“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”
The final minute of Super Bowl XLIX was a tale of two teams, and two cities; but in the end it was Seattle, now sleepless Seattle that fell in defeat. Take a look at the rest of the passage Mr. Charles Dickens penned way before football was America’s passion.
“…it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way…”
You could argue that Dickens was actually a prophet sent to write epically long cryptic fiction novels to help us upend Vegas and guide us to the gambling light. Somehow, he wrote about the Seattle Seahawks – the returning champion and favorite to win, or were they really favorite – and their final drive of the game against golden boy Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
Down 24-28 with less than 5 minutes left and 1 timeout, Russell Wilson and the Seattle offense set out to cap their year with one final drive to clinch their second straight Super Bowl title. The drive featured a couple hand-offs to the NFL’s best running back Marshawn Lynch, who led the league with 18 rushing touchdowns, and some nifty throws by Wilson. With the clock dwindling under 2 minutes and just when the offense looked like it was faltering, Wilson and wide receiver Jermaine Kearse connected for what could have been lauded as one of the greatest catches in Super Bowl history. And it was. There were shades of David Tyree and his unforgettable helmet catch against these same New England Patriots. Unfortunately for Seattle, what ensued actually turned the aforementioned play into a water cooler afterthought. Kearse’s catch brought the Seahawks to New England’s 1 yard line. Coach Pete Carroll elected to throw the ball on second down instead of handing it off to his running back, the guy who earned the nickname “Best Mode.” Wilson whipped a slant pass and before Seahawks fans could erupt with elation, Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler emerged as the recipient.
The interception sealed the Seahawks’ fate and cemented Tom Brady as arguably the best NFL quarterback of all time with 4 Super Bowl titles. As the roller coaster of emotions came to a screeching halt, one thing was for sure: Super Bowl XLIX scared the dickens out of us.
Written by Emmanuel Osornio
2. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens