‘It ain’t over until it’s over’ was the Super Bowl mantra
Published 9:44 am, Friday, February 10, 2017
Midway through the second quarter of the first overtime Super Bowl in history, I turned to one of the Atlanta Falcons fans at my daughter’s party and suggested that there was no way my favorite team, New England, would come back. “It ain’t over until it’s over,” he said laughing.
By Lady Gaga’s amazing half-time performance, my wife and I were convinced, nevertheless, that this game was a runaway for the Atlanta Falcons, who were truly playing an incredible game, thanks to New England’s mistakes and its unintended interception opportunities. So we did what any die-hard fans would do in light of defeat. We left after half time. Bad move.
Hardly anyone except our daughter paid much attention to our departure. The Atlanta fans were still shrieking after the amazing first half upset.
On the way home from Beacon Falls I kept fumbling to find the right radio station but couldn’t, so I left the radio off. When we returned home, we didn’t even turn on the game. We knew it was a runaway. Not!
It wasn’t until the 11 p.m. news that we learned the wonderful news that, indeed, that game was not over until it was over and the Patriots had actually clenched their fifth Superbowl victory. “Whoa,” I said to my wife. “How did that happened when all they could muster was a lousy field goal at the end of the second quarter?”
While we will always remain died-in-the-wool Chicago Bears fans, we have adopted New England by location and have continued to root for them. Plus, a lot of my colleagues at school are Patriots fans, so it’s always fun to celebrate and not mourn.
I quickly texted my daughter, who came right back to me and said that her house quickly became a mortuary once everything started to turn around. She jokingly said, “Dad, you and mom did it again. You left too soon, before the real excitement started.” How right she was.
I have to be honest. Since I wasn’t watching the last part of the game, I had to rely on wonderful news reporting for what really happened that magical night. Here’s what I discovered.
Broadcast news reported that a surge to victory began in the 4th quarter of the game and the Patriots held the ball for nearly the remainder of the game. According to The New York Times, The Patriots “marched down the field, going 75 yards on eight plays, winning on James White’s 2-yard touchdown run. Earlier, “At the end of an incredible 91-yard drive, that included a circus catch by Julian Edelman, James White ran for a 1-yard touchdown, and Tom Brady found Danny Amendola for a successful 2-point conversion, tying the game at 28-28 with under a minute remaining in the game.”
According to The Times, “A new standard has been set, as Tom Brady of The New England Patriots became the first quarterback in N.F.L. history to win five Super Bowls, leading his team to a 34-28 overtime victory over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl 51 (LI).
“ ‘We all brought each other back,’ said Brady,”who was named Super Bowl Most Valuable Player (MVP) for a record fourth time.” ‘We never felt out of it.”
I told my wife that I wish I had been a fly on the wall in the locker room during half time. I would guess that there was a lot of lecturing, finger pointing and telling to get those Patriots pumped up for the second half. But it all worked! And now Tom Brady can wear rings on all five fingers.
What I found extremely impressive about Brady after the game was how humble he was. He made a point of acknowledging Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons quarterback and the team for how well they played.
Despite unpleasant winter weather in Boston, hundreds of thousands of Patriots fans lined the streets of Boston for a ticker tape parade on February 7 as the team rode on the famous Duck Boats to celebrate their victory. That event had to have been a major highlight of Tom Brady’s career.
We certainly learned our lesson that a football game “ain’t over until it’s over” with this Super Bowl and for we two fans of our adopted New England team, our only regret was not being able to taste a minority victory in the presence of all the Atlanta Falcons fans at our daughters. Oh well. There will always be next year.
Steven Gaynes is a Fairfield writer, and his “In the Suburbs” appears each Friday. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.