Looking Back on Super Bowl Sunday

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photo courtesy of Tribune News Service

Quarterback Tom Brady celebrates with his teammates after winning Super Bowl XLIV 28-24 against the Seahawks for the fourth time in franchise history.

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Another year, another record. An average of over 114.4 million people watched Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday night, making it the most-watched television program in history. Sure, a few were there simply so they wouldn’t get fined, but no matter the reason for tuning in, they were treated to something special.

The national anthem lasted over two minutes and ended with a flyover. Less than two hours later, Katy Perry entered the field atop a massive, animatronic lion. She held center stage for roughly 13 minutes, and while she was happy to share the spotlight with Lenny Kravitz, Missy Elliott and two dancing sharks, everything led up to the inevitable climax. To conclude the show, she sang her hit song “Firework” while flying around the stadium in a scene straight out of the first SpongeBob movie. When she was done, it was time for commercials, and this year’s multimillion-dollar ads provoked viewers to laugh, cry, and hug their dads. There was no shortage of entertainment to be had, even if you couldn’t get into the game itself.

It was an instant classic, though.

The box score says that the score was 14-14 at halftime, and that the Seahawks took a 10-point lead into the fourth quarter before the Patriots roared back and won 28-24. But those who watched the game got to see so much more. Seahawks wide receiver Chris Matthews came out of nowhere to make the first four catches of his NFL Career, going for 109 yards and a touchdown. Jermaine Kearse made a circus catch with 50 seconds left to bring Seattle’s final drive to the 5-yard line. And then Malcolm Butler made possibly the greatest interception in Super Bowl history, jumping a second-down slant route by Ricardo Lockette and picking off Russell Wilson to seal the deal.

(By the way, that play call wasn’t quite as absurd as everyone says. The Seahawks had 26 seconds, one timeout and three plays to plan for. Because they could only stop the clock once, one of those plays essentially had to be a pass. I know they had Lynch, but over the course of the season, pass plays were slightly more successful than run plays when run from the 1-yard line, and the only one that was picked off was that one—because the Patriots’ fifth-string corner made the play of his life. It was a risky call, but not anywhere near the worst of all time. Trust me on this one. I watch the Redskins every week.)

Thus begins a 6-month offseason, and no meaningful football games will be played until September. But for now, America gets to dissect every minute detail of the game, revel in the absurdity of some of the commercials, and follow Right Shark on Twitter. Until next year, folks!