Sunday, April 23, 2017

Beer and football VII — playoffs, week five
Super Bowl LI
Part 1 of 1: Now he has his revenge

The game: Patriots vs. Falcons
The beer: SingleCut Heavy Boots of Lead Imperial Stout
The result: Win, 34–28
The commentary: Need I add the "OT" designation to the score above? Is any reader (!) unaware of the game's epic? Nah. Even local guinea pig Rosie Posie knows what's up and she's continually dipped in chocolate and peanut butter.

Dreams of another split session, as with two parts of jazz-and-football discourse, seemed inevitable until two thousand something words about Black Sabbath loomed as preposterous. I'll save it for the playlist in a few weeks. Instead, knowing what I—and you—do about twenty-five-point deficits, Dont'a Hightower strip-sacks, James White heroics and premature Boston Globe headlines, and in honor of "live-blogging" a past event with no mystery as to its sexy results: here we go again. The entire game, without skipping commercials as I did that Sunday, undoubtedly (somewhat) riding the same highs and lows as missed opportunities and calamitous roadblocks produced an impossible outcome.

Meanwhile, here's my prescient daughter again in case you missed her original appearance in the draft post. Three Super Bowl appearances and two victories in her short life so far. I see a lifetime of "Remember when?" conversations as future Patriots lose in humiliating fashion to teams from Mexico, England and Germany. Fuck that, let's live in the present (minus several weeks) for the next few hours. It is early evening on February 5, 2017.

[Edit: I'll re-watch Sound FX, Turning Point and Inside the NFL as well and supplement with a few observations here and there, e.g., "I caught it! I caught it! I caught it!" Look for this extra bullshit in brackets or something. I'll also obtain another SingleCut from the town culinary shop and pour myself a glass as I wrap up this multiple-thousand-word madness—its "super complex richness" will transport me via a great magnetic field to Super Bowl Sunday's state of mind. Lastly, I somehow failed to take any pictures of G. that glorious weekend, so I'll pepper in a few good ones since then. If Andrew Loog Oldham can insert random shots of "the Stones in concert" while detailing the legal complications of Immediate Records in his Stone Free then I can do the same, though mine will surely end with less distasteful and bitter envy. On the contrary: huzzah!]

6:31
After watching a promo for MasterChef Junior, a.k.a. Heck's Kitchen, and imagining what value there is in a censored Gordon Ramsay, Joe Buck welcomes us with "Thank you for watching the Ford Pre-Kick show," as if I held onto that recording for these purposes.

[Matthew Slater's pep talk to Dion Lewis ("traded, cut"), White ("couldn't even get on the field your rookie year"), Danny Amendola ("walk-on"), Julian Edelman ("no position") and Patrick Chung ("had to go to another team, come back") is must-see TV. "Remember the journey, fellas. It all led to this."]

6:32
George and Barbara Bush come on for the coin flip. I'll fast-forward through this bit since it was awkward enough the first time. In our former president's defense, referee Carl Cheffers did ask him to "toss" the coin, not flip it, and that's about what happened.

6:33
Don't worry, everyone will be back for a proper flip in a few hours. Stick with it, Slater: tails never fails but heads never deads!

6:35
Great start to the commercials with all of Ford's getting-stuck scenarios. Who knew Nina Simone would one day try to sell me a car? This might be the high point since it was supposedly a bad batch this year.

6:36
Montage time brings the fucking Tyree catch. Thanks. I can stomach the Favre and Fridge celebrations but not Tyree, never Tyree. At least Fox had the decency to end with Belichick and his father getting a Gatorade bath after winning XXXIX.

6:37
"And now it's time to play football." Without lows there are no highs so I will not skip the bad parts. And I will not keep up this minute-to-minute pace.

6:39
LeGarrette Blount not converting on third and one on the first drive is the reason he's still a free agent. Eighteen touchdowns can be spread over several running backs who will probably average more than three point nine yards per carry. Also: welcome to stardom, Deion Jones!

6:41
That Devonta Freeman run to open the Falcons' offense stirred up memories of the evil Ray Rice start to Ravens–Pats in the 2009/2010 wild-card round. Beer-and-football, thankfully, was not yet conceived. "Inconceivable!" The first… three-fifths?… of this one will play out the same way.

6:47
Second drive, first play, failed jet sweep. Reeking of desperation early.

[Sound FX: Edelman acknowledges sound defensive coverage with "Hey! Hey! Gimme the flag! He hit me out of bounds!" He has a point but would you give him the benefit of the doubt after that display?]

6:48
"It's Edelman or Amendola, two little (whiiite!) guys."

6:50
"Pass was behind but caught by James (whiiite!)!" Oh wait.

6:51
The replay shows how Shaq Mason was sinfully overpowered by Courtney Upshaw on that sack. Sheesh. Falcons with good pressure as this "improved offensive line" has its worst game of the year.

6:52
It's unreal how Brady manages to hang onto to the ball every damn time when sacked from behind. Deflategate II!

6:55
Hasn't H&R Block seen Black Mirror?

7:00
"Oil explores space." Nice try, American Petroleum Institute. I await your inevitable eco-crisis.

7:04
Seven straight Super Bowls with the Pats scoring zero points in the first quarter. I'll take it.

7:05
Nice Brady commercial for Intel, taking a magazine into the bathroom. So far it, Nina Simone and subliminal John Lovitz are in the lead.

7:06
Meanwhile, how do these no-budget, cheesy-ass Toyota commercials afford anything approaching a Super Bowl, let alone last into this century? Those mouse clicks!

7:08
Blount's fumble is a killer. Reason number two if he's not back. Highlight number two from Deion Jones.

[Belichick: "Fuck."]

7:10
"If that's a Buick then my kid's Cam Newton." 2015 or 2016 version?

7:12
After those two amazing catches it's hard to believe Julio Jones only had two targets—and catches—for the rest of the game. Unless you're Dan Quinn or Kyle Shanahan.

[Matt Ryan to Jones: "Great hands on that drift, dog." You think?]

7:16
Touchdown Atlanta. Freeman was untouched after taking the ball at the ten. The defense looks gassed and that's after a timeout. 7–0.

7:19
Good to see Mark Wahlberg's shameful attempts to get pardoned over his hate-crime conviction aren't standing in the way of making shitty sequels to shitty movies. Or selling bad hamburgers. Or ditching historic football games early.

7:24
Oh yeah, the new 24 started. I got a few episodes in before tiring of the whole wait-a-week-until-the-next-episode quaintness so I'm letting them (and now Better Call Saul) pile up while blasting through the quite excellent Black Orphan on Amazon. Here's hoping for a spinoff starring Alison and Felix with frequent appearances by Vic and Donnie.

7:25
Julio Goddamn Jones. Falcons in total control.

7:27
"Falcons are easily inside field goal range for the big-legged kicker Matt Bryant." Har! Har! Touchdown number two.

7:28
Another perfectly executed leap by Shea McClellin over the guard to block the point-after but it draws a flag. Belichick woke up this morning still upset about the call. 14–0.

[Jones and Mohamed Sanu (Sr.): "They tryin' to two-man me." "I know!" "They can't do nothin' with me." "Nope."]

7:29
"He's the fucking guard!" Live television rules.

[Blount to Lewis on the sideline: "That's what opened the floodgates really, bro. I put that shit on the ground." He'll get no argument from me.]

7:31
"I love you, halftime bathroom break. But sometimes you stink." Buschhhhh.

7:32
"The Atlanta Falcons lead by fourteen. It's the largest deficit in a Brady–Belichick Super Bowl for the Patriots as they play in their seventh together."

7:35
Dwight Freeney's "patented spin move" is negated by a holding penalty. Remember a couple of years ago when Nate Solder tried to counteract Freeney's spin move with one of his own? Doesn't he know what "patented" means"? More importantly, doesn't he understand why offensive linemen aren't known for spin moves? Hall-of-famers, practice squad scrubs, it's universal!

7:40
Let's start taking pictures of the TV. Remember XLIX?


7:41
Bad game for Blount. He's close to getting benched. Flags are the only thing keeping this ugly drive alive and so they're advancing. Until…

[A wise, insolent Sanu to Jones on the bench: "We about to get a pick though. We about to get a pick though. We about to get a pick though." Jones responds with the most genteel handshake in sports.]

7:44
"A BITTER END." Awesome pick-six by Robert Alford no matter the outcome. We get our first shot of Arthur Blank, in the luxury box for now. 21–0.

[Crazy-Eyes Scott Zolak, Patriots radio color analyst: "Starin' him down, tryin' to stick it into Amendola. No chance." Captain Hightower on the bench, responding to unwelcome optimism: "We ain't alright! We're not alright!"]

7:45
This game should be over. But who's the dour gentleman?

7:52
A gift from the heavens as Martellus Bennett hauls in a dead duck ripe for picking and gains fifteen and a new set of downs. Is this the first of a thousand impossible plays without which the comeback would have fallen short?

[Sanu and Taylor Gabriel: "Ain't never met nothin' like us." "That's Tom Brady over there."]

7:59
A bad Bennett hold doesn't detract from hints of White's dynamic play to come. I and many others thought he'd be cut in the preseason, despite Patriots Football Weekly's still-vague defense of his play in last year's AFC Championship unpleasantness against the Broncos.

8:01
Good guys on the board! 21–3. Eighteen-point lead got nothin'.

8:06
This Lady Gaga commercial confuses me. She's an artistic rebel who challenges the status quo by shopping at Tiffany's? Stop explaining how outrageous you are. Stop it! "You're born knowing that Tiffany's is, like, the best." I may have inserted the "like" there but is she thirteen years old? Also, if there's anything more insufferable than a Patriots fan blogging about yet another Super Bowl win then it's someone—celebrity or otherwise—talking about how he or she grew up in New York City.

8:10
Beautiful commercial for… 84 Lumber? OK. But not compelling enough for me to jump online and "view the conclusion." Who does that? Proof that advertising is altogether silly.

8:11
Curt Menefee: "No team has ever come back from twenty-one points down to win a Super Bowl. How can the Patriots do it?" You guys can say whatever you want but you won't be close.

8:12
Here come all the weirdos who somehow earned the opportunity to fill the field during the halftime show. Back to the sewers with you in twenty minutes.

8:13
And now the drones. I didn't watch Lady Gaga live because I was behind in the recording and too high-strung after G. took awhile to get to bed. The three of us watched the following weekend and, though I'm no fan of the music, it was a pretty great show, even with the phony rooftop bit and the "rock band." Maybe I would have felt differently, or not been interested in watching at all, had the Falcons won.

8:18
Carrying Lady Gaga for six seconds will be the highlight of that dancer's life and no one was looking at him.

8:19
Keytar Bear making no changes whatsoever to his five-year plan.

8:21
"How you doin' tonight? We're here to make you feel good, you wanna feel good with us? Beth, I hear you callin'…"

8:26
Gaga's is the fourth best catch of the night after two by Jones and (of course) one by Edelman.

[Sound FX's and Inside the NFL's unique angles confirm the genuine article.]

8:31
"Alright Katie Nolan, you've made the big time. You'll be part of our Super Bowl coverage this year. Only on Fox!" "Amazing! I've aspired to this since J school. This truly is the grandest stage! What do you need from me, on-air analysis?" "Bingo!" "I'm so excited and will not disappoint you! So, X's and O's? Advanced stats? Presumed second-half adjustments?" "You'll get thirty seconds to talk about people's Twitter reactions to Lady Gaga." "What the fuck? Get out of my face."

8:34
We're back. Troy Aikman: "This opening possession for both of these teams, I think, is big to start this second half." I agree. We're both wrong.

8:35
Nice special-teams coverage by the Pats all night. On a related note, punter Ryan Allen is the team's MVP so far.

8:36
"One hour, eight minutes since we last saw the Atlanta Falcons offense." Not insignificant.

8:37
Nice three-and-out by the defense to open the half. One of many things that needed to happen before we knew what "things that needed to happen" really meant.

[Blount on the sideline: "Damn right! Damn right!"]

8:39
"What do I tell my daughter? That her dad is worth more than her mom? That she will automatically be valued less than every man she ever meets? Or maybe I'll be able to tell her something different." That dad drives a black fucking Audi and mom isn't allowed near it.

8:40
Live Snickers commercial wasn't bad. "Ungh, Jeremiah, you got us!" Nothing but chaos in Kylo Ren's wake.

8:44
Decent field position, even with Edelman stepping out of bounds on the punt return, sets up a whole lot of nothing as the Pats go three and out. They had to score there to keep it close, said everyone in New England at the time (me too). On the plus side, Quinn and the defense decide to use their first timeout before third down because they don't like what they see from an offense that dropped a catchable ball on first down (Chris Hogan) and committed a declined penalty on second. Bad Edelman drop on third so what do I know. First seven drives by the good guys: punt, punt, fumble, punt, interception, field goal, punt.

["Third time today New England's gone three and out."]

8:47
Bill Nye the Deflategate-Refuting-Science-Denier Guy.

8:49
Malcolm Butler's ankles simply decide "Nah" as Gabriel dusts right by him on the way to a thirty-five-yard gain. That replay was the opposite of Super Bowl-saving achievement. I still want him on the team this year and beyond—he was all in during Devin McCourty's hype speech before kickoff and those are the kinds of "dependable" players Belichick wants around. I don't understand why he's to become a Saint instead. (Mike Reiss knows but clearly isn't telling us.)

8:52
Nice pass defense by Butler draws two flags so maybe it wasn't so nice. They weren't stopping this drive anyway—Tevin Coleman's wide-open touchdown, with a no-chance Rob Ninkovich in pursuit, was written. First six Atlanta drives, excluding the end-of-half kneel-down on the kickoff return: punt, punt, touchdown, touchdown, punt, touchdown.

8:53
Laugher. Aikman: "This is not what you want to see." Also known as 28–3.

[Presumed Atlanta color analyst: "Too many weapons, they got too many guys to pay attention to." Total number of points scored by said weapons in the game's final twenty-seven minutes: zero.]

8:56
"The End of the Beginning." It took a Stranger Things trailer—"upside down" and all—to flip this shit. 2017 will be a down year for the candy industry.

9:00
Game over. We spoke of desperation earlier but this was the scene from Swingers when Gutter is leaving all those voicemail messages. "Trickery" in trying to recreate Edelman's perfect-passer-rating, game-changing touchdown pass from the Ravens game two years ago? Desperation. If I were going to turn the TV off—"no way I'm not watching"—it would have been after that incompletion. Fourth down.

[Sanu on the sideline agrees: "Hey, they tryin' some shit. They tryin' anything now." Zolak: "Gotta go for it. If you're out here callin' that play on third-and-three?"]

9:01
Life. "Nice job, Danny." No inflection. Is this the man?

[Quinn to cornerback Brian Poole: "Tackle! Hey! Get the legs! Get the fuckin' legs!" The Falcons defense played almost twice as many minutes as their offense and started showing it on this drive.]

9:03
First-down scramble by Brady. I'd say this was the turning point if there weren't still a dozen setbacks to come, never mind the point deficit. Like Freeney's and Bennett's helmets getting stuck together with the clock running.

[Sanu again: "I mean, they just wastin' time. I mean, they can't stop us, they just wastin' time."]

9:04
Blount is good for one average-altering run per game and that was it. Excellent first down… followed by a gain of zero. Buck: "I would imagine Patriots fans are saying 'Throw the football!'" Nailed it, Joe!

9:05
Woot! First six points for White.

[Zolak: "That's one. And maybe, just maybe, there's the one you need."]

9:06
Doink! Speculation is rampant that Stephen Gostkowski is set to be replaced. Rough 2017 for him as the rest of the game is in two-point-conversion territory. 28–9.

[Zolak: "You gotta be kiddin' me." The Globe's Chad Finn, discussing his predicted outcome as part of Boston Sports Media Watch's enjoyable "review, with perspective": "Watching Gostkowski lining up for a winning kick might have caused half of New England to black out."]

9:07
The Walking Dead, a show I couldn't give up on quickly enough at the conclusion of its first season, gets it all wrong by declaring that "Football season is over." Still more than a quarter to go plus overtime in this historic contest, you revolting gorehounds.

9:09
The botched onside kick is the first of the aforementioned setbacks. Ugly all over.

9:14
Ryan throws his hands up, backs out of the huddle and calls timeout (their second) as he walks to the sideline because of malfunctioning coach-to-quarterback communications. "I got nothin'!" he explains before removing his helmet. "I can't hear shit." An apparent lack of offensive hand signals is fully exposed and they're left with one timeout in regulation. Thanks guys!

9:15
That missed sack by Jabaal Sheard was a perfect encapsulation of his two years here. Bailed out by Chung.

9:16
Falcons go three and out. "What are we holding onto, Sam?" "That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo, and it's worth fighting for."

9:17
It was never made clear why the Falcons were able to run out the third quarter after a delay-of-game penalty. Why doesn't everyone do this? I guess it worked out OK.

9:20
I'm glad a twenty-dollar check from grandma can make this grungy Black Crowes cover band so mental with glee. They didn't even read the card. Shoppers at the North Conway outlets won't know what hit them.

9:21
Buck: "It would be an unprecedented comeback if the Patriots climb out of this… hole… to win their fifth Super Bowl." Fox compiles Blount's fumble, Hogan's drop, Alford's pick-six, Edelman's drop and Gostkowski's miss in a tidy package labeled "Miscues." Nothing about Quinn and Ryan burning two second-half timeouts.

[Idiot Pats fan in attendance: "C'mon, TB12! You got it! You got it!" Only idiot Pats fans refer to Brady as "TB12."]

9:27
That's two red-zone sacks for Grady Jarrett on this drive to go with a boring old regular sack earlier. Probably the MVP if the Falcons win. Are we sure they didn't win?

[Quinn, between sacks: "Call it again, guys, call it again. Call it again." Sanu agrees with me once more after the second sack: "Grady got another one! Hey, Grady's trying to get MVP!" Maybe he and I should do a brewery tour together sometime.]

9:28
Big plays from the role-players with White, Bennett and rookie Malcolm Mitchell moving the chains before they have to settle for a field goal. A very close field goal. 28–12.

[Belichick: "We're gonna need two more drives anyway."]

9:30
Yeah, that King's Hawaiian guy doesn't hide booze and porn around the house or anything.

[Blount: "There's still plenty of time if we get a stop, bro. If we get a stop and a score, we got plenty of fuckin' time, we just gotta score a fuckin' touchdown, bro!" Hightower: "No more mistakes, none of that no more. Everything's gotta be perfect." Edelman: "We need a turnover. Need a turnover, D."]

9:37
"Ball!" Hightower is excited about another season of Stranger Things but Freeman slept through the finale. The strip sack changes everything and directly results in the, yes Joe, "unprecedented comeback." Apologies for the change in screenshot quality, I watched the bad portion of the game during the day and the good at night with no lights on. My advertisers will be pissed.

[Hightower to Malcom Brown: "I told you we needed that!" Zolak: "We got a ballgame now!"]

9:38
Brady is immediately sacked by Freeney on the first play after the turnover. See what I'm talking about?

"I'm feeling pretty good."
Every Falcons fan in America
February 5, 2007, 9:38 p.m.


9:40
Mitchell gains a mammoth first down and slams the ball to the turf… before he's touched. You are no longer in college. Solid awareness by Falcons cornerback CJ Goodwin to swipe at the ball, poor awareness by him to give up on it after the whistle, allowing Mitchell to snatch it back. I wonder how everything would have played out had Goodwin dove on the thing and Quinn challenged possession.

9:41
Touchdown, Amendola! Great game for him. "And Brady tells the world they're going for two."

9:42
Kevin Faulk White with the direct snap and that's eight points for him. 28–20.

[Patriots radio play-by-play man Bob Socci: "It's a one-score game!"]

9:43
"Born to Be Wild," still the most underrated overexposed song in rock history.

9:44
A., doing some work at the dining table all evening while I was the picture of anxiety on the couch, had been asking for the previous half hour if I wanted her to sit next to me for, I don't know, moral support. I politely declined, having accepted a bad outcome and not wanting to get any stink on her. After Amendola's touchdown, when victory became a real possibility, she asked again and I said "Yes, please."

[Dante Scarnecchia to the offensive line: "We're still in a go-for-two mode if we score again. When we score again." Cheffers to Gene Steratore: "Hey, this could get interesting." Shanahan to Ryan: "Be smart, man."]

9:45
Another nice punt from Allen—he's not going away quietly in team MVP discussions as Freeman's forty-yard catch-and-run against air effectively ends the game. People will remember the Pats steamrolling post-Stranger Things but it was never, ever easy. (Until overtime.)

9:48
Julio Goddamn Jones. Replay after replay is well earned and magnifies remarkable skill, concentration and athleticism. I don't think much of Eric Rowe but he could not have covered it any better. Best catch of the night because Edelman is a bit of a douche.

[Blount dumbfounded on the sideline. Brady mutters "Damn." Sanu to Jones in the subsequent huddle: "Hey! You a baaad man!"]

9:50
Trey Flowers, defensive MVP. Timeout Pats.

9:51
Aikman and Buck: "You just can't take the sack there. It doesn't knock 'em out, in terms of being in field-goal range, but that's a costly sack by Matt Ryan." "It would be a fifty-three-yard field goal from this spot. Matt Bryant has plenty of leg for that, but that sack makes the field-goal try just that much more difficult if the Falcons don't come up with any yardage on this third and twenty-three." "Yeah, Matt Ryan's gotta be smart here, you can't afford another sack. Try to pick up some yards, make it easier for Matt Bryant. Three points is big right now in this ballgame."

9:52
"And with the sack and the hold, the Falcons are not in position to add to an eight-point lead."

[Ryan before the penalty is announced: "What the fuck, guys. Did you hold?" Guard Tom Compton: "I did not. I did not." Tackle Jake Matthews: "Does your mouthguard taste like banana?"]

9:53

9:54
Falcons fans have every right to bitch about that intentional grounding non-call for the rest of their lives. Dicey.

9:55
Big first down but Hogan can't get out of bounds. Brady slowing things with two timeouts left. Ryan helpless on the sideline.

9:57
Mitchell with the first. I thought he hurt his knee on that one. We need you, buddy!

[Sanu on the sideline: "We gotta get a turnover." Has he Edelman's hoodoo from twenty minutes ago?]

9:58
"It didn't touch the ground!" That was me, over and over, with a sleeping five-year-old upstairs. Ridiculous. Cash money call by the refs. Quinn challenges, of course, and loses his final timeout. I don't blame him. I still look for signs of incompletion whenever I see the Tyree catch. They aren't there. (Eli in the grasp though? Dirty pool.)

[Edelman, rolling around with three defensive backs: "I caught it! I caught it! I caught it!" He and cornerback Poole have conflicting opinions during the review as they look to different big screens for confirmation either way. Sanu, voice of the viewers throughout the game: "I think he caught that."]

9:59
Lotsa replays. If Alford intercepts that it's a two-man race between him and Jarrett for MVP.

10:00
"The ruling on the field is confirmed." Right on cue, here's the Tyree catch. 19–0 is the lost love I'll forever mourn. It's obvious after Amendola's follow-up catch that the Pats are winning this game. I don't know what to tell you. Two-minute warning.

10:05
White with six more. 28–26. Deep breaths.

10:06
"This is a tie game!" as Edelman concusses Amendola. I was jumping up and down before they formally confirmed the conversion, confident that a second attempt, if necessary, wouldn't fail following the offsides penalty. This game was going to be tied no matter what. Fifty-seven seconds remaining in regulation.

[Amendola with a sly wink to Brady as they return to the sideline. I love that.]

10:07
Aikman and Buck: "And you think now, for the Atlanta Falcons, how costly the sack on Matt Ryan, the holding penalty on left tackle Jake Matthews… knocks them out of field-goal range that would have made this a two-possession ballgame." "Twenty-five unanswered points put up over the last sixteen-plus minutes by New England."

10:08
Straight to overtime, right? You haven't been watching. Sanu with a quick first but no timeouts dooms the drive. And shit, if Duron Harmon came down with that inbounds?

10:10
Timeout taken by Belichick just to rub it in.

10:12
Edelman fair-catches the punt with three seconds left.

10:13
Lewis is taken out by sniper fire but hangs onto the ball like a Bizarro Patrick Pass. End of regulation.

10:14
Slater: Tails never fails but heads never deads. No confusion this time: "We'll take the ball," complete with hand gestures.

10:15
Former leading ladies from Mad Men, Dexter and Orange Is the New Black make for a compelling Handmaid's Tale that I will probably never see. Drag.

[I think linebacker Elandon Roberts is braiding Hightower's hair as they watch the offense take the field to start overtime. Blank and his wife haven't yet retreated from the sideline. He looks ready to start rubbing guys out. "Look how they massacred my boys."]

10:20
Yeah, those setbacks are history now. Good guys marching. Falcons plainly exhausted. Now they don't call timeout?

[Hightower, after Hogan's catch: "Arms to the ball, motherfucker!"]

10:21
Impossible laser to Edelman. As if Brady isn't the greatest quarterback in history.

10:22
Dangerous throw to Bennett draws a flag. I like the idea of getting Bennett a touchdown here but don't force it, man.

10:23
Don't force it, man. Vic Beasley (Jr.) stopped just short of James Harrison's legend on that one.

[Zolak: "Dangerous throw. Dangerous, dangerous throw. Don't get greedy."]

10:24
I have no words.

[Socci and Zolak: "James White, tucks it under the right arm, cuts it upfield… driving forward! Diving to the goal line–" "YYYUUUUUNGH!" "–a touchdown! And a title! For the Patriots!" PFW's Fred Kirsch on his live chat: "I LOVE YOU ALL!!!! GO ENJOY THE CELEBRATION!!!" Not an accidental "1" in the bunch!]

10:25
Twenty points for White, the MVP in a non-Brady universe. Buck and Aikman: "They've already shot off the confetti, fans are on the field." "I don't know what they'd do if they had to overturn this!" Brady clearly telling everyone to get lost until the touchdown is reviewed. Ryan looking ill and wanting none of that.

[I'm gonna skip all this "It's not over!/Get the fuck off the field!" bullshit from Edelman. He was as giddy as the rest until his crush told him they had to review it.]

10:26
Touchdown confirmed. The Pats led the game for zero seconds.

[Socci, in his odd, stilted, broadcast-y delivery that sounds like dyslexic pentameter: "They have completed the greatest comeback… in Super Bowl history… led… by the greatest quarterback… in Super Bowl… and NFL annals."]

10:27
Blount to Belichick in the middle of a media scrum: "You're the greatest!" Turns to Brady: "And you're the fucking greatest! You're the fucking greatest, bro." Live television rules.

[Zolak: "What an amazing, stunning end as the Falcons just sit there in disbelief. You can say they blew it, but I'm gonna go with New England took it out of their hands." The Providence Journal's Mark Daniels in the BSMW piece: "It's literally impossible to count the Patriots out."

10:30
I'm seeing this celebration for the first time. I was fogged in by now.

[Belichick, embracing White: "Way to go, buddy. I'm fuckin'… I'm so proud of you." To Edelman: "They counted us out twenty times."]

10:35
Here's my Nina Simone commercial again as Atlanta wept.

10:37
The NFL Shop commercial inadvertently reminds viewers that third-world countries will be dressed in red and black in support of the Atlanta Falcons, winners of Super Bowl LI.

10:39
Power move by Brady, holding tight to Roger Goodell's perfunctory handshake and pulling him closer for a glorious twist of the knife. Even better in slow motion.

[Excellent second angle on Sound FX, also in slow motion. Goodell tries and fails to pull away early. His limo was already running, parked across three handicapped people.]

10:40
Here comes three-time Super Bowl champion Willie McGinest with the trophy. "Kiss this motherfucker!" Live television rules.

10:41
Michael Strahan? Goddammit.

[Hall-of-Famer and Matthew's dad Jackie Slater: "They got the best quarterback in the history of the National Football League, bar none." He would know after seven years of Chris Jim Everett.]

10:42
"BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!11!!1" Goodell hands the trophy off to Robert Kraft and gets the fuck outta dodge.

10:45
Kraft, Belichick and Brady stick to the script and I love them for it. Joy reigns over vengeance.

[Inside the NFL narrator: "Fifteen years ago, a sixth-round afterthought hoisted the Lombardi Trophy for the first time. Now, Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback in NFL history."]

10:46
Terry Bradshaw brings in "James Lewis." What team does he play for again? James White deserves this limelight. There will be no talk of his release in August.

[Socci: "And a silver trophy… is coming back to New England." My second-grade bowling trophy? He seems like a nice guy but what is that?]

10:50
A lot of "never befores" from Menefee. Final five Patriots drives, excluding Lewis's end-of-regulation scramble: touchdown, field goal, touchdown (plus two-point conversion), touchdown (plus two-point conversion), touchdown. Falcons final four: punt, fumble, punt, punt.

10:52
"Well, for every great victor, there is a tough loser." What happened, Dan Quinn? "Unfortunately, with the play that we tried to execute, the guy makes a great play and jumps in front of the route and makes an incredible play that nobody would ever think he could do. And unfortunately that changes the whole outcome." Whoopsie, wrong game!

10:55
Brady's well worn Shields MRI commercial is rereleased as Shields MRI Redux. "Would you please remove all jewelry and place it in the locker?" "Oh yeah, sure. No problem." [Removes four Super Bowl rings.] "Is that all?" "For now." "Uh, actually no. I forgot this one. It's kinda new." "We're gonna need to get you a bigger locker!" "Roger that!"



So ends the recording. By this point I was switching around local networks that likely promoted "PATRIOTS WIN SUPER BOWL" as breaking news for six hours. Eventually I posted to Facebook about what the Fios onscreen guide thought I was watching on Fox: "This is the greatest episode of 24 I've ever seen." Monday was hell. Yes, it's a dynasty.

Now I can delete the game from my DVR and make room for several hours of NFL draft on Thursday. These Monk marathons don't come cheap! Cry not for me, fans of thirty-one other teams, for I preordered Three Games to Glory on February 6. Open races will rule an NFL without Brady–Belichick and, as such, XLIX and LI will make for fine alternatives should future Super Bowls not end in glorious fashion for a sixth time or more. Eventually it will be—it will have to be!—someone else's turn, right? Maybe even the Bills. They know something about teams overcoming deficits in the playoffs.

Up next: Is more beer and football on tap—har! har!—with complete draft coverage? Maybe next year. There is a beauty beyond the senses, Nefretiri. Cheers!

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