Super Bowl 51: No matter who wins, America wins

Al Huffman

superbowl51Well here we are. Another year, another Super Bowl with the New England Patriots and Tom Brady’s smug little face. But believe it or not, this is not an anti-Patriots article.

In fact, we have reached one of those rare instances where no matter who wins this game it’s a win-win for everyone. More on that later.

I’m not gonna lie, it’s been kind of a… volatile year. No matter where your allegiances lie there’s no denying that one way or another all social media has gone from a nice stream of memes and news that your old high school classmates got engaged (and more importantly you picturing how gnarly their babies are going to be) to a well-oiled factory of sadness and comment arguments. But damn it, this is Super Bowl Sunday! This is the one day of the year that all politics and all differences are set aside for four hours of football, beer and commercials that you don’t ignore for once.

As divisive as the last year has been for everyone, ironically the football gods have blessed us with a football game that for once we all don’t have to pick sides or lose sleep over who wins because a lot of good will come out of either team winning.

First we have the Atlanta Falcons. Sure we have all laughed at Matt Ryan once or twice for his impressive habit of doing just enough to keep the Falcons throwing money at him, but this year it seems as though his talents are showing up when it actually counts. Sure it’s always nice to see a star emerge (we’ll see if it continues next year,) but the real reason most people are going to be cheering for the Falcons is obvious. Everyone is so sick of the Patriots and not just sick of the Patriots specifically, but sick of the same four or five teams being the only real Super Bowl contenders every year.

If the Falcons win, it’ll be a breath of fresh air this increasingly predictable league desperately needs. To be honest I thought that team would be the Raiders this year, but the second Derek Carr broke down I was really worried that we were just going to get some match-up like the Patriots and the Packers or something.

Bottom line: Anytime a relatively quiet team breaks the ceiling and throws itself into the pantheon of the NFL elite it’s a welcome addition. Except the Cleveland Browns. The world needs them to be that permanent rock bottom of the league to make other perennial losers feel better about themselves. It’s very easy to cheer for the Falcons, but why is it a good thing if the Patriots win? Two words: Roger Goodell.

Roger_Goodell_(cropped)
Roger Goodell

‘Member that freaking circus of Deflategate? I ‘member. I ‘member for two damn years we got wall-to-wall coverage of every minuscule detail of that scandal. I remember it going on for so long that people actually felt sorry for Tom Brady. Admit it, the Patriots winning wouldn’t be a bad thing for the sole purpose that if New England wins Roger Goodell will have to waddle his pudgy, overpaid self onto the stage, look Tom Brady in the eye and hand him the Lombardi trophy. Nothing in the world would give me greater pleasure than seeing this happen because if there’s one person the football world hates more than Tom Brady it’s Roger Goodell.

Seriously, screw Roger Goodell. Screw the fact that he will suspend someone for an entire year for smoking a joint, but give a guy a slap on the wrist for either raping or physically assaulting a woman.

Screw the fact that the Goodell would stubbornly jeopardize the future of this game because the league refuses to buck up and accept some sort of responsibility for the concussions that they definitely didn’t know about until just recently and do something to fix the problem.

Screw the fact that football has gone from being the most fun part of Sundays to being a predictable, tedious grind where we’ll sit through a loop of the same five commercials over and over only to come back to the game, watch a kickoff go for a touchback and then go to another five-minute commercial break.

Screw the fact that Goodell only allowed players to decorate their cleats after a charity or cause they support for one designated week, but then not let the few teams that were on a bye week to do the same when they came back because it doesn’t make the NFL look good anymore.

Speak of the devil, screw Goodell for not investigating Elliott’s domestic violence charges until after he and the rest of “America’s team” went one and done in the playoffs and were no longer useful in racking in ratings.

Moreover, screw Goodell for using the ol’ B.S. excuse of “these investigations take time, we want to get all possible information” to justify allowing the NFL’s new darling to finish his rookie season.

Screw Goodell for dedicating two years to investigating the Patriots for maybe tampering with footballs when Brett Favre openly used to over-inflate footballs to make them easier to throw and nobody cared because why the hell would they?

Lastly, and maybe most of all, screw him for getting paid $34 million a year to do all of this crap.

So as much as I hope the Falcons win, there’s a substantial side of me that would just love to see Goodell’s two-year beef (and four-game assassination attempt on Brady’s season) end with him having to swallow his pride and take that giant L.

Let’s play some god-damn football.

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