It’s no secret that New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick doesn’t like distractions in his locker room.
Over the past two years, as the shadow of Deflategate and Tom Brady’s four-game suspension hung over both his team and the league, Belichick remained as stoic as ever. His players followed suit, staying as quiet as possible about their newly-strained relationship with Commissioner of the NFL Roger Goodell, all the while keeping their eyes on the prize of getting to and winning Super Bowl LI.
Many speculated about what would happen if the Patriots were to win the Super Bowl in the 2016-17 season. How would Goodell deal with handing the Lombardi Trophy to team owner Robert Kraft — or even to Brady?
In the days leading up to the big game, Goodell insisted he would not feel awkward up on that stage with the Patriots, going so far as to say it would be “an honor” to award Brady his fifth trophy. He also addressed his notable absence from Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, throughout the 2016 season and playoffs, saying that he would gladly attend a Patriots home game if the team were to invite him.
Other than a few thinly veiled shots at the commissioner from Robert Kraft, the Patriots, still, kept their feelings to themselves.
On Sunday, Tom Brady became the most decorated quarterback of all time. He won his fifth Super Bowl championship and fourth Super Bowl MVP award (both NFL records) after engineering an improbable comeback against the Atlanta Falcons, all but cementing his G.O.A.T. status.
Unfortunately, what should have been a perfect night ended disappointingly for Brady when the jersey he wore during the game went missing minutes after he removed it.
Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick understands the gravity of this memorabilia being missing — a priceless jersey that should end up in the Hall of Fame — and has called upon the Texas Rangers to help.
But there’s one problem that’s causing some confusion… the Texas Rangers are also a baseball team.
There were many stars who shone brightly during the New England Patriots’ historic comeback to win Super Bowl LI. James White led the team in receiving yards and touchdowns, LeGarrette Blount led in rushing, Julian Edelman made a game-saving catch and Tom Brady snagged his record-setting fourth Super Bowl MVP award.
But there was a much quieter hero on the field Sunday night. Dion Lewis, a young running back, had a humble but respectable 27 rushing yards on six carries. He did not score a touchdown, and left late in the game due to injury.
Dion Lewis has also never lost a game playing on the Patriots.
We repeat: He has never. Lost. A game.
Houston, Texas, is preparing to host its third Super Bowl this Sunday. The New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons (and thousands of very lucky fans) have descended upon the city for the big game, which will take place at NRG Stadium, home of the Houston Texans.
But why is the event in Houston?
The host city for each Super Bowl is chosen several years ahead of the actual game, and the NFL reportedly has a lengthy list of requirements that stadiums must fulfill to be selected. Among these requirements, according to Sports Illustrated, are the building’s ability to hold at least 70,000 fans, allowing the NFL to install ATMs that favor its preferred cards and, strangely, having at least two “top quality” bowling alleys (and three golf courses) nearby for reservations.
The score is final. There’s confetti floating through the air and covering the field. Two weeks of preparation and 60 minutes of intense action later, the Super Bowl is over and the NFL has crowned a new champion.
Don’t turn off the television too fast, though! There’s still one major decision to be made — who of the nearly 100 players on the field was the most valuable of the night?
The Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Award is one of the most coveted trophies a player can receive, if only because it means he made it to (and likely was an integral part of winning) the big game.
Over 1 million people are expected in Houston this weekend for Super Bowl LI, but not all of them will get in to see the game in person.
In order to host the Super Bowl, a stadium must be able to hold at least 70,000 people. NRG Stadium, which is hosting this Sunday’s big game, can service up to 72,220 fans (though only 71,795 of those fans get seats).
While 72,000 is no small number, Super Bowl LI won’t even come close to cracking the list of the 10 most-attended NFL championships in history.
For the past five decades, millions of Americans have huddled around radios and televisions for the big game, the ultimate one-game playoff, the day second only to Thanksgiving for food consumption — the Super Bowl.
The game has changed quite a bit since its inception 50 years ago. In fact, the first two NFL championships weren’t even called Super Bowl games. 1967 and 1968, the Green Bay Packers won what was then referred to as the AFL-NFL World Championship Game between the American Football League (AFL) and National Football League (NFL), over Kansas City and Oakland, respectively.
The first use of the title ‘Super Bowl’ came in 1969 with Super Bowl III, and the name was then retroactively applied to Super Bowls I and II.
The New England Patriots are in the Super Bowl. At this point, no one should really be shocked by that anymore.
Super Bowl LI will mark the ninth time the Patriots play in the big game, which is a new NFL record. Seven out of those nine appearances have come under the tutelage of head coach Bill Belichick and were started by his golden quarterback, Tom Brady.
The team suiting up in white this Sunday bears some understandable similarities to the Patriots’ last championship roster, since their most recent Super Bowl victory came just two years ago at Super Bowl XLIX in Arizona. However, these Patriots also bear an uncanny resemblance to a much earlier squad — the Patriots of Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004.