New England Patriots Win Super Bowl Thriller

Super Bowl LI was held at NRG Stadium in Houston. Image: U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Super Bowl LI was held at NRG Stadium in Houston. Image: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

It’s fun to think about why so many of us love sports as much as we do. Is it the action? The drama? The competition? The incredible athletes?

Most likely, everyone’s answer is a little different. However, no matter what brought the millions of viewers worldwide to their TVs, this year’s NFL championship game, The Super Bowl, had it all.

Over the last two weeks many sports journalists and analysts explained why they believed the New England Patriots were likely to emerge victorious over the Atlanta Falcons. These experts would point to the previous successes of the Patriots and highlight the fact that this year’s trip to the championship game marked only the second time in Atlanta’s entire 51-year history.

So, you can be sure most audiences watched with puzzlement as half-time approached and the Falcons stood squarely in control, leading 21-3.

Lady Gaga. Image: Reproducao
Lady Gaga. Image: Reproducao

During The Super Bowl Half-time show, Lady Gaga delighted viewers with the type of spectacle only The Super Bowl can produce: acrobatics, fireworks… and 300 lighted drones making patterns in the sky. Meanwhile, The Patriots and The Falcons made adjustments and prepared for the final two quarters.

Halfway through the third quarter, The Falcons added to their lead, bringing the margin to 28-3. And, while no team had ever come back from a 25-point deficit in the NFL playoffs, The New England Patriots adjusted their strategy and trusted their future Hall of Fame quarterback, Tom Brady, to make great plays.

Unbelievably, miraculously, astonishingly, the Patriots scored three touchdowns and added a field goal to tie the game with only 57 seconds remaining. What had gone so right for The Falcons, had suddenly gone so wrong.

Tom Brady. Image: Andrew Campbell
Tom Brady. Image: Andrew Campbell

In what was the first overtime in Super Bowl history, the Patriots marched the ball 80 yards and took the lead for the very first time in the game, to win by a final score of 34-28.

The league’s Most Valuable Player, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, was at a loss for words as he tried to describe his disappointment. “It’s hard to find words tonight,” he told ESPN’s Dan Graziano.

On the other side of the field, amid the confetti and streamers, New England Patriot’s owner, Robert Kraft, told the celebrating crowd, “I want to say to our fans, our brilliant coaching staff, our amazing players who are so spectacular, this (win) is unequivocally the sweetest.”

By Jonathan Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
The Patriots showed incredible poise and resilience in their Super Bowl victory. How do you react when the odds seem insurmountable? How do you find a way to persevere?

Reading Prompt: Elements of Style
TKN relies on the strong reporting and journalism of Joyce Grant. However, today’s article was not written by her. Read another article on TKN and compare Grant’s writing style to today’s author.What is a writing style? How are the two writing styles similar? How are they different?

Identify some elements of style, including voice, word choice, and different types of sentences, and explain how they help readers understand texts (OME, Reading: 2.4).

Identify various elements of style – including word choice and the use of similes, personification, comparative adjectives, and sentences of different types, lengths, and structures – and explain how they help communicate meaning  (OME, Reading: 2.4).

Identify various elements of style – including foreshadowing, metaphor, and symbolism – and explain how they help communicate meaning and enhance the effectiveness of texts (OME, Reading: 2.4).

Language Feature: Quotes
Today’s article concludes with direct quotations from members of both teams. Authors often include direct quotes in order to provide depth to the reader’s understanding of what happened and who was involved.

Work with a partner and assign two roles: (1) Falcons/Patriots player and (2) journalist. Have the journalist prepare and ask several questions and have the player provide descriptive answers. Change roles.

Reflect and consider how you think direct quotes might make a piece of writing stronger?