One for the Ages: Super Bowl 51

One for the Ages: Super Bowl 51

Taking in a legendary game as a football outsider

Nick Fleming – Staff Writer



When a team is down 28-3 in the highest level of football competition with little more than a quarter to surmount that 25-point deficit, you might be inclined to give up and accept the fact that you are likely not going to win. However, it would seem that the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 51 were not inclined to this line of thinking.  

The concept of a comeback began to emerge with a turnover by the Atlanta Falcons in the middle of the fourth quarter. This turnover immediately followed a Patriots touchdown, making it even more painful for the Atlanta Falcons. Following that turnover, a previously dominant Atlanta team seemed unable to even compete with the storming patriots, (unless your name is Julio Jones, who made an acrobatic catch late in the fourth) who fought their way to a tie at the end of the fourth quarter. The Patriots continued forward with this momentum to quickly win the game in overtime. Final score Patriots 34, Atlanta 28. What a game! 

Super Bowl 51 was historic for many reasons. First, it was the largest comeback ever in the history of the Super Bowl, with the previous largest comeback being 10 points, a feat accomplished by Washington, the Saints, and the Patriots. A second historical outcome from the game: Tom Brady became the Super Bowl MVP for a record-setting fourth time and became the first NFL quarterback to ever win five Super Bowls. And third, a, perhaps surprising, piece of history emerging from the game was that it was the first Super Bowl to ever go into overtime. 

As someone whose viewership of football is limited to the Super Bowl, I must say that Super Bowl 51 was one of the greatest moments in sports that I have ever seen.  The sheer excitement, and for some, dread, of seeing the New England Patriots accomplish what to many seemed unlikely if not impossible will forever go down, in my opinion, as a sporting event which truly lived up to its potential.  

This year, Canadian viewers were also afforded the privilege of being able to see the all-important American television Super Bowl ads rather than the typical and incredibly average Canadian ones, not that there is anything wrong with Canadian content. This wonderful addition between plays permitted Canadians to receive the full American experience of Super Bowl 51 which will hopefully continue into future years – sorry CTV. To top off the incredible sportsmanship, Lady Gaga pulled off a seamless and well performed half time show which seemed to, for a short time, unite a very divided United States. Maybe I should watch football more often.