Despite the recent controversies that have plagued the NFL in the last few years, the Super Bowl has managed to remain one of the premiere television events of the year. This year was no different, with anticipation being high for the showdown between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons. Going into the game, it was expected by many pundits that the Patriots would take the trophy and give Tom Brady his fifth Super Bowl victory. Yet, there were still those that were rooting for the Atlanta Falcons to pull off an upset.
Courtney Kovacs, a child advocacy major in her senior year at Montclair State University, was one of the people rooting for the underdog team to be triumphant at this year’s game. Kovacs is a fan of the New York Giants, but decided to root for the Falcons after her favorite team was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. “I absolutely can’t stand the Patriots,” Kovacs said. “So, by default, I’m rooting for the Falcons.”
“I was routing for the Falcons ‘cause the Patriots are known for cheating,” said Jonathan Nunez, a sophomore computer science major. “I’m jealous that the Patriots won. The Falcons almost had it.”
While many watch the Super Bowl to see the two teams duke it out, the game is just as much about the entertainment that comes with the game. Victor Diaz, a political science major in his freshman year at Montclair State, was excited to see who would win the big game. Yet, Diaz was also looking forward to the musical performances and commercials that air during the game.
“The ads are also pretty funny to watch and the half time show is entertaining,” Diaz said. “There’s a reason why it’s the most watched sports game.”
Living up to its hype as the biggest game of the year, this year’s Super Bowl event found new records being broken and history being made. For the majority of the game, it seemed as though the underdog Falcons were going to pull off one of the most lopsided Super Bowl victories in history against the Patriots. At one point in the game, the Falcons were up 28-3 with less than two quarters left to go.
In the midst of the Patriots being decimated by the Falcons, there was the annual Super Bowl halftime show; Lady Gaga was this year’s performer. To almost everyone’s surprise, Gaga kept her performance apolitical. The performance was a mostly straightforward, but spectacle-driven showcase for some of the pop performer’s greatest hits. Coming off the heels of last year’s incredibly controversial performance by Beyoncé, Gaga’s performance was received positively for keeping politics out of an event that is supposed to be escapist fun.
Going back to the game, victory appeared to be certain for the Falcons during the third quarter when Tom Brady rallied the Patriots to make arguably the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history. In the third quarter and throughout the entirety of the fourth quarter, the Patriots scored 25 unanswered points to create a tied game.
In turn, the game went into overtime for the first time in the history of the Super Bowl. In overtime, the Patriots completed their comeback by scoring another touchdown to win the Super Bowl. With this victory, Brady scored his fifth Super Bowl ring and solidified his legacy as one of the best quarterbacks in the history of football.
Many people could not believe how the game had unfolded throughout its entirety. Kevin Wagner, a sports media and journalism major in his sophomore year at Montclair State, talked about how he respected Brady for his ability to pull off such a remarkable comeback. Wagner also talked about how the game was as good any football game he had ever seen. “The last 15 to 20 minutes of the game had to be the best football I had ever watched,” Wagner said. “In my opinion, this is one of the best Super Bowls that has ever been played.”
While watching the game, a television and digital media major Shane Reed felt that the Patriots had no chance of winning after watching the first two quarters of the game. Reed was rooting for the Falcons to win, but he also gave the Patriots their due for managing to turn the tables around and get the victory.
“This year’s Super Bowl was the craziest football game I’ve ever seen,” Reed said. “I thought that it was a very exciting game.”