I don't think I can add much to the millions of words already written, but man, that was an amazing game. I was rooting for New England, but that's because I went to Michigan--otherwise, I don't really support any pro football team except the lowly Lions, who never come within smelling distance of the Super Bowl.
Funny thing is, for three quarters, it was a lousy game. Yet another blowout.
Actually, even before the blowout, you had the quiet-as-a-mouse offensive game. These were two powerhouse teams, but the over/under, at 58 points, seemed like a joke when no one scored in the first quarter. That feeling was soon overtaken, however, by Atlanta's three touchdowns in the second quarter.
No team had ever come back from a deficit of greater than ten points in the Super Bowl. And when New England only managed a sad field goal at the end of the first half, I imagine most people figured Lady Gaga will be the main excitement this evening. (By the way, I didn't watch Gaga, so don't ask me about that. Also, thought they commercials were pretty weak.)
Then comes the third quarter. It's now or never. Turns out to be never. The Patriots can't score, but Atlanta still can, and make it 28-3. New England finally score a touchdown so, but miss the extra point. So hey, 28-9 and there's a whole quarter to go. What odds would you give?
New England gets the ball back and, partly thanks to Atlanta penalties, look like they're going to score another touchdown, but they fail even at this, and settle for a field goal. 28-12 with less than ten minutes to go. In other words, they need two touchdowns, with two two-point conversions, while Atlanta doesn't score. Sure, why not?
Somehow, they manage another TD and, with some razzle dazzle, get the two extra points. Then, maybe the most decisive moment of the game, Atlanta has a great drive, and gets the ball on the 23-yard line (if I recall). Now they can just keeping running (their running game has been solid, while New England was barely getting any yards on the ground) and if they don't get anywhere, can kick a field goal and put it out of reach.
Instead, they decide to pass and get thrown for a huge lose, followed by a penalty. They're now so far back they have to punt. That's all it took--the Patriots score with less than a minute left and make the two-point conversion. (They could have let the clock run down, but I think they decided not to--if they miss the two points, they can try an onside kick.)
Now we get overtime, for the first time ever. It's almost an anticlimax when New England drives down the field and wins the game with a touchdown. It also means the "over" wins, and New England beats the spread, both of which seemed unlikely, to put it mildly, and the end of the first half.
I think we can all agree Tom Brady is the big winner. The biggest loser? Maybe Roger Goodell, who got booed (deservedly, I think) for his role in deflategate at the awards ceremony after the game.
But worse, I think, was the unknown bettor who put $1.1. million on the Falcons. He probably had his winnings spent before the game was over. I can't imagine how he felt during that comeback--first laughing, but then sustaining one body blow after another. Even after regulation time, he may have figured the odds are still okay--the spread even give him a field goal's worth of protection. But no, nothing was going to work. That's a lot of money to lose. I hope he wasn't poor.