So did Atlanta choke or did Tom Brady pull off the greatest comeback in NFL history?
Less than two minutes after the first overtime game in Super Bowl history ended with the James White lunging for the goal line, securing New England's 34-28 victory over the Falcons, trying to figure out the right answer is tough. Hindsight and analysis will allow us to eventually come to the right answer.
I can easily argue that the Falcons should have milked the clock way more on their second to last drive and that the defense, which had done such a great job smacking around Brady through three quarters and making his life a living hell, seemed to run out of the gas in the final frame.
But in the immediate aftermath of what turned out to be an incredibly dramatic Super Bowl, in what may go down as the most dramatic/greatest of all time despite the first three quarters basically being garbage, the only definitive conclusion we can come to after watching it all sickeningly unfold is Tom Brady is now probably the G.O.A.T. And, wow, does that make us sick to our stomach.
Brady now has more Super Bowl titles (five) and Super Bowl MVPs (four) than any other quarterback in NFL history. A sixth-round draft pick isn't supposed to do that. A guy who got beat out in college for the starting job isn't supposed to author a 25-point comeback on the game's biggest stage. The guy who moves around the pocket like he needs a walker, eats avocado ice cream, shuns tomatoes, and goes to bed by 8:30 every night isn't supposed to be this superhero on the football field.
America was Atlanta Sunday, rooting like hell for the Falcons to shut up the Patriots, and low-key stick it to the man in White House and his pals. They wanted some new blood atop the sport. Let some other squad get some shine. And it was helpless watching another crushing defeat.
But there he was, doing Tom Brady things, throwing for a Super Bowl record 466 yards on 43 completions for 2 TDs. All the more sweeter for him that he got to rub it in the face of his arch-rival, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, in the one of the most amazing acts of revenge we've seen in the sports world in as long as we can remember. It was Goodell, of course, who handed Brady a four-game suspension in 2016 for his supposed involvement in Deflategate and you know when Brady was forced to stay away from the Patriots during the first month of the season he was dreaming of that very moment Sunday night.
Worst of all for many, the Patriots comeback brought back memories of Election Night. I don't know about you, but my timeline was rampant with the parallels between that Tuesday night in November and Super Bowl Sunday when one side got out to what seemed like a insurmountable lead, only to see the Evil Empire come roaring back out of nowhere to snap victory from the jaws of defeat.
Trump reportedly stopped watching the Super Bowl shortly after halftime, opting to vacate his party down at his Mar-A-Lago estate in Florida when things weren't looking very good for his friends Brady, Bill Belichick, and owner Robert Kraft. But it looks like somebody made sure he turned the game back on.
"This is unequivocally the sweetest," Kraft told the world after accepting the Vince Lombardi Trophy from Goodell.
Nah, RKK. Only in the world where you're a die-hard Pats fan, obnoxiously boasting and bragging tonight that your squad is the best. Only in a world where the Patriots aren't cheaters, where #MAGA is your favorite hashtag, and Tom Brady is now known as Mr. Perfect was that the sweetest thing. America was Atlanta Sunday, rooting like hell for the Falcons to shut up the Patriots, and low-key stick it to the man in White House and his pals. They wanted some new blood atop the sport. Let some other squad get some shine. And it was helpless watching another crushing defeat.
So Tom Brady is a champion again. He was brilliant, he was surgical, and he was historic. And we hated watching every second of it. I mean, good for Brady and his family and all that. On a serious note, his mother has reportedly been battling an illness so that will bring her great joy. But right now, Patriots supporters and Brady and his Make America Great Again hat can get all the way the hell out of here.