Superbowl LI: A Night of Madness
February 27, 2017
Last year, Super Bowl L was played to relatively little fanfare. Fans had high expectations for the game, but in the end, it was little more than a glorified thrashing.
This year could not have been more different.
This time around, the New England Patriots faced the Atlanta Falcons in what fans thought was a rollercoaster of a game. The game started out as a repeat of past Super Bowls, but eventually turned into a hectic contest of endurance. Adding to the mix was a unique, high-flying halftime show by Lady Gaga, and a historical ending to what was a thrilling game
“For the first part of the game, it was a bit boring,” sophomore Zach Browning said. “However, the last quarter made it one of the best Super Bowls of all time.”
Even the atmosphere before the game seemed to be charged with energy.
“Everybody was pumped up and really excited, and a lot of the fans were making fun of each other’s team,” junior Jordon Hiner, who attended the game, said.
Both teams came into the game with different strengths and weaknesses. In the eyes of the fans, the game would be much more competitive this year.
“I thought it was a good matchup,” Browning said. “One had a really good offense, and one had a really good defense.”
The game itself was only part of the appeal. Many people look forward to the Super Bowl for the traditionally entertaining and humorous commercials. However, viewers have commented that the quality of the commercials has not been up to par in recent years. This year’s batch, however, drew different opinions.
“[The commercials] were definitely better than last years, but the quality has been falling the past few years,” Browning said.
The first half started off slowly, with both teams not scoring any points. Eventually, the Falcons began scoring at a dazzling pace, while the Patriots could do little to stop them.
“The first half surprised me, since the Falcons were winning by a lot more than I expected,” Hiner said.
The halftime show, which featured Lady Gaga, did not have many expectations from fans; however, her stunts, which included jumping off the roof of the NRG Stadium, quickly turned that around.
“I really liked the lights,” Hiner said. “We’d heard that she was going to jump off the roof, but I didn’t think she’d actually do it.”
The second half was a completely different ball game. The Patriots managed to rally back from a 25-point deficit, while the Falcons failed to score any points. Some credited the drastic change in attitude to the leadership and experience of Tom Brady, the Patriot’s quarterback.
“I think Tom Brady really rallied his team, and got them in the right mindset,” senior Jared Dowdy said.
Some, however, attributed it to other causes.
“I don’t think it had anything to do with experience,” Hiner said. “I think it’s more like a race, where the guys who run all out at the beginning will get tired faster.”
Eventually, the game was forced into overtime, the first in Super Bowl history, in which the first to score a touchdown would win, no matter how much time was left. The Patriots got the ball first, and promptly bulldozed over the Falcons to win the game.
“I don’t think it’s fair,” Browning said. “I think we should adopt a new set of rules that allows both teams an equal opportunity.”
Regardless of the final scoreline, Super Bowl LI truly lived up to its expectations and provided a dynamic game for viewer to enjoy, and made history in the process.
“This Super Bowl was a lot more entertaining, and I liked it,” Hiner said. “I think it was better because it was historical, and I got to see it happen.”