Super Bowl LI in Review featuring disappointment and bitterness



Sarah Swindell
Opinions Editor


The Super Bowl has always been an American holiday of sorts in my eyes. A true cultural event that should be honored with a bank holiday the Monday after. That way we all can sleep the festivities off, and the mourn our losses or celebrate our victories. It would make everyone’s lives a bit easier.

Personally, I have not missed a single game since 2007, making this ten years of staring at the television with bated breath and a plate of queso dip in hand. Last year was a disappointment in my heart, I really hoped this year would turn around, and maybe our conference would bring home the trophy.

More readily, I just wanted to see Tom Brady and the New England Patriots fail. They did not.

To just put it out there, the New England Patriots are and will more than likely always will be my least favorite team in the National Football League. If that offends you, just stop reading and go watch some game highlights.  

I do not exactly know where the distaste began, but something about everyone always assuming them to be the winners and Tom Brady just being a bit to perfect with his riches, famous model wife Gisele, picturesque kids, and extreme amount of luck in his career.

Lest we forget, Brady began the season suspended after that deflated football garbage. Still, his pristine face remained beloved by many.

It makes any opposing team look like an underdog story.

At the same time, this was seeming to be the Atlanta Falcons’ year. They had amazed in the regular season, appearing to be ready to claim the title of Super Bowl winners since finding their home and beginning the franchise in 1962. Quarterback Matt Ryan and the rest of the Falcon’s fierce team arrived a day before the Patriots and got ready for what was going to be the game of their lives.

Little did Atlanta or I know their second Super Bowl appearance was about to be historic for all the wrong reasons. After dominating the first half, the narrative was destined to change for the favor of a man who has already seen his name in lights enough times, but it seemed that fate wanted to bless him one more time. A historic Super Bowl tie, moving the game into overtime.

Patriots won the coin toss. It was over from that fatal flip.

The ruling of how overtime works in football always baffled me. It has more to do with sheer dumb luck than anything else because if you get the first touchdown you get an automatic win. There is no shot of redemption after that.

However, that is another conversation for another time. If anything, it means the NFL should reexamine their policies in overtime regulation. We all know they won’t though. That is how the game has been played for a long time, and so tradition must continue.

Really and truly, the National Football League did not need another Brady/New England win, and in my opinion he should not have won it. After such a poor showing in the first half of this game and starting the regular season with the tarnishing of the scandal nicknamed “deflategate”, he did not really earn this trophy.

The team just got lucky against a worn out team who had been fatigued from throwing everything at them for the first three quarters. They may have tied on talent, but they won by mere chance. If Matt Ryan had received that first possession in overtime, the champion, the aftermath, and this piece would look very different.

Watching this Super Bowl with such disappointment, it makes me question if the next Super Bowl will be worth watching. The only shining light in this game was Lady Gaga’s insane halftime extravaganza. Ignore the football. That was amazing.

It just makes me feel the same melancholy I felt last year as my fanatical admiration and hope for the Carolina Panthers was smashed. Destiny and the regular season had painted the picture as if it was to be their year to take home the crowning glory. Each quarterback was named League MVP, and each quarterback went home with his respective team heads down after being shoved off the field that was intended to be theirs.

While the Panthers had a harder game last year, the Falcons seemed so obvious for the majority of the game. It made the conclusion all that harder of a pill to swallow.

Now, I give a polite golf clap for the Patriots. I may dislike them, but I am not a jerk. They woke up for that last quarter, and that is to be commended. Their win in many ways was historic, but this win was about as pleasing as Apollo Creed’s win against Rocky. Creed was inherently superior, but the movie was supposed to hinge on Rocky.

I will wait patiently to see if someone shoves the Patriots’ face in the dirt next season, so I can feel my long-desired satisfaction for a big Brady loss. Until then, I will be mourning with leftover football finger foods, while ignoring those who are actually pleased with this outcome.


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