The Patriots make Super Bowl history
AN UNFORESEEN COMEBACK AND FIFTH TITLE WIN
Super Bowl LI took place on Sunday, Feb. 5 as the Atlanta Falcons took on the New England Patriots in Houston, Texas.
Audience members enjoyed a pre-game performance of “America the Beautiful,” where Hamilton cast mates Rene Elise Goldsberry, Jasmine Cephas Jones, and Phillipa Soo added the word “sisterhood” to their rendition, after the classic line”and crown thy good with brotherhood.” Kick-off happened shortly after a ceremonial coin flip by George H.W. and Barbara Bush, where the 41st president and first lady addressed the nation for the first time since their hospitalization several weeks ago.
The game began with an unlikely twist, as the underdog Falcons ran up a 28-point lead over the Patriots, up until the final moments of the fourth quarter. The NFL’s season MVP, Atlanta’s quarterback Mike Ryan, with the help of wide receiver Julio Jones and running back Devonta Freeman, kept their momentum strong with hefty yardage, two thrown touchdowns, and a defensive 82-yard pick-six.
Sentiments from fans reflected a slow pace for the first half of the game. “I stopped watching the game after half time,” CU Denver senior Franklin Joseph said. “I was bored; it just wasn’t a good game.”
Fans went into half time with an unexpected source of entertainment, as memes popped up documenting the Patriot’s sudden failure on field. Many jokes referred to the “Deflategate” scandal of 2015, alluding that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady would resort to deflating footballs during the halftime pep talk.
The fun continued as Lady Gaga took the stage, armed with her musical portfolio of inclusion-themed tracks (including songs “Born This Way,” “Poker Face,” “The Edge of Glory,” “Bad Romance,” and “Million Reasons”), 300 drones, and enough bungee to jump from the stadium’s rooftop. Gaga sang the entirety of the show without any guest appearances, and avoided making any political statements, though fans anticipated that she would.
The game resumed with little action until the end of the third quarter, when the Patriots awoke from their afternoon slumber. The New England team, guided by coach Bill Belichick, scored 25 straight points. Players like wide receivers Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola had their names yelled by announcers as their game-changing catches lit up television screens time after time. After running back James White ran a final touchdown into the end zone, followed by a successful two-point conversion with 57 seconds left on the clock, the Patriots tied the game up. For the first time in Super Bowl history, the game went into overtime, tied at 28-28.
New England won the coin toss and came out with the possession. It didn’t take long before the Patriots scored a touchdown to end the game; White intercepted Ryan’s pass to score his third of the game. At 34-28, the Patriots won their fifth Super Bowl (including 2001, 2003, 2004, and 2015). Tom Brady was awarded with the game as MVP for the game he celebrated his historic win.
“Honestly,” Franklin said, “I was pissed that the Patriots won. I didn’t want to see Tom Brady with another Super Bowl ring.” For many living in Denver, there was both massive respect toward Brady and the Patriots for making up a major point deficit, yet a resentment as the Broncos’ longtime rival won the championship once again.