The Greatest Comeback in Super Bowl History

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What Happened to Atlanta?

What happened to Atlanta? Tom Brady happened to Atlanta, that’s what.

What happened? Thirty-One unanswered points happened. Overtime happened. And most of all, momentum happened. Atlanta was winning by double digits, but Atlanta lost momentum as they gave the game away. They had the Patriots down 21-3 at the half and 28-9 after three quarters. But it didn’t matter after they lost momentum.

Once Atlanta lost momentum, you had that sinking feeling that they were going to lose the game. The Atlanta Falcons and the NFL’s newly crowned MVP Matt Ryan LOST an epic Super Bowl to the greatest franchise in the NFL, simply because they lost momentum.

Brady and the Patriots won 34-28, in OT, and in the second half and in the extra period, the Pats outscored and outplayed the Falcons 31-0. MAN! Said Brady, “We all brought each other back. We never thought we were out of it.” How’s that for confidence?

Joe Buck and Troy Aikman called the game for Fox Sports.  After it was all over, they said that New England redefined the word Momentum. Atlanta had the game in the bag, up nineteen points, 28-9,  after three. But Lady Gaga laid a mojo on the Dirty Birds. Ryan and the Falcons went into the locker room and didn’t score enough again after Lady Gaga dove into NRG Stadium and danced away the hopes and dreams of the Falcons faithful. Those rooting for Atlanta watched in horror as Brady did his thing and came back to win a thrilling, exhilarating, breathtaking Super Bowl.

It was the greatest of comebacks. It was the grandest of turnarounds. And it’s everything every Brady hater had hoped not to see. You’ve gotta’ be so sorry for Matt Ryan, and you’ve gotta’ be so enthralled by Tom Brady. Like him or lump him, you gotta’ respect him.

And so the lesson is clear: don’t lose momentum. Do all you can to steal it and snatch it and grab it and get it anyway you can. But most of all, when you have it, keep it. Because a change in momentum is all you need to turn the tide and stem the flood. And momentum will carry you over and past and through anything; past a huge deficit and past a hot quarterback and past a great defense.

And past an almost sure loss to an even greater and ultimate win.

So never give up. Brady didn’t. And Brady did it. He overcame and overpowered and overawed the Football world. He’s a five-time Super Bowl winner and a four time MVP.

Well done, Tom Brady.

Don’t Bet Against Brady

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I’m not a Tom Brady fan. I’m not. And I don’t like the New England Patriots. I don’t. But something tells me to tell you not to bet against Brady and the Pats in Super Bowl LI. Don’t do it. As much as I don’t want them to win, I think they just might pull off and turn in another super, Super Bowl.

 Some say that sports and life are polar opposites. In fact, sports and life are actually opposite sides of the same coin.  In both sports and life, there are some things that you thought would never happen and yet happen they do. In sports and in life, there are the improbable, implausible, almost impossible occurrences and incidents that no one, and I mean no one, could even dream up in a thousand years and yet “Voila!” – they appear and emerge and transpire right in before our very eyes.

 Such is the case with Tom Brady. He is headed for yet another Super Bowl, after a season of suspension and turmoil, and perhaps the only thing that stands between him and another Super Bowl ring is a favorable coin flip or two.

 This year, Matt Ryan may be the sentimental favorite. But Brady is still Brady. He’s still coached by Belichick and he is the only member of the Patriots roster left from the 2005 Super Bowl Team. If there’s one constant in the Patriots puzzle, it’s Brady.

“Since the first week of the season, it has seemed inevitable that it would end this way, with Tom Brady in his seventh Super Bowl and two years of drama finally winding down to one final scene.

 From the moment the New England Patriots beat the Arizona Cardinals in the one game they seemed most likely to lose without Brady — on the road, in prime time, in the first start of Jimmy Garoppolo’s career — the trajectory of the Patriots’ season was set. That first month certified Bill Belichick’s ability to adapt to his circumstances, without Brady and then, incredibly, without Garoppolo, too, shutting out the Houston Texans with rookie third-stringer Jacoby Brissett under center.

But everything after — the 13-1 record since Brady came off his suspension, the nearly flawless regular-season statistics, the relentlessness of the Patriots’ offense even after Rob Gronkowski was hurt — was testament to Brady’s own ability to compartmentalize and carry on.” By Judy Battist, NFL Media reporter

Sports science stipulates cohesion and consistency and comrade on any and every team. And yet, with all of the shuffling and shifting, the one constant with the Brady Bunch is, you guessed it, Brady. The Patriot Way is the Brady Way. Brady has won more than most. So it’s difficult, nay pert near impossible, to bet against Brady. So don’t do it. Don’t bet against Brady. Just don’t do it. You’ll thank me later.

Brady, the University of Michigan stud, was drafted by the Patriots in the sixth round (THE SIXTH ROUND!) of the 2000 NFL draft. In Brady’s 13 full seasons as a starter (he missed nearly all of 2008 with a torn ACL), the Patriots have earned six trips to the Super Bowl, winning four. Brady has won three Super Bowl MVP awards, two league MVP awards (2007, 2010), has been selected to eleven Pro Bowls, and has led the Patriots to more division titles than any other quarterback in NFL history, with thirteen. Brady is fifth on the all-time list for career passing yards and third for career touchdown passes. His career postseason record is 22–8; his playoff win total is the most in NFL history. Unbelievable.

 Some players aren’t pegged or don’t seem to have the potential to pan out and prosper. Yet someway somehow, they seemingly, consistently and continuously find a way to win. We might not like them but we sure do respect them. They give us patterns and paradigms to follow. Whatever happens, and in spite of who comes and despite who goes, there stand players like Tom Brady, like a stone wall. He’s endured derision and disdain from everyone from Roger Goodell to me in this blog. But like the Bible says, Brady is steadfast and unmovable.

 So, like him or lump him, just don’t bet against him.

Football At Its Best

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The NFC and AFC Championship games pit four of the best NFL teams against each other and often produce two of the best football games of the year.  And we all thought that this year would be no different, even though it’s hard to imagine how Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers could play any better than they did against the Cowboys. Right? Nonetheless, we all anticipated a great matchup in Atlanta’s Matt Ryan and Green Bay’s Rodgers. Right? Wrong!

Rodgers didn’t show up. And Matt Ryan blitzed the Packers44 – 21. And Brady was Brady as he did in Roethlisberger 36-17.

So who ya got? The veteran Brady or the younger, understudy Ryan? Considering Brady’s four game suspension at the beginning of the season, it’s a wonder than the Patriots are still, and once again almost, at the top of the NFL world, again. And Ryan has the arduous and chalky challenge of STILL having to prove that he’s legit, even after his MVP caliper season.

So the lesson is this: we should live life at the highest level.  We should do our best and live our best and be at our best, all the time. But unfortunately, that doesn’t happen. We fumble and stumble and mumble our way through life; and that’s, well . . .  that’s life.  Our humble  humanity is full of frailty and fallibility. That’s why we need help. And the Holy Ghost from Heaven, the Father’s promise given, is the one who is ready and willing to help us when we need help the most.

Asking and receiving help from above to live life here below is the only way to be at our best. So stop trying to go it alone. Stop ignoring the unction of the Holy One and the leading of the Lord of all. Listen! Listen and learn to do well. Ask God for more wisdom. Ask God for more understanding. Because wise decisions and prudent actions are the only way to live life to the fullest.

As for this year’s Super Bowl, if Ryan and Brady play their best in Houston, this might be one the best Super Bowls yet.

Follow the Leader: Brady or Rodgers or Ryan or Roethlisberger?

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So who ya got? Which quarterback is better? Which quarterback will advance and carry and lead his team on to the Super Bowl?  Brady is Brady, and Rodgers is Rodgers (did you see that finish?) and Roethlisberger can’t be counted out. But what about Ryan?

Ryan is the presumptive MVP, but how can you bet against Brady?  And after Rodgers did what he did in Dallas, how can you bet against Rodgers?

Because it’s all about leadership. Everything, and I mean everything, rises and falls on leadership. For me, I need Heaven to lead me and guide me and instruct me in the way that I need to go. Because without a leader, you’re lost. You’re a ship without a sail and a plane without wings. Without an executive director or a chief officer, one who rules and guides and inspires us on and up and forward, we won’t win a thing.

So who ya got? A Brady/Rodgers Super Bowl would be just dandy. As for me, Rodgers has the hot hand and he may well win it all.

Win And You’re In, a.k.a., Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance

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A win and they would be in. At least as a wildcard team. Forget the Division; Dallas had that locked up weeks ago.

A win would begin the postseason for the Washington Redskins. And they had two — count them — TWO chances to win AT HOME in December to clinch a playoff spot. But both times, they failed. Both times they fizzled. Both times, the favored team from Washington flunked out — and some would say punked out. With the season on the line, the offense was practically fruitless and the defense was essentially useless in its efforts to stop a determined but defective Giants team.

The Washington Redskins faltered ignominiously after a season of high hopes and, as far as statistics go, exceeded expectations. And in both games, especially yesterday against their heated and hated arch rivals, the New York Giants, the Redskins’ play was measly and miserable and at times almost intolerable. Their effort was lacking as the defense was sacking their franchise QB, Kirk Cousins. In other words, for three and half quarters, their energy and “oomph” towards a run at a playoff spot and a chance to play in Super Bowl LI just wasn’t there.

Sunday’s defeat had no turning point. There was no single play or crucial drive when things started going awry for the Redskins, who were favored by a touchdown. The Redskins were poor from the start in every way.  Asked Sunday night whether he felt he had the Redskins ready to compete, Coach Gruden said: “I like to think so, but obviously the results say otherwise, so what can you say?”

To answer Kirk Cousins question from last year, “No, we don’t like that.”

Forced to punt on their first five possessions, the Redskins were held scoreless in the first half for the first time all season. A last-ditch effort to avoid the shutout — a 57-yard field goal attempt by Dustin Hopkins — sailed left of the uprights, leaving the Redskins to trudge to the locker room trailing 10-0.

Their third-ranked offense, which was averaging 411.3 yards per game, was stymied by the Giants’ aggressive front seven. Protecting Cousins had been a strength all season, with the offensive line allowing just 19 sacks through 15 games. On Sunday, Cousins was sacked four times by early in the third quarter. And Cousins played throughout as if pass rushers were converging from all corners. Too bad, so sad.

So what’s next for the Redskins in general and for Kirk Cousins in particular? Only time will tell. Changes need to be made, but where do you start? Cousins set a franchise RECORD for passing yards this season. Seriously? Statistically, he’s the best Redskins QB ever!  EVER! And some want him canned.

So what can we learn?

The point is this: we need to be ready to play, especially in the “big games” of our lives. We need to prepare and pre plan and prime and pump ourselves up for every “big” occurrence we are confronted with. You and I need to be ready to play every day, but we especially need to be ready to deal with the critical and crucial moments of our lives.

In other words, prior preparation prevents poor performance. This truism is still true.

The Boys Are Back!  a.k.a., The Dallas Cowboys Will Win The Super Bowl (This Year!)

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Yes they will. There. I said it. Yes I’m a Dallas hater, but I’m also a sports lover. And Dallas looks really, really good right about now. The Boys are 9-1, and have just completed impressive wins against the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers. While I don’t want to get carried away, I don’t see why we can’t face facts either. I call it like I see it.  And the way I see it, if this team stays healthy and hungry and fixated and focused, there’s no reason they can’t go all the way.

This resurgent, rookie lead, runaway train of a team has all of the pieces and the parts and the elements and the ingredients of a  championship team.  They have chemistry and comrade and weapons and they’re on a warpath. So who’s going to beat ‘em? Who’s going to stop ’em? Who’s better than Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescot and Dez Bryant right now? Anybody?  Right now, the only team that can beat Dallas is Dallas. That’s it. And that “right now” may well hold true right through the Super Bowl.

The same goes for you too. You and I have all of the same stuff that Dallas has. Maybe not right now, but somewhere along the way, you and I will reach a point where you know that the only thing that can stop you is you. 

So, mark my words: in late January, and early in February, you’ll be saying that Dave got it right.