Clinton, South Carolina, Monday, February 6, 2017, 1:03 p.m.
Football began in the heat of summer, watching high-school teams play seven-on-seven games of catch.
It ended last night with New England’s 34-28 verdict over Atlanta in Super Bowl LI. LI is the Roman numeral for 51. It takes a big event to rate a Roman numeral. It’s not Game VII of the World Series. Nor is it Week XIX at the local dirt track, or Race VIII of the NASCAR, uh, playoffs (nee Chase).
This game was unprecedented because (a.) it took overtime to settle, (b.) the Falcons led by 28 points late in the third quarter, and (c.) Tom Brady won it for the fifth time.
It was also unprecented because, for the first time, I ate nothing in an entire day but pizza. I’m not going to continue the Pizza Diet, which it most certainly was not. Already today, I’ve had eggs.
So that’s one positive that emerged from the Falcons’ crash.
In the second quarter, some were comparing Brady with Peyton Manning’s performance last year. In overtime, they were still comparing the two, only the means had changed from “time to retire” to “greatest ever.”
A similar switch – “Dan Quinn is outcoaching Bill Belichick” to “Quinn blew the game” – also occurred during the same time span.
Immediacy continues to get more and more ridiculous.
New England has a 1.3 percent chance of winning.
New England now has a 19.3 percent chance of winning.
New England now has a 38.7 percent chance of winning.
New England now has a 51.1 percent chance of winning.
New England won.
Fortunately, all the players are well-paid. Otherwise, they might have decided to stop playing and go buy scratch-offs.
The Super Bowl was a complete success, mourning of Falcons fans notwithstanding. Both teams beat the commercials. The biggest surprise wasn’t the comeback. It was the number of people on social media who claimed they’d rather endure gastric distress at halftime than endure Lady Gaga, then admitted they were wrong and she put on quite a show.
I’ve always disliked the name of American football’s biggest game. Super Bowl just seems undignified. It lacks the gravitas of World Series, or even Great American Race. Superman. The Super Ball, made by Wham-O! Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.
Even though the sound of this particular game was often quite precocious.
Stop by L&L Office Supply, 114 North Broad Street, Clinton and buy one of my novels. Buy Cowboys Come Home, Forgive Us Our Trespasses, Crazy of Natural Causes, The Intangibles, and/or a volume of my short stories, Longer Songs. They’re all signed and reasonably priced.
If you’d like me to ship you a signed copy, you can find my address and instructions here. If you want to speed the process up, send me a note and I’ll hook you up with my PayPal account.
Kindle versions – you don’t have to have a Kindle, just a free app for your electronic devices – of most of my books are available here. Links to print copies are below.
Cowboys Come Home is my brand-new, fresh-off-the-press western, a tale of two World War II veterans of the Pacific who come back home to Texas, intent on resuming their cowboy ways.
Forgive Us Our Trespasses is a tale about a crooked politician who wants to be governor, whatever it takes, and another man trying to stop him. It’s outrageous.
Crazy of Natural Causes is about the fall and rise of Chance Benford, a Kentucky football coach who reinvents himself. It’s original.
The Intangibles is about the South in the 1960s, complete with racial strife, bigotry, resentment, cultural exchange and, of course, high school football.
The Audacity of Dope is the tale of Riley Mansfield, a pot-smoking songwriter turned national hero with a taste for the former and a distaste for the latter.
Longer Songs is a collection of 11 short stories that all began in songs I wrote.
Follow me at Facebook (Monte.Dutton), Twitter (@montedutton), Google+ (MonteDuttonWriter) and/or Instagram (Tug50).