I decided to wait 24 hours to write this piece to truly process the events that occurred in NRG stadium yesterday. In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past two days, allow me to remind you of the single most awe inspiring and truly spectacular events I have ever seen in a sporting event in my life. Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Sr. and his New England Patriots faced a 19 point deficit at the beginning of the fourth quarter to Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons. The first three-quarters were a complete disaster for the Pats, riddled with an inefficient run game, a defense that was gassed and constantly exploited by Devonta Freeman and Julio Jones. It all seemed over for the Patriots, Statistics claiming that at the commencement of the 4th quarter, the Falcons had a 99.5% probability of winning the game. The Pats were finished by most accounts. Until Tom Brady decided enough was enough.
To fully understand the nature of this comeback, you have to delve into the history of Brady to discover that being left for dead is when he thrives the most. Brady was drafted with the 199th pick of the 2000 NFL draft with the expectation that he was a fringe QB at best. Even Brady himself admitted in a famous interview that he had already began planning his future as a career insurance salesman if football never played out. With the help of Bill Belichick and a strong desire to not only make the league but to craft his own legacy in the style of his idol Joe Montana, Brady was not only able to stay on the Pats roster but when incumbent starter Drew Bledsoe succumbed to injury, Brady was able to come in and lead the Pats to glory and eventually the dynasty many loathe and fear today.
Anyway, back to the game… Tom Brady was able to lea- actually lead isn’t the right word for the feat he accomplished- he straight up willed the entire team to claw their way back into the game regardless of outcome. Over the course of the final ten minutes of the fourth quarter, Brady was essentially perfect, operating an empty backfield and screen pass offense which seemed to have endless success against the stunned Falcons D. The rest of the team seemed to feed off Brady’s cavalier attitude and collectively, they shut down a team which, just minutes before, was cruising towards an unbelievable upset of one of the greatest Coach/player duo in the history of football. Fast forward an hour later, James White powers his way into the endzone. Game.Over.
It’s not often that a sporting event leaves me speechless. I’ve witnessed Ray Allen’s unbelievable Shot in 2012 and Khris Davis’s spectacular Iron Bowl dagger at the cost of Nick Saban’s cult of Roll Tide redmen and they have both left me astounded at the beauty of Sports. Never has a game had me searching for the words to appreciate what I just saw until now. This Super Bowl showed me what it means to truly be a great in your profession, to understand that by following your instincts and not stopping until the time says 0:00 there is always a chance for success. Brady did what i thought would be impossible: appreciate and actually like #12 in Blue just by demonstrating his perseverance and love for winning akin to only the greatest of all time can.