True football fans will agree that Super Bowl LI was arguably the best Super Bowl ever.
The game was won by the biggest comeback deficit in the history of the event and marked the first time a Super Bowl ever went into overtime.
New England prevailed, 34-28, in one of the most exciting games in the history of this American classic.
Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady solidified his place in history as the Greatest QB of All Time, as New England scored 31 unanswered points, including 19 in the furious fourth quarter, to secure the win.
And the residents of South Texas loved it.
The fans’ reaction during the first three quarters of the game was generally the same. While watching the Atlanta Falcons maintain a healthy 21-9 lead at the half, the fans just wanted to see a good game.
“J.J.”, a fan who enjoyed the game at The Player’s Lounge in Kingsville, predicted the comeback of the Patriots in the second half, although he did not think they would win. He had his hopes set on simply seeing a close game.
During the first half, that was all fans were hoping for – a good, competitive game.
During the halftime show, I drove down to The American Legion where I ran into Potsi Weber, a local police officer who also said he just wanted to see a good game. Although aware of the potential record-breaking and history-making that could be achieved by Brady, Weber and his buddies only desired a decent game because a blow-out in the Super Bowl can seem rather boring.
That all changed after the third quarter. In the middle of the fourth, I was in Rivera at the family gathering of Joseph Fuentes to watch the end of the game and catch more fans’ reactions. They went from cheering for the Falcons to rooting for the Patriots, once it looked like New England could actually win.
Americans love the underdog, but last Sunday night showed that many of us love a great comeback even more.
The good folks of South Texas were fine with the Falcons disrupting the Patriots in the first three quarters because it was the team that shouldn’t be there against the team that’s been there too many times – and won before. It was the everyday “Dirty Bird” working class represented by Atlanta against the well-oiled aristocracy of the Donald Trump supported New England Patriots. The heart of America was against the elite. This was the true definition of the underdog becoming victorious.
But . . . .
By the time New England scored their second two-point conversion in a row to tie the game 28-28 in the fourth quarter to force the historic overtime, fan loyalties switched from the underdog to the comeback kid.
A pick-six interception by the Falcons, a missed extra point try by New England’s kicker, the dropped passes and bad throws by Brady throughout the first half had many fans thinking Atlanta had it in the bag, early in the game.
We were wrong, but it did not matter.
The unbelievable comeback performance of Brady and his New England teammates reminded us that there is one thing as Americans that we put before all else – victory. No matter who your team was in this historic Super Bowl, the greatest comeback in its history made us all Patriots overnight.