightening way after he suffered cardiac arrest during a game, according to ESPN. He was immediately hospitalized and placed in critical care, sending shockwaves throughout the football community.

Though his team didn't make it to the 2023 Super Bowl, Hamlin was honored on the field of the State Farm Stadium before the game kicked off. CBS reported that the pro player was introduced to the crowd alongside his caregivers in an emotional and bittersweet moment.

Nick Sirianni's tears during the national anthem

"The Star-Spangled Banner" is perhaps one of the oldest tear-jerkers in American music history. The song's high notes and powerful lyrics are known to get eyes watering, just as it did this year at the Super Bowl. The Philadelphia Eagles' head coach, Nick Sirianni, went viral after becoming visibly emotional when the patriotic song was performed at this year's game, per TMZ.

The night was a milestone for Sirianni since he became the Eagles' head coach in 2021.

Sheryl Lee Ralph's performance

It was hard to not get goosebumps when singer and actress Sheryl Lee Ralph performed "Lift Every Voice and Sing" before the Super Bowl. The performance, which can be viewed on YouTube in its entirety, has become a recent pre-game tradition after Alicia Keys first sang the song during the 2021 Super Bowl (per Vulture). 

"Lift Every Voice and Sing," alternatively known as the "Black National Anthem," is a powerful hymn that symbolizes "the solemn yet hopeful appeal for the liberty of Black Americans," according to the NAACP. Ralph's performance was especially notable because, as the star posted on Twitter, the date marked the 123rd anniversary of the song's debut. 

Brittney Griner spotted in the stands

Basketball star Brittney Griner spent much of 2022 locked away in a Russian detention center, facing drug charges and an unknown fate. The New York Times reported in December that Griner was finally freed and sent back to the U.S., where she's been enjoying her freedom ever since.

The basketball player celebrated that freedom from the Super Bowl stands with her wife, smiling and wearing an Eagles jersey, as seen in a photo shared on the NFL's Twitter account.

Rihanna's surprise baby bump

Rihanna took a hiatus from music, avoiding solo performances for a whopping seven years, as noted by The Mirror. No matter what would happen on the stage, the singer's Super Bowl halftime performance was sure to be a spectacle, but fans were given an extra special treat when Rihanna showed off her surprise baby bump.

The confirmed the Barbados native's rep confirmed her pregnancy with her second child, after the birth of her baby boy with rapper A$AP Rocky just last May (via People).