The script was written and with each waning moment, it appeared the only climax of the evening had taken place when Lady Gaga had taken a suicide dive into the abyss of the unknown as fireworks scattered the sky above NRG Stadium.
With the majority of the fourth quarter to play, Falcons owner Arthur Blank had made his way down to the sideline from his luxurious private suite with his wife by his side. He finally had the solution; he had the Kryptonite to finally slay Superman. Blank had the answer to stopping the Patriots’ revenge tour and for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, that awkward face-to-face exchange with Robert Kraft and the rest of the Patriots, seemed like a distant memory.
However, with the smug look on his face and his chest puffed out, Blank slowly realized he wasn’t fighting Superman; he was battling Captain America and the Captain was utilizing an army of fourth round draft picks and undrafted free agents to cement the greatest comeback in the history of the Super Bowl.
And why not? At this point in the game, would anyone really expect anything less than amazing from Tom Brady? For his legion of haters, it was a long, agonizing, descent into Hell. For his devoted followers, it was the last story line to lay claim as the “greatest” quarterback to ever play the game.
Down 28-3 in the third quarter of Super Bowl LI, Brady couldn’t afford to be anything but spectacular — and 34 unanswered points later, the sports world stood in awe as the world witnessed a comeback for the ages.
As the confetti fell and the Patriots began celebrating the most improbable and historic comeback of all time, the Atlanta Falcons and the world once again witnessed true “greatness.”
There are a few moments in our lives where we get to see transcendent athletes dominant a sport in every facet of the word. I’ve been blessed to see Michael Jordan at the pinnacle in basketball. I’ve watched Dale Earnhardt drive a race car the way few others could only dream about. And now, I’ve had the privilege of watching Brady transform the greatest game on earth.
And the debate over the greatest quarterback in the history of the game has finally been settled — sorry Joe Montana fans, you don’t have a leg to stand on now. And whether you love Brady or hate him, hopefully you are smart enough to appreciate the the truly masterful art at which Brady plays the quarterback position.
Next season, he will be 40 years old and conventional wisdom suggest Brady cannot continue to produce at this type of level — but at this point, would anyone really want to bet against Brady? I wouldn’t!
Reach Chris Slone at 740-353-3101, ext 1930, or on Twitter @crslone.