BY ERIN MADDEN
The attention of the sports world turned to Glendale, Arizona, on Feb. 1 to see the New England Patriots take on the defending champion Seattle Seahawks in the 2015 Super Bowl.
The 114.5 million viewers all tuned in for different reasons. Some genuine fans watched to cheer on their beloved Patriots or Seahawks. Others watched only for the commercials. Even others watched “just because” as there was nothing better to do that night.
This year’s game left a lasting impact on its record amount of viewers in many different ways. In fact, it was the most talked-about Super Bowl to date. What made this particular game so intriguing?
Let’s rewind to the fourth quarter.
The Patriots had just completed a four-minute drive with a touchdown to go back up by four points on the Seahawks. This gave Seattle only two minutes to put together a game-winning drive.
In under a minute, Seattle had gone 75 yards down the field to set up a goal-to-go situation. It seemed like Seattle was about to win its second consecutive Super Bowl.
Then, on a second-and-1 play, quarterback Russell Wilson did the unthinkable. He threw a pass instead of just running the ball as there was only one yard to gain.
That pass was intercepted by New England’s cornerback Malcolm Butler, sealing the victory for the Patriots with 26 seconds left in the game.
But the Patriots had to run one play to make the victory official. It’s what happened after that particular play that everyone remembers.
The Seahawks were upset that they had their second consecutive Super Bowl in the palm of their hands and lost it due to one silly play call. The Patriots, on the other hand, were ecstatic that they were able to hold the Seahawks’ drive to be able to win. Emotions were running high in the stadium.
An ugly, brutal fight between the two teams broke out with time still remaining on the clock. It took multiple officials to break it up. Penalty flags flew and ejections were issued. Fines for those involved came a few days after the game.
Meanwhile, on their side of the television, fans were reacting. The fight became an instant “highlight” on YouTube. Twitter and Facebook exploded with the fans’ own opinions.
These opinions were divided. Many thought that the fight was classless, as the fate of the game had already been decided by the interception. Others applauded both teams for getting into it with each other, calling players on both sides “cheaters” and “dirty.”
I agree with those who thought the fight was unnecessary and distasteful. Respect should have been given to the Patriots for making the play that needed to have been made in order to win the game. The Seahawks should have held their heads high for giving the Patriots a fight.
Unfortunately, this kind of behavior is too prevalent in sports today. I thank all Franciscan athletes for acting in a classy, respectful manner, and I pray that we can all use this situation as a possibility for learning.
I only watched the last two minutes of the Super Bowl myself and that was all I needed to watch.