You might not watch football, but you probably know about the Super Bowl or watched it just two days ago. I watched it (part of a recent tradition my family has), and to say it was entertaining would be an understatement! Warning: this is a long post.
For those of you scratching your heads, I sympathize with you. American Football is a relatively recent interest of mine, though it is plenty controversial. The first Super Bowl was held on January 15, 1967, and there have now been 52 of them. One team from the American Football Conference plays against one from the National Football Conference in the final game of the football season to best each other and be crowned Super Bowl Champions, and it takes a lot of winning to get there.
The NFL has had a lot of controversies this season, ranging from CTE to the ongoing National Anthem Protests. There have also been countless injuries this season, though many of the players put their faith in Jesus and are looking forward to their next trip to the field. Football is about the team, not just individual players, and these communities rise together for more than just the game. J.J. Watt, a defensive player for the Houston Texans, was injured early on in the season and spent his time during his recovery period raising awareness for the Houston area due to Hurricane Harvey, starting a fund that raised over $35 million! The teams that I thought had the best chances to make it to the Super Bowl were the Kansas City Chiefs (5-0 start), New Orleans Saints (rejuvenated offense), Minnesota Vikings (Case Keenum), Philadelphia Eagles (Carson Wentz and Co.), and the New England Patriots (Tom Brady).
However, none of these mentioned teams had an easy shot. The Chiefs stumbled after their great start to the season and were taken out in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. The Saints were defeated by the Vikings due to a play that will live in infamy. Then, the Vikings fell apart one step away from playing the Super Bowl in their own stadium in Minnesota, losing to an amazing team that had a story full of hope. The Philadelphia Eagles lost their quarterback Carson Wentz, who had a shot at Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the season before being injured. He was replaced by Nick Foles, the only quarterback to have thrown 5 touchdown passes in one quarter of a game, only to become a backup player considering retirement before signing with the Eagles. After a mixed reception to finish the regular season, Foles had a spectacular turnaround in the playoffs, making it to the Super Bowl with relative ease. As for the Patriots, who didn’t expect them to make it back? Tom Brady is the quarterback of this decade, and perhaps even the previous decade. He won MVP for the regular season, but there was controversy (isn’t there always with the Patriots?). Not Spygate or Deflategate, but the firing of Brady’s personal trainer by head coach Bill Belichick, supposedly straining their relationship. However, the Patriots held on to defeat the Tennessee Titans and the Jacksonville Jaguars to make it to their second consecutive Super Bowl.
Now, there are supposedly three kinds of people: those who watch the Super Bowl for the competition and the game, those who watch it for the commercials (my parents), and those who don’t care. I’m part of a fourth group that loves it all (who else enjoyed the Bud Knight, Tide, and Alexa commercials?). Only interrupted by the halftime show headlined by Justin Timberlake, the game might have been the best in modern history for Eagles fans, at least. After losing their first two Super Bowls, it was the Eagles’ turn to upset the champions and do what the Falcons and Matt Ryan couldn’t do; beat Tom Brady at his own game. Nick Foles threw for three touchdowns and an interception that wasn’t his fault, and then caught a touchdown pass, a Super Bowl first, mocking Brady, who couldn’t catch his own trick pass. Brady passed for 505 yards, and made it to his 8th Super Bowl, but for the third time he didn’t win, losing a fumble in the final minutes of the game to seal it. Foles was named MVP, an amazing comeback player and a faithful Christian who truly inspired America with his speech as well as his performance. 41-33, the Eagles (the team I was rooting for personally) bested the Patriots in front of over 100 million people, though it wasn’t easy; both teams combined for 1,151 yards, the most ever in American football’s history!
In the end, the Super Bowl brings a finality to the football season; here are so many men who have a chance to make history and work together as a team to prove that they believe in each other, and that they can give their fans something to remember.