Crowds took to the streets of Boston, not in protest but celebration, as the New England Patriots celebrated their fifth Super Bowl win. A pinnacle of American culture, the Super Bowl is an event not to be missed. Last year I spent the Super Bowl in a NY hotel room, eating pizza and wondering what on earth was going on. This Sunday was not a lot different. There was a lot of eating and a lot of confusion. Once we had established the difference between ‘football football’ and ‘american football’ we could enjoy the Super Bowl for the spectacle that it is. Something of this scale could only exist in the United States. Like so many other events in America, the Super Bowl is a performance from start to finish.
We headed uptown to a restaurant on 14th street where we made ourselves comfortable for the next three hours. The game seemed over in the first five minutes as the Falcons had scored two touchdowns, eventually leaving the Patriots trailing by 25 points. Never before in Super Bowl history had a team recovered from a lead that great. Assuming that the sports portion of the evening was over, we left the football on in the background and dug into several rounds of sliders. Whilst I am not a big sports fan, any excuse to celebrate with friends over food and beverages is okay with me.
Halftime is when things got interesting. Lady Gaga was perhaps the greatest performance of the night. She flung herself off of the roof of the stadium and then proceeded to sing a medley of her greatest hits. Her performance was not as overtly political as people were expecting. However, it possessed a general message of inclusion in response to recent events as she performed ‘This Land is Your Land’ and ‘Born This Way’.
The Patriots went into the game as one of the most successful and most widely loathed teams in the league. With the exception of Pats fans, public support was for the underdogs – the Atlanta Falcons. However, the roles remained reversed for the majority of the game and the Patriots entered the final quarter with an impossible win as they were still 19 points behind. Just as the game was about to end the Patriots had achieved a two-point play, tying the game and making it the first overtime in Super Bowl history.
No team had ever come back from a three-touchdown deficit in the history of the Super Bowl and now everything came down to the next few moments. Although I did not fully understand what had happened, after three hours I was invested. New England won the overtime coin toss and suddenly everything looked bleak for the Falcons. After a few quick plays, the Patriots had scored the final touchdown and won yet another Super Bowl title. A group of foreigners, unaware of the exact specifics, erupted in celebration as another moment of history was witnessed.