Super Bowl LI cheat sheet: 5 things non-viewers should know
If so, that’s too bad, because you missed a lot — and you’re probably going to hear about it at work on Monday. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered with a list of highlights so you can save face:
Patriots make the biggest Super Bowl comeback ever
Midway through the third quarter, the Atlanta Falcons seemed destined for victory with a 28-3 lead. But a costly Atlanta fumble by quarterback Matt Ryan with 8:31 left in the fourth quarter helped set up the New England Patriots’ comeback.
By the end of regulation, the Falcons and Patriots were tied at 28 — forcing the first overtime in Super Bowl history. That’s when New England running back James White rushed in from 2 yards for the game-winning touchdown.
The women from ‘Hamilton’ inject ‘sisterhood’ into ‘America the Beautiful’
Before kickoff, the original cast members from “Hamilton” kicked off the game with a powerful, feminist twist on “America the Beautiful.” When Broadway singers Phillipa Soo, Renée Elise Goldsberry and Jasmine Cephas Jones belted out the last lines of the American classic, they added two words — singing, “And crown thy good with brotherhood — and sisterhood / From sea to shining sea!” The Houston crowd and social media went wild.
Some applied a political filter to the lyric, especially with Vice President Mike Pence at the game (remember what happened the last time he attended a “Hamilton” performance?) and memories of President Donald Trump’s sexist behavior still in the minds of some Americans.
George H.W. Bush, fresh out of hospital, tosses the coin
Former President Bush, 92, tossed the coin in his adopted hometown of Houston, just days after being released from the hospital where he was treated for complications from pneumonia. The 41st President has some experience tossing Super Bowl coins. In 2002, he became the first former commander in chief to flip a coin at the big game.
Robert Alford scores a pick-six
The Falcons’ cornerback intercepted a Tom Brady pass intended for Danny Amendola — returning it 82 yards for the second quarter touchdown. It was the first pick-six off Brady in any postseason game. It was also the second-longest touchdown in Super Bowl history, behind James Harrison’s 100-yard return in Super Bowl XLII.
Lady Gaga’s halftime show had all her biggest hits — and drones
Lady Gaga didn’t make a big political statement, as many anticipated. But the Grammy winner still managed to cause a social media stir.
While singing her pro-LGBT rights song “Born this way,” Gaga hugged US-born teenager Ally Bellini, whose parents are from Belize, during the verse “Why don’t you stay?”
While some fans speculated on the undertones of Gaga’s act, others praised her performance. As for Bellini, she told CNN the hug took her by surprise and said she believes it was not a political move.
Gaga made a splash at the open and close of her halftime show with a sea of drones flying high in the Texas sky. Gaga had to get special clearance from the Federal Aviation Administration, which had placed a ban on drones at or near Houston’s NRG Stadium.
Tom Brady becomes the first quarterback to win five Super Bowl titles
The Patriot was named Super Bowl MVP for the fourth time. Brady matched former linebacker and defensive end Charles Haley for the most Super Bowl titles by a player.
On top of that, New England returned to the Super Bowl for the ninth time, an NFL record. Head coach Bill Belichick and Brady made seven of those appearances together — the duo now have the most Super Bowl appearances as a head coach and player.
Brady bounced back after missing the first four games of the regular season — serving his “deflategate” suspension imposed by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.