The Best Super Bowl

To The Reader’s Forum:

It says something about my age, but I have lived through all 52 Super Bowls. I went to three of them, including the defeat of the Buffalo Bills in Minneapolis.

Thus, I deem myself to have some credentials when it comes to judging the quality of this national sporting event. I would put last Sunday’s defeat of the New England Patriots by the upstart Philadelphia Eagles right at the top.

In the paraphrased words of the great sports philosopher, Yogi Berra, this game truly “wasn’t over until it was over.” Because of his incredible skill as a quarterback, Tom Brady kept the Pats in the game until the final throw when we saw the incredible hulk, Rob Gronkowski, jump high in the end zone to catch a Brady “Hail Mary” pass which everyone expected Gronkowski to catch… everyone, that is, except the Philadelphia defense. Somehow those green-shirted Eagles players put enough hands and bodies in the air to deflect the pass… and the Eagles won.

We saw some things in that game which we will probably never see again–a quarterback (Foles) catching a touchdown pass, over 500 yards of offense by each team, and, yes, perhaps the last Super Bowl for Tom Brady though he sounds like he will keep playing until he is 50 years old.

Before the game, someone in our family used a cellphone camera and sent out a photo of a cartoon to our family football list (also called a “thread.”) The cartoon showed an old guy, like me, sitting on a couch in front of a TV, speaking to a young boy and saying: “Remember–we’re not Eagles fans or Patriots fans. We’re “Tom Brady Somehow Gets Humiliated fans.”

My seven-year-old grandson immediately picked up on it, and kept reminding me of it during the game. Last year, while visiting him in Washington, D.C., an SUV passed our car on the highway honking its horn. As it zipped by us, written in the dirt of its rear window, during the time Brady had been suspended for a few games, were the words: “Free Tom Brady!” The driver had seen the Buffalo Bills sticker on my car, and was just trying to rub-it-in a bit. There has never been a quarterback who has beaten the Bills more than Tom Brady.

Admittedly, I was rooting for the Eagles last week just because of that but, in my heart, I expected that the Patriots would find a way win the Super Bowl. (One member of our family was so irate when it looked like the refs might reverse a Philadelphia touchdown, that he texted in that if it were reversed, he would never watch football again!) So, when both teams put on a show which was one for the ages and which went way beyond my usual bedtime…I had to stay up and watch it. Out of the 50 some Super Bowls I have watched, this had to be the best ever!

Rolland Kidder