In the end, ball don’t lie.
To fans outside New England, Super Bowl XLIX was supposed to be a referendum on #DeflateGate, supposed to prove once and for all that the Pats couldn't win a ring without coloring outside the lines. The dashing quarterback, the surly coach, the unbearable “why-do-they-hate-us” fans, all were to receive their comeuppance at the hands of Pete Carroll’s defending champion Seahawks.
Well, here’s a note from Boston: screw you, haters. We’re champs again.
The Patriots won their fourth ring in the same way they won the first three, by less than a touchdown, with the coup de gras coming via -- what else? -- a late fourth-quarter rally led by Tom Brady. Yeah, pal. Tom Brady. Deflate that.
Brady ran offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels' two-minute drill to near-perfection, erasing a 10-point deficit with fourth quarter touchdown drives of 68 and 64 yards. All game it was typical Pats: a death-by-a-thousand-cuts offense with Brady dinking and dunking to Julian Edelman, Shane Vereen (Shane Vereen!), taking advantage of Gronk’s athleticism and a Seattle secondary depleted by injuries.
Tom Terrific finished 37-of-50 for 328 yards, four TDs and two INTs. And he finished it holding a Lombardi, picking out which finger on his pretty hands would look best with a new diamond ring. If he did deflate any footballs, that’d be the only good reason. I hear they’re hard to grip with that much hardware on your hands.
It wasn’t just about Brady, though. Sure, he outplayed the much younger Russell Wilson but the biggest factor wasn't QB play. It was an inexplicable-for-the-ages call from the Seahawks sideline that decided the outcome. Throwing on second and goal from the 1 with a timeout in your pocket and Marshawn Lynch in the backfield? C'mon boss. Pete Carroll rightly accepted blame for the losing call, but that doesn't excuse the coaching malfeasance. By the way, you know who wouldn't have made that call?
Bill Belichick. Call him a cheater. Call him an a**hole. But what you won’t call him is a guy who threw away a Super Bowl with a miserable call. The truth is Spygate happened. DeflateGate, as ridiculous as it is, may yet still leave a stain on his legacy in the minds of fans who can’t get past the idea of Belichick as demon-spawn. In New England, that’s quite alright. Think what you want.
They’ll be too busy planning another wicked-pissah parade.