February 06, 2017

The Greatest Comeback in NFL History: "Only Tom Brady can outdo Tom Brady. Brady cemented his legacy as the greatest to ever play the game Sunday night in spectacular fashion, staging the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history to win his record fifth ring. Batted around like a tackling dummy through the first three quarters, Brady led the New England Patriots on four consecutive scoring drives to erase a 25-point deficit and beat the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in overtime." -- Nancy Armour, USA Today

posted by rcade to football at 10:03 AM - 28 comments

Off-Broadway game predictions:

Falcons win coin toss, elect to defer so Pats don't get the ball at start of second half. But Belichick actually wants the ball first, so the Pats can score on one of their patented first drive scripts, which they do.

At halftime, we find out whether or not Lady Gaga has her own trap door brassiere, which is a time-honored sign of good luck to Pats fans.

Also at halftime, Air Force One touches down at nearby Ellington Field, largely unnoticed.

Game is tied with time winding down in the fourth, Pats driving. Gostkowski lines up a winning FG, kicks it through, but there's a flag for motion prior to the snap, which negates the kick and moves the ball back 5 yards. Replays show no evidence of any motion. Gostkowski misses the second kick, and the teams are tied at the end of regulation.

Gostkowski eventually redeems himself by winning the game in OT. Confetti swirls and he podium is rolled out. The New England contingent gathers with Goodell on the platform.

From out of nowhere, Trump bounds onto the platform, snatches the trophy away from Goodell, presents the trophy to his good friend Kraft with a grand flourish. Trump tells Joe Buck that the game was rigged and that the commissioner sucks more than any of us can possibly imagine, but the right team won anyway. Gisele and Melania appear together and embrace. Gisele's armed security detail links arms in fellowship with the presidential Secret Service detail.

Kraft's girlfriend and Kellyanne Conway appear together. Someone asks if they are sisters.

Brady, Belichick and Kraft fly back to Mar A Lago with Trump on Air Force One for a massive post-game victory celebration dinner. CNN races to cover the event but their crew is detained at a checkpoint at the Southern Boulevard bridge and has their equipment impounded. Trump has a Duck boat and wants give the New England troika a tour of the Intercoastal, but that plan is nixed for security reasons. Longtime Mar A Lago staffer Tony Senecal wonders out loud if Vladimir Putin and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson are distant relatives.

Snow starts falling in Boston on Tuesday an hour or so before the Pats victory parade begins. Trump wants to MC the parade broadcast coverage, but is told that the network already has Regis Philbin, Howard Stern, and Don Cherry covering the event and wants to avoid any on-air redundancy.

posted by beaverboard at 01:10 PM on February 05

Uh.

This game is getting ugly, fast.

posted by grum@work at 07:49 PM on February 05

I'm very very sad at this turn of events. :'(

posted by hincandenza at 08:18 PM on February 05

I don't quite believe the 4th quarter. I think I might just have seen everything.

posted by Howard_T at 10:18 PM on February 05

Well, what do we say?

The greatest COMEBACK in Super Bowl history, or the greatest COLLAPSE in Super Bowl history?

posted by grum@work at 10:27 PM on February 05

I am hoarse, hyperventilating, and my heart is pounding a mile a minute. The last hour has been... surreal, to say the least.

There can't possibly be anyone who doesn't say GOAT now, unless they're being pointlessly contrary.

posted by hincandenza at 10:28 PM on February 05

And now...AND NOW GODDELL HAS TO HAND THE TROPHY TO THE PATRIOTS!

posted by grum@work at 10:30 PM on February 05

beaverboard, your prediction wasn't crazy enough.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 10:31 PM on February 05

There can't possibly be anyone who doesn't say GOAT now, unless they're being pointlessly contrary.

I think if you were holding off on the GOAT for Brady, it wasn't for winning Super Bowls (4 already), or winning against the odds (his first one), or winning close ones (they have all been 4 points or less before this one). There has to be something else (stupid) that has been holding you back, and this game probably didn't change it.

I had been a "Peyton Manning man" because of "numbers", but I conceded that position after the end of this season (and before the playoffs started).

posted by grum@work at 10:34 PM on February 05

My wife started to jump off the couch, forgetting she is in a walking boot. Kicked the coffee table with the boot, took a chunk out of the leg of the table, but who the hell cares. That's as crazy a game as I have ever seen.

posted by Howard_T at 10:35 PM on February 05

I just heard the FOX guys call this the greatest comeback in post-season history.

Nope. Sorry. I can't abide by that.

If you aren't down by 32 points at any time in the game, then it isn't the greatest comeback in post-season history.

posted by grum@work at 10:37 PM on February 05

Is it me, or does the football on the Lombardi Trophy look a little...flat?

posted by grum@work at 10:49 PM on February 05

You know, in every other football game in history, the Julio Jones catch on the sidelines would be hailed as one of the greatest of all time.

Then, Julian Edelman goes and does this and everyone forgets about it....

posted by grum@work at 10:57 PM on February 05

Wow what a game. No dog in this fight, but man NFL OT rules suck.

posted by holden at 11:08 PM on February 05

That Edelman catch looks like something done in CGI; the ball just floats.

As for the OT rules, yeah... I texted a buddy (die-hard Seattle fan, rooting against the Pats on principle) just as OT started and reiterated that regardless of the outcome, I think NFL OT rules are stupid- especially in the Superbowl- and the teams should have a chance to play it out.

posted by hincandenza at 11:20 PM on February 05

The front page that was scrapped...

posted by grum@work at 12:06 AM on February 06

Average margin of victory of Super Bowls that involved the B&B Patriots: 3.7
Average margin of victory for every other Super Bowl since B&B Patriots won in 2002: 14.0

Love them or hate them, the B&B Patriots pretty much guarantee an exciting/close Super Bowl.

posted by grum@work at 12:17 AM on February 06

That was the most deflating game I've ever seen in my life. Was at a Falcons super bowl party, and we were obviously riding high after the first half. And then partway through the third quarter and going into the forth quarter... Brady just does his GOAT thing. When the Falcons got the ball to the Pat's 25 yard line and got pushed back to midfield preventing a field goal attempt to put them up by 2 scores with 5:00 minutes left... Uhg. Knew we were in even bigger trouble. Brady is no doubt the GOAT, but I can't even watch sports news this week now. And (rightfully so) this will be one of those games that's brought up in the lore Super Bowl history for years forcing us to relive one of the greatest collapses in sports history.

posted by jmd82 at 09:34 AM on February 06

Honestly, I didn't really watch the Super Bowl this year, but I would tune in every now and again because the wife and kid wanted to watch the commercials. One of the times I got really lucky and caught the teaser for season two of Stranger Things.

posted by NoMich at 09:46 AM on February 06

I had to drive cross-country Sunday instead of watching the Super Bowl. Did I miss a good game?

posted by rcade at 10:08 AM on February 06

No dog in this fight, but man NFL OT rules suck.

Yeah, I had to explain the OT rules to my wife and I completely forgot if the score is a TD it's a sudden death win so it added an extra layer of unreality to what was already unreal. We watched it on about an hour's delay to make sure Josie got to bed on time (better to wait and watch uninterrupted than have her get up 12x because she went to bed late) and the thing felt like a slow-motion trainwreck, that kind of feeling when you are out of school/ work for a funeral and it seems like you are in a separate reality from everyone else walking around. We were both avoiding social media but trying like hell to figure out if we should keep subjecting ourselves to the horror (like interpreting tea leaves, my wife and I spent an inordinate amount of time deciding what it meant that someone drove away from the neighbor's house at 9:30*). Then things got a little better, then they messed up again and turned a TD into a field goal right before the half. That second field goal shocked me. It felt anti-Belichickian to take the points and bet on being able to score 2 more times and convert 2 2 point conversions. That sequence where the Falcons managed to not get a field goal from the New England 22 was when I started to believe. Michelle wanted to know why I was still not believing and I explained even if they stopped them at the 22 it was over because the field goal was (almost) a sure thing. Then the sack had me jumping up saying, "That's not a sure thing" and then the penalty after they made up some of the sack . . . unreal. As you all know I tend to be cold and data-focused about sports but I don't know how you could deny the existence of momentum after seeing that game. It was so surreal I had to praise the folks from Comcast for their auto-extend DVR feature actually working (even if it didn't catch the trophy ceremony).

* We initially assumed the game had gotten to 42-0 or something. Around the 4th quarter I suggested an alternate theory involving a serious medical incident.

posted by yerfatma at 11:14 AM on February 06

I also assume that streak of 3 consecutive failed 3rd downs the Patriots converted via defensive holding had 90% of America screaming it was a fix. And for all the crap the refs catch in the the NFL, how they got that Edelman catch right in real time is beyond me. I was laughing when they called it a catch claiming I'd definitely seen it hit the ground.

posted by yerfatma at 11:16 AM on February 06

That second field goal shocked me. It felt anti-Belichickian to take the points and bet on being able to score 2 more times and convert 2 2 point conversions.

I thought that was a pretty interesting call. Convert the the 4th down long shot (was it 4th and goal?) and you're in a much better position or take the field goal and hope that literally everything goes right from that point on. The roulette wheel vs betting that 5 consecutive coin flips go heads.

Ultimately, I think it was just too long of a 4th down to consider but I wonder where the line is where Belichick decides to go for that 4th down.

posted by tron7 at 12:01 PM on February 06

tron, it's typical of Belichick to make a decision like that. Do you remember a game in Denver when Patriots were trailing late, were backed up against their own goal line, and were facing 4th down? They could have tried to go for it, but instead opted to take a deliberate safety. Belichick trusted his defense to hold. They held, got the ball back, and Brady took over against a tiring defense.

posted by Howard_T at 01:02 PM on February 06

I also assume that streak of 3 consecutive failed 3rd downs the Patriots converted via defensive holding had 90% of America screaming it was a fix.

Which, of course, is completely against the prevailing theory that Goodell/NFL did NOT want to give Kraft, BB, and Brady the trophy after all that Deflategate brouhaha.

All three calls were correct. The only complaint that could be made is that maybe that happens on EVERY play and they only called it here because they wanted to give the Patriots a chance.

And for all the crap the refs catch in the the NFL, how they got that Edelman catch right in real time is beyond me. I was laughing when they called it a catch claiming I'd definitely seen it hit the ground.

That call and the call on the Julio Jones sideline toe drag were spot on and seem to balance out all those HORRIFIC calls the zebras made in the regular season that had everyone up in arms. The team given the task to officiate this game were definitely top notch.

posted by grum@work at 01:55 PM on February 06

Proof that collapse of the social order is imminent here in central Massachusetts:

The firing ranges at the gun clubs near my house were going full tilt throughout the daylight hours yesterday, with large bore rapid fire weapons prominently featured.

Late last night, local citizens dipped into their gunpowder reserves and suddenly began testing household ordnance until well past curfew. No police response was forthcoming.

As of late this morning, shelves at local grocery stores were still barren of dry goods and essentials, as though a swarm of prepper locusts had blown through the county. Prominent unavailable items include ground meat, kidney and pinto beans, canned tomatoes, onions, and garlic. Also corn chips, cumin, chili powder, and disposable undergarments.

Inventories at all local liquor stores are also at dangerously low levels.

A further round of gathering and marching is once again in store for tomorrow at the state Capital, this time featuring an undisciplined formation of obsolete amphibious military vehicles in a show of privatized response capability and widespread public non-discontent designed to disrupt midday worker productivity.

posted by beaverboard at 02:20 PM on February 06

Lol... I'm enjoying the post-apocalyptic ESPN reporting style you got going there...

posted by hincandenza at 04:29 PM on February 06

One final bit of snarkiness from the Dartmouth (MA) Police Department as reported in The Boston Globe

DARTMOUTH POLICE DEPARTMENT (UNOFFICIAL)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, February 6, 2017

"DEFLATEGATE TWO" INVESTIGATION UNDER WAY

HOUSTON, TX Upon the completion of Super Bowl LI, an independent investigation, now coined "Deflategate Two," was launched.

The investigation stems from the unexpected deflation of Roger GOODELL's ego at the completion of the game.

Though the investigation is still in its early stages, it was reported that a very happy and smiling Tom BRADY was in close proximity to GOODELL when the incident took place.

No further information is available at this time.

posted by Howard_T at 10:29 PM on February 06

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