Super Bowl XLIX: The Time Has Come

 

WITHIN Lewis Carroll’s legendary tale ‘Alice in Wonderland’, the scene involving the walrus and the carpenter springs to mind as one of self-reflection and critical overlay.

“The time has come,” the walrus said: “To talk of many things.”

This very phrase should be indoctrinated into the mind of Seattle’s Head Coach and namesake, Pete Carroll; for his inability to call a running play in the final 20 seconds of the match may very well haunt him forever.

 

Early morning and I am on the road up the Kuranda Range heading toward Cairns. Coffee is doing its thing for me, as I reflect on a polarising 48 hours.

Over the weekend, I had seen industry colleagues either rejoice or vanquished by way of a state election and put myself in their shoes.

Much like this fine line of pleasure of pain, the same will be bestowed on several million people by the middle of the day.

As the car winds its way to the final destination, I hum expectantly of today’s match up. Seattle’s ‘legion of boom’ defence will dominate this game. The crowd noise will stifle Tom Brady. Various beer-in hand theories gain momentum as I take my seat in Gilligans pub.

Arizona is a weird choice for a Super Bowl, but they appear to know what they are doing. Tickets are $8,000 a pop this year, such is the demand.

The ‘Star Spangled Banner’ always gets the neck hairs perked up and today is no different. Seattle wins the toss and defers; Bill Belichick appears to be his usual cheerful self for the Patriots.

Truth be told, the first quarter of the half is lightning fast, but uneventful. New England’s offensive line is giving Brady acres of space to throw.

I’m puzzled by Seattle’s defence as the first drops of beer pass my lips for the day. They are playing far too loose off these receivers. They are finally punished for their ill-discipline.

And then Brady is intercepted. Twice within ten minutes. But even then, they look like they cannot lose the match from here. But with only a seven point lead, reversal of fortune is still achievable.

Onlookers around me are amazed with how close this match is going. Seattle Quarterback Russell ‘Hustle and Bustle’ Wilson started making plays with his feet and his Seahawks twice come from behind within the half.

Level at the half, our focus turns to Katy Perry. She appears uncomfortable in the limelight, with special effects in a half time show that made us feel like we were all out of our minds.

Half-time seems to revitalise the Seahawks. They come out all guns blazing and start making plays. Wilson cannot miss and in the blink of an eye, Seattle lead 24-14.

But for all of my common sense, you should never discount Belichick, Brady or New England in anything.

The wheels begin to fall off, and a personal switch from Coors to water has also occurred. More and more onlookers pile in to catch a thrilling finish.

In the final quarter, New England reverted to keepings off. Both of their major drives in the final quarter combined last nine minutes.

Brady, who was livid an hour after his interceptions, rediscovers his swagger at the line of scrimmage. These dinky little paces are wearing out Seattle’s defence.

After his fourth touchdown for the day puts his Patriots back in front, Brady sits powerless on the sideline like the rest of the world and hopes his defence can hold firm.

Surely the Seahawks have one final drive in them? Surely Pete Carroll has one trick play up his sleeve against former boss Belichick?

Wilson moves his team up the field with great haste; appearing to deliver a second title in a row. His throw to Jermaine Kearse in the final minute sent New England shuddering in silence.

But with 20 seconds remaining, two metres out and with one of the greatest running backs in the league, Carroll dials up a pass play.

Wilson steps back and looks set to deliver a trademark touchdown dart. Unbeknownst to him, Malcolm Butler steps in front of the pass and ensures his side wins.

The reason for such a risky call, the reason for not running the ball is still not known. We may never know what Carroll was thinking.

A trip to the Bavarian Beerhouse for a post-mortem is mutually agreed by the travelling assortment of fans, in a bid to make sense of it.

Regardless of the result, we were given one of the most thrilling sporting climaxes of the modern era, which further invigorated the passion for American football in Australia.

 

February 1, 2015
University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ (70,288)

New England 0 14 0 14 – 28
Seattle 0 14 10 0 – 24

Passing: Tom Brady (NE) – 328 YDS, 4 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Marshawn Lynch (SEA) – 24 CAR, 102 YDS, 1 TD
Receiving: Julian Edelman (NE) – 9 REC, 109 YDS, 1 T

 

Votes:
3 Tom Brady (Patriots)
2 LeGarrette Blount (Patriots)
1 Bobby Wagner (Seahawks)

 

 

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