Finding a Deeper Meaning in Super Bowl Sunday
When I first heard that Tom Brady left New England to play for Tampa Bay, I thought it was the beginning of the end to his career. I thought his success in New England was largely due to Bill Belichick's coaching, and some of the talented receiving options he had around him with Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski, Wes Welker, Randy Moss, and so many others over the years.
When I later found out that Gronkowski was coming out of retirement to join Brady on the Buccaneers, I still wasn’t convinced that it was enough to make the team successful. I made jokes about them before some of my fantasy football drafts, comparing The Bucs to The Browns, in regard to having the talent but no chemistry. To which, The Browns also ended up surprising me this season, finding some success themselves.
As the season progressed, and I watched The Bucs flourish under Brady’s leadership, and the Patriots falter even under the direction of Belichick, I realized that Brady still had a lot in the tank, and is a much better leader and quarterback than I often like to admit.
The Chiefs, however, were no surprise to make it to the Super Bowl. I’ve been a fan of Patrick Mahomes for years, and think he truly lives up to the hype. I found both teams deserving of making it to the big game, and found the entire concept of the matchup interesting. With an age gap of 18 years and 45 days between Brady and Mahomes, their matchup was the biggest age difference for starting quarterbacks in Super Bowl history.
I'll admit, I was still a little naïve heading into the matchup, and thought things may have panned out similar to No Country for Old Men, in that Brady just wouldn't be able to keep up with the times and The Chiefs would be back-to-back champions. But then again, this is Tom Brady we're talking about, who clearly hasn't shown any signs of slowing down. Bottom line, I thought the game would be a shootout between these top tier quarterbacks, and would be neck and neck until the end. Again, I was wrong.
With his seventh Super Bowl ring, Brady got rid of any doubt one may have had about him being the GOAT. Anyone who takes a team like The Bucs, who have the lowest winning percentage in all four of the major sports (NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL) and gives them a Super Bowl victory in their first year, deserves some serious credit. Love or hate the guy, you have to respect his ability to continuously win no matter what the circumstance.
Football specifics aside, Super Bowl Sunday is a special day for reasons much bigger than the sport itself. The NFL, among all of the other major sports, emphasize unity and teamwork. With the country feeling more and more divided every day, the NFL makes their voice loud and clear that they stand for working together to get through any troubles we may face. From the national anthem being tag teamed by Eric Church and Jazmine Sullivan, that inclusion and unity was felt before kickoff even started.
While there were still a handful of amusing commercials, there were also a healthy amount that boasted a more positive message, and reiterated important points. Chipotle had a commercial questioning our food system, and how we can make simple changes in order to be closer to our food. Uber Eats put an emphasis on supporting the local community through the medium of a Wayne's World and Cardi B collaboration. It was a wonderful example of companies using their platform in order to produce positive change in the world.
In addition, with Sarah Thomas being the first female to officiate at the Super Bowl, I felt an overall sense of optimism during the game (despite the unexpected blowout). With a very difficult year that came from 2020, and the remnants of that year still lingering in 2021, I truly felt as if we're back on track and heading in the right direction with some of the moments and messages during the Super Bowl. Changes won't happen overnight, but it's refreshing to see celebrities and corporations taking a firm stance on what they feel is right, and that we're slowly working on recognizing the areas that connect us, rather than finding more ways to keep us all divided.