Yesterday I watched the 51st Super Bowl, featuring the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons. Records were broken, and the greatest Super Bowl comeback of all time occurred!
My blog is obviously about history, but you might have noticed the lack of Sports in my posts. I am not crazy about sports, and this Super Bowl is the first one I spent more than 5 minutes watching! I guess I WAS missing something, because I thought this Super Bowl was entertaining and fun to watch. I watched the Super Bowl at a friend’s (the Harndens, who are in the same Boy Scout troop as I) house, and almost everybody there (including my family and me) were rooting for the Falcons due in part to the Deflategate Scandal on the Patriots’ side, and also because the Falcons were the underdogs.
The Falcons’ appearance at the Super Bowl was a big surprise for many, as this was only their second Super Bowl ever. The first time was in 1999, when the Falcons lost to the Denver Broncos. The Falcons were under the leadership of head coach Dan Quinn, and their quarterback Matt Ryan earned the NFL MVP title in 2016. The Falcons achieved a surprising comeback after failing to qualify to play in the playoffs for the last three seasons, and were looking for their first Super Bowl victory. The Patriots’ appearance at the Super Bowl was no surprise. Despite quarterback Tom Brady’s 4-game suspension after Deflategate, the Patriots still made an NFL best 14-2 wins, and under head coach Bill Belichick, were ready for their ninth Super Bowl appearance.
The 51st Super Bowl began with Luke Bryan singing the National Anthem of the United States, and with former President George H. W. Bush and his wife Barbara Bush doing the coin toss, allowing the Falcons to start first. Both Bushes had been in the hospital recently- George Bush for Pneumonia. The halftime show was headlined by Lady Gaga. The first quarter of the Super Bowl resulted in no scoring by either team, but during the second quarter the Falcons dominated, sending the teams to their locker rooms with a score of 21-3 in favor of Atlanta. During the 3rd and 4th quarters, the Patriots overcame the deficit and eventually tied the game, 28-28, forcing the Super Bowl to go into overtime for the first time in history. The Patriots won the coin toss, with the result being that James White for the Patriots barely managed to get the ball across the touchdown line, giving the Patriots the victory. The end result may have been decided by the coin toss, and I knew the Patriots would win as soon as the coin was called for them.
The Super Bowl was very close and therefore, very interesting. I’m sure many people were on the edge of their seats towards the end! Many records were also set. The Patriots won their 5th Super Bowl championship under the leadership of quarterback Tom Brady. Brady was named Super Bowl MVP for the 4th time (even though he was sacked 5 times. Brady said post-game that James White should have been MVP), an NFL record. Super Bowl LI was also the Patriot’s 9th Super Bowl Appearance (another record), their second in three years, and their 7th under the leadership of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. The Patriots set another record by overcoming a 25-point deficit, and Super Bowl LI was the first Super Bowl to go into overtime as well.
Overall, I felt that both teams deserved to win. The Falcons were the leading team during the first half of the game, but the Patriots rallied to win 34-28 during overtime. This was a Super Bowl to remember!