Last night, America watched the New England Patriots win Super Bowl LI against the Atlanta Falcons in what what will go down as a historic victory. New England’s Tom Brady now has more championships than any quarterback, but the real history is in how the game played out.
The Falcons led the Pats for most of the game and going into the fourth quarter, the Falcons led 28-9. Patriots fans were ready to throw in the QB12 Jersey when a football miracle happened. With only 11 minutes left in the fourth quarter, New England scored 19 points and forced the game into overtime for the first time in Super Bowl history. And, well, you know the rest of the story: Another victory for New England and its beloved Patriots.
As with any outcome of competition, some celebrated while others suffered. Digital evidence from Snapchat, Twitter, and Facebook shows some questioning whether or not the Patriots were deserving. Others were disappointed that the team that dominated for most of the game did not ultimately win. Anger came from those who believed it was the Falcons’ turn to win. Wait a minute – does anyone else feel one big déjà-vu?
If you look closely, you can see many similarities between the outcome of Super Bowl LI and the already historic 2016 presidential election. Here are five things that may have you seeing double:
- It was a huge upset.
It was entirely unexpected that the Patriots would come back from such a staggering deficit, but they did. Likewise, The New York Times ironically projected WHEN that Hillary Clinton’s chance of losing the election was “about the same probability that an N.F.L. kicker misses a 37-yard field goal.” In short, both outcomes defied probability.
- It. Was. Emotional.
Most Americans watched the end of Super Bowl LI in the same way they did the 2016 election: in total disbelief. The feelings attached to this disbelief varied, but both outcomes were shocking, no matter which side you were on. It wouldn’t be surprising if the most uttered phrase in America after both events was: “Did that really just happen?”
- The winner was recently embroiled in controversy.
The Patriots started their season in an unexpected way: without their star quarterback. In the “Deflategate” scandal, Brady was accused of being involved in deflating footballs that were used in the AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts in January 2015. Patriots opponents continue to accuse Brady of lying and cheating. Donald Trump has also been caught in a controversy over whether he won fair and square. There is now substantial evidence that Russia interfered in the election, tipping it in Trump’s favor. Unlike Brady and the Patriots, no one was punished for the tampering.
- Social justice fell short.
Lady Gaga performed at this year’s Super Bowl halftime show. Before she took the stage, many wondered if she would use her platform to send a message to President Trump. While some argue that there was unspoken political commentary in her performance, it appears that it was largely void of political themes. Some contend that Hillary Clinton also verged on true progressivism, but she ultimately failed to convince voters of her conviction and commitment to social justice.
- The loser won the popular vote.
Every New England fan knows their team is the team that everybody else loves to hate. Whether it is because of alleged cheating, Brady’s celebrity image, or simply because they win – a lot – the Patriots are generally disdained by the rest of the country. It’s safe to say that the majority of America wanted the Falcons to win the Super Bowl – for the first time. Likewise, the final count of the popular vote in the 2016 election shows Trump with a 2.7 million-vote deficit, meaning more Americans also wanted Hillary Clinton to win.
So America, we’re now past two pretty emotional events where the majority’s favorites came up short. The winners will continue to celebrate (one probably should have stopped by now, ahem, Trump) and relish their victories until the next time around. In a cloud of defeat, the losing sides may feel like there are “a million reasons to walk away” – from football or politics. But Lady Gaga will be pleased to know that there is “one good one to stay”: redemption.