Super Bowl XLIX: A game to remember

Super Bowl XLIX - Kettle Mag, Lorna Holland
Written by themaxdog

Getting ready to watch my first ever Super Bowl, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I knew I should expect a close game and a spectacular half-time show, but I wasn’t prepared for the sheer intensity and excitement of the event. What a game it was!

This year’s Super Bowl contenders were AFC champions the New England Patriots versus the NFC champions Seattle Seahawks. The two teams last played each other in 2012, when Seattle won. The Seahawks, led by quarterback Russell Wilson, were the defending champions after a blowout victory against the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII last year.

It was also an important game for the Patriots. If they won, superstar quarterback Tom Brady would be tied with NFL legends Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw for the quarterbacks with the most Super Bowl rings in history (4, in case you were wondering). It would also help settle the Tom Brady vs Peyton Manning debate, finally deciding the better player once and for all.

The true test for the Patriots was whether they would be able to break through Seattle’s legendary defence. For the Seahawks, the key to victory was to rattle Brady and take down tight end Rob Gronkowski – “unGronk the Gronk!”

Tight from the start

Super Bowl XLIX was held at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. Before the start, John Legend performed America the Beautiful, Idina Menzel, of Frozen fame, sang the US National Anthem, and Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch ate some Skittles. Then the game began.

The Seahawks won the coin toss and chose to defend against the Patriots. Both teams defended well at the start, despite the Seahawks intercepting a Patriots touchdown pass which resulted in a game-ending injury for Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane. After a 0-0 first quarter, the second quarter became a game of cat and mouse. Two Seahawks touchdowns followed two Patriots touchdowns, resulting in the score being an equal 14-14 at the end of the second quarter. It was only the third Super Bowl in history where the teams were tied at half time.

The half time show was another outstanding part of the event. This year’s performer was Katy Perry, the youngest Super Bowl half time performer ever. Perry performed a medley of her greatest hits to a stunning visual backdrop of bright colours and swirling graphics. The performance started with Perry entering the stadium on a giant metallic dog puppet, and only got more surreal as it went on. She was joined on stage for I Kissed A Girl by Lenny Kravitz, and Missy Elliott later on. The show ended with Firework, where Perry flew above the field on a shooting star. The Americans certainly know how to put on a show!

Meanwhile, in the third quarter things started to look up for the Seahawks. Wide receiver Doug Baldwin scored a third touchdown for the Seahawks, which coupled with a field goal meant Seattle were winning 24-14 as they entered the final quarter. However, fortune changed in the fourth quarter, resulting in two Patriots touchdowns. The game was close right up to the last minute, when Butler’s interception stole the Vince Lombardi trophy from under the Seahawks noses. The Patriots were the first team in NFL history to win a Super Bowl by overcoming a ten point fourth quarter deficit.


History making plays

Alongside Wilson, Gronk, and Super Bowl XLIX MVP Tom Brady, there were several other MVP-worthy candidates out on the field. Chris Matthews, the previously unknown Seahawks receiver, made his first catch of the season, scored a touchdown in the second quarter, and made another impressive catch early in the second half. Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman was another key player.

He was consistently right in the middle of the action, and his efforts paid off when he scored the last touchdown of the game in the fourth quarter, helping to secure the Patriots’ win. And then there was the Patriots rookie cornerback Malcolm Butler. After completing his first career interception and denying the Seahawks a final touchdown, Butler was the real star of the game.

The Patriots, Brady, and head coach Bill Belichick now have 4 Super Bowl wins. Belichick joins legendary Pittsburgh Steelers coach Chuck Noll for the most Super Bowl wins by a coach in NFL history. It’s safe to say that now is a good time to be a Patriots fan.