Earlier this week, my dear friend and beloved Yale Daily News sports editor, Matthew Stock ’18, texted me to talk about my column. “Have fun this week, Marc,” he said. “No politics.”
I, relishing in a chance to just talk about sports, am going to attempt to go an entire 700 words or so without mentioning President “He-who-shall-not-be-named.” Instead, I’m just going to talk about Super Bowl LI.
Now, I’m not sure if God is a New England Patriots fan, but I do know that Satan is. After completing their regular mid-game ritual of sacrificing some kittens, Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady led the Pats to overcome a 21–3 halftime deficit and break the hearts of Atlanta Falcons players, coaches and fans along with basically every decent human being in America.
Ladies and gents, this is football’s darkest timeline. Boston sports fans have watched Tom Brady lead their team to five Super Bowl wins and countless records, yet continue to demand more and cultivate a made up “us-against-the-world” attitude. This form of thinking, I assume, is based upon the rest of America’s growing irritation regarding New England’s foregone greatness and the fact that Boston’s horrible fans won’t shut up about a basketball dynasty that happened before most of them were born.
Patriots fans deserve nothing, and I don’t feel bad for saying that. Their team got a glowing Twitter endorsement from Richard Spencer, an actual neo-Nazi, for being the league’s whitest team. In the meantime, rappers Usher, 2 Chainz and T.I. rolled up in Houston to support the Falcons. Don’t pretend the world wouldn’t be a better place if the Falcons had a Super Bowl win. I am so tired of teams blowing huge leads — unless it’s the Golden State Warriors. Nobody wants to watch Tom Brady be a hero other than New England’s painfully insecure fan base that feels the need to constantly justify itself. Congratulations, you’ve got the answer to every bar argument ever. Tom Terrific has five rings, can we please all go home now?
I don’t plan to gloss over the details of this game. For the Falcons, the Super Bowl basically unfolded like the plot to every zombie movie ever: Everything was fantastic for the first 20 minutes, and then the whole world burned and everyone got eaten. Wide receiver Julio Jones was brilliant, running back Devonta Freeman was electric and none of it was enough to stop the Galactic Empire from striking back. Brady, the Darth Vader of football, dink-and-dunked his team to a historic 25-point comeback. And, when overtime arrived, nobody had any doubt that Brady would lead his team down to the field to seal the deal. To commemorate this moment, I ordered another pitcher of beer and cried into it.
It would have been really cool to see a team representing one of America’s blackest, gayest cities win the Super Bowl with prominent conversion-therapy advocate and Vice President Mike Pence in attendance — sorry for my politics, Matthew. It would have been equally wonderful to shut Richard Spencer up, but it didn’t happen; instead, a bunch of terrible fans get to celebrate their embarrassment of riches.
There is only one upside to this game and that is the fact that videos of Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski partying post-win have already surfaced, and National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell was publicly ridiculed while handing Pats owner Robert Kraft the Lombardi Trophy. Those are things that I enjoyed about the Pats winning.
And, to be fair, I don’t hate that team at all. I mostly can’t stand its fans, who are going to spend the next year smugly reminding everyone of how fantastic their 39-year-old messiah, Brady, and his stupid anti-injury diet are. I love Bill Simmons, but his Twitter account is like a minefield of awful every time something good happens to a Boston sports team.
I didn’t like seeing a white supremacist happy while Gucci Mane and Future were sad. I didn’t like seeing Tom Brady add yet more glory to his football resume, and I sure as hell didn’t have fun seeing Coach Palpatine — sorry, Coach Belichick — frown his way to the millionth Gatorade bath of his life. But hey, sometimes, sports just kind of suck and you’ve got to deal with that.
At the very least, the Super Bowl was a temporary distraction from the craziness that is our world right now. I don’t know about you, but I could use a little more escapism in my life. So I might not be happy about the Patriots winning this one, but I sure as hell am glad that I got the chance to pull away from reality for a couple hours.
Marc Cugnon is a senior in Calhoun College. Contact him at email@example.com .