Think back to the last experience you had that was so incredible you still remember every bizarre little detail about it because you never want it to end.
I’ll give you an example: I remember that I peed in the third stall on the right the first time that I sprinted to the bathroom on a punt at Super Bowl LI. I remember this because there was a middle aged woman wearing a Brady jersey peeing with the door open in the second stall. When I walked by and gave her a slightly befuddled look she said, “Sorry hun, I didn’t have time to lock the door. I didn’t wanna miss anything.”
Its funny, but looking back I’m not surprised. I’ve taken a week to decompress and think about what I wanted to write about. I think in my blogging career, I will cover the "Patriot Massholes" more than enough times to give you guys the full picture of their behavior.
So here are a few things, more on the serious side, that made going to the Super Bowl this year the best day of my life:
- Witnessing how momentum effects games- I’ve said this to everyone who asked me how the game was. When Hightower strip-sacked Ryan, it may have seemed like the Patriots still had a long way to go. But I’d argue that everyone in that stadium knew it was over. I still am struggling to explain it well, but you could physically feel the hope drain from the Falcons after that play. It was the most fascinating thing I’ve ever been witness to. The Patriots made the one play they couldn’t win without- and the Falcons knew it. They didn’t lose the game at that point, but they lost the momentum. And in the biggest sporting event in America, momentum is everything.
- The most breathtaking part of my super bowl experience was being around 35,000 people who had all just had the best day of their life. Everyone knows that when you're around other people who are in a good mood, your mood automatically elevates. Picture mobs of Patriots fans storming out of the stadium chanting, “GOAT, GOAT, GOAT,” knowing they just won thousands of dollars in bets. The energy was literally palpable. It made me realize the power of collective positivity in a way I had never seen it before.
- Playing for love is much more powerful than playing for revenge. The biggest storyline heading into the Super Bowl was Deflategate and Brady/Patriots revenge. I always thought, like myself and other masshole cohorts, Brady went on such a tear this season to spite Goodell. That the only way he made that comeback possible was to stick it to the one man, who in my opinion, without warrant, drew a black mark on the career of the greatest player, and one of the greatest people in the history of the NFL. But after witnessing Brady during post-game celebrations, watching the genuine joy and love he shared with his teammates and family after the game, I realized I couldn’t have been more wrong. Goodell didn’t even catch his eye when they were on stage. With 30,000 other people, I was standing on my chair booing Roger like a rabid animal as he spoke. Brady didn’t even flinch. He didn’t give Goodell any of his energy that, to me, seemed so impeccably authentic. Tom Brady didn’t care that he was “sticking it” to Goodell when he handed over the trophy, because it became clear that he didn’t play to avenge the commissioners' treatment of him. He played calmly, freely, and heroically for the people he loves- his team and his family.
- Probably the most important lesson I took from SBLI: which is the more powerful motivator- proving somebody wrong, or proving yourself and your own journey right? The New England Patriots chose to be positive at halftime. And from their togetherness and leadership, the whole world witnessed one of the greatest, CORRECTION: THE GOAT comeback the NFL has ever seen. After witnessing Tom Brady in person, I'm a firm believer in taking the high road. Don't prove anything to your enemies. Prove to yourself that you were there all along, outworking, out-hearting everybody.