Given that I am a Denver Broncos fan, I’m not a New England Patriots fan, nor was I rooting for them to win the Super Bowl (again) on Sunday.
Not rooting for them, however, has little to do with facing reality.
The partnership of coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady is undoubtedly the best in football ever, as was evidenced by the largest comeback in Super Bowl history.
The first half of the game was excellent, with the Atlanta Falcons leading by 21 points.
At this point I was thinking and saying that’s not enough. There is an entire half yet to play in anything can happen, especially with New England.
On one play, Atlanta intercepted Tom Brady and returned his pass about 90 yards for a touchdown.
As the player outran everyone and ran toward the end zone, he let up, stopped running started trotting and looking around.
I turned my daughter and said, “Finish the play, then celebrate. Anything can happen. Always finish first, then enjoy it.”
This play was indicative of what was yet to come after halftime.
The football game is not 30 minutes, it’s 60 minutes, and the Atlanta Falcons seem to have forgotten that.
Not the Patriots.
This is a team that fights until the end, never giving up until the clock stops.
I’m 100% certain the team did the math, calculated how many scores they would need and what exactly would have to do to tie the game and put it into overtime.
The took advantage of every Atlanta mistake, and caused some mistakes as well.
After the half, Atlanta seem to come out of the locker room as if they had already won and were hung over from celebrating.
They were completely different team.
The highflying offense scored only once and the defense that limited the Patriots to three points in the first half gave up 31 unanswered points, to ultimately lose in overtime.
Super Bowl LI was yet another telling of the classic tale of The Tortoise and The Hare.
Atlanta came on strong, thought they had completely demoralize their opponent and rested on their first-half laurels.
However daunting the score may have seemed, patriots followed the simple plan of get the ball back and score, as many times as it took to win.
With each New England score it became more and more apparent that a culture quarterback who together have been the six super Bowls, and one four were on their way to their historic fifth win.
When the score was 28-20, with Atlanta up by 8eight points and the ball, I texted my father and told him I’m picking the Patriots in overtime.
So, Lesson #1 is to give it everything you have until it’s over, not just when you think you have a comfortable lead that you can rest on. The New England Patriots are model of a team that will fight tooth and claw until the very end. It is a team that, from top down, except nothing less than players who will “do their job” each and every play until the game is over. In common parlance, “fight till you die.”
Lesson #2 is that just because it hasn’t been done before doesn’t mean you can do it. The kiss of death is when announcers say, “no team has ever…” No team at ever overcome a 27 point deficit… Until the Patriots did it. So go ahead and be the first, then people can say no one did it until you did.
Lesson #3 is a less obvious lesson. Tom Brady has Played for one team, the New England Patriots, and had one coach for the last 15 years – Bill Belichick. Other quarterbacks have not been so lucky, bouncing from team to team and coach to coach throughout their careers.
Just think of how intimate the relationship is, in some ways like a marriage. Brady never had to learn different playbook from different coaches and Belichick never had to start over teaching quarterback after quarterback his system. By this time they can practically read each other’s minds and know exactly what the next plays should be.
I’ve witnessed countless martial artists, adult martial artists, spout off a litany of martial arts and teachers that they have trained with, mostly for ludicrously short periods of time.
They pronounce this list to me as if I should be impressed at the breadth of their experience. In my mind, it’s as if they learn to spell in English, Sanskrit, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Cyrillic, without ever being able to have a conversation or understand the words they’re spelling.
It would be as if Tom Brady had memorized the playbook of every coach in the NFL and by those criteria alone pronounced himself ready for the Super Bowl.
From a teacher’s perspective, it’s much easier for me to take a student who has a black belt and only one martial art to the highest levels of training than it is to do so for student who has only dabbled in 10 different martial arts.
So, Lesson #3 is to find a good teacher and stick with the teacher until you are darn sure, and the teachers darn sure, that you are ready for another point of view. A good teacher will always help you with this.
In conclusion, what is the ultimate lesson from this Super Bowl?
You need an elite-level quarterback to win it all (please don’t bring up Trent Dilfer).
You hear that, Broncos?