Last night was a pretty big sports event: Super Bowl LI. I was pretty excited about it. The Falcons were in their first Super Bowl since Super Bowl XXXIII (almost 20 years), and their second appearance overall. Finally! My home state’s team was going to destroy the Patriots! The hashtag “RiseUp” filled my Facebook feed. I made a conscious effort to watch and care about this game. For the first half, the Falcons had indeed risen up. 21-3 at halftime.
And then… everything went wrong. The Patriots started gaining ground. Injuries plagued the Falcons. Before we knew it the Patriots tied it up and forced the first ever overtime in Super Bowl history. They won the coin toss, and the game was over before you could say “rise up”.
What happened? The Falcons were David and the Patriots were Goliath. Goliath isn’t supposed to win!
The Falcons played a great game. Much better than Super Bowl XXXIII when they lost 34-19 to the Broncos (another team I despise, but that’s another issue). I remember watching that game when I was 12. It was painful to watch. But this loss hurt so much more, not because of who they lost to, but how they lost to them. The Patriots are a fantastic team. One of, if not the, best teams in the league. They have the rings to prove it. Having the Patriots as their opponent would not prove to be an easy win and it showed. It was the fact that the Falcons had the game in their hands for so long and then gave up 25 unanswered points in the 3rd and 4th quarters. At least in Super Bowl XXXIII the Falcons just failed to perform the entire game. There was still hope in Super Bowl LI.
I hate to say it, but the Patriots deserve this win. The Falcons gave it their all but it just wasn’t enough. They got cocky and it blew up in their faces. They might not be the Grand Champions, but they’re still the NFC Champions. Hold your heads high Falcons and fans. You held your own against the best team in the league. You forced them to make 2 2-point conversions and overtime. You made them actually play a game. It wasn’t a shut-out or a massacre.
That is something to be proud of… RISE UP!