My running diary of Super Bowl LI……..

After an interminable pre-game show, they’re actually going to play the Super Bowl. Here are some of my thoughts as I watch the game……….
6:25— Luke Bryan cranks out the National Anthem in 2:04; if you bet the under, go cash your ticket.

6:30— There is a golf playoff going on at the Phoenix Open; Webb Simpson and Hideki Matsuyama. Good competition, but am I the only person watching this?

6:33— President George H Bush (41) is flipping the coin; no matter what your politics, have to have lot of respect for this man, who went skydiving on his 75th birthday. A great American and a very tough guy— he was shot down while flying as a Navy pilot in the war.

6:38— While Atlanta won the coin toss, Simpson just left the winning putt about an inch short, just like Matsuyama did on the 18th hole. The playoff continues but now no one is watching.

6:41— An argument for Brady as the all-time best QB is that New England rarely has had a great WR; Julian Edelman was a QB in college at Kent State.

6:42— Patriots go 3-and-out; this is where I mention that in six Super Bowls, Brady-led offenses have scored zero first quarter points.

6:45— Falcons get a long run but wind up punting, first time in nine games they didn’t score a TD on their opening drive.

6:53— Budweiser had the option to have the first commercial, but turned it down- their research says commercials are better off run later in the game. Google had the first commercial instead.

6:55— Hideki Matsuyama makes a pretty long putt, wins the Phoenix Open for the second year in a row, and I put my remote away for the next three hours.

5:08 left in first quarter, 0-0. That total of 59 looks pretty daunting right now.

7:05— Scoreless first quarter. Weird stat that Brady has put up zero first quarter points out in the first quarter of his seven Super Bowls, yet won four of the first six.

7:07— New England fumbles, Falcons recover at the Atlanta 29. America cheers.

7:16— Devonte Freeman scores the first TD of the game; Atlanta is running ball down New England’s throat. 12:15 left in the half. Falcons 7-nil. Atlanta is 9-1 this year when they score first.

Referee Gene Steratore worked the Nebraska-Iowa basketball game today; someday I hope he gets to work a Super Bowl.

Good Honda commercial with some famous people talking over their high school yearbook pictures. It would take an enormous amount of money for me to show anyone my senior picture from way back when. Uh uh, no thanks.

Oh by the way, Falcons’ center Alex Mack is playing this game with a broken leg. In an age where NBA players now routinely take “maintenance days” just to rest up, a guy is playing on the offensive line with a freakin’ broken leg.

7:21— I’m still an advocate of throwing long passes towards YOUR SIDELINE; think you get an extra interference call or two a game that way.

7:28— Austin Hooper catches a TD pass from Ryan and Kyle Shanahan’s agent is doing backflips, whoever/wherever he is. Young Shanahan’s price tag is going up by the second here. 14-0 Atlanta with 8:48 left in the half.

Roger Staubach/Hank Aaron both had birthdays today; couple of pretty good ballplayers.

7:32— Total yards so far: 189-111, Falcons. Joe Buck informs me that no team has won a Super Bowl after trailing by more than ten points. Thanks, Joe.

Falcons traded five draft picks to Cleveland so they could draft Julio Jones; none of those five players is still in the NFL.

7:38— New England is dying here, but refs have called two defensive holding penalties on Atlanta on this drive. Falcons have allowed 30+ points six times this year, although only once since Halloween. Their tackling so far has been tremendous.

Lady Gaga is wearing sunglasses in an indoor stadium. With the roof closed.

Three defensive holding penalties on this drive; where were these guys when the Rams played New England in the Super Bowl?

7:45— Robert Alford picks off a pass and scores an 82-yard TD for the Falcons. Wow. Arthur Blank is looking for people to high-5 in his box. Alford showboats for the last 20 yards but for the love of God, this is a shocking result. 21-nil Falcons.

One of Mr Blank’s sons is named Max. Max Blank; is that a tremendous name or what? You could imagine a movie with a private eye named Max Blank.

Atlanta’s defensive coordinator is Richard Smith, working for his 8th NFL team in 28 years. His heartbeat has to be pretty high right now; his defense is playing its ass off!!!!

One of the endless list of prop bets was over 49.5 yards for the longest touchdown of the game, so if you had over, go cash your ticket.

7:55— Is Tom Brady the only NFL quarterback who makes less money than his wife?

A ticket to the first Super Bowl cost $12. A souvenir soda at this Super Bowl costs $11.

8:02— Troy Aikman kills Josh McDaniels’ play selection after a screen pass on 3rd down falls flat. New England kicks a field goal and it is 21-3 Falcons at halftime. I am stunned.

Time to hit the mens’ room and get some food!!!!

They opened the roof for the halftime show; seems like a good time to see what is on other channels:
— ESPN has a 30 for 30 on Allen Iverson
— ESPNU has a Memphis-USF womens’ basketball game. Do people bet on this?
— ESPN2 has the Harlem Globetrotters playing on an outdoor court.
— FX1 has motorcycle racing.
— NBC Sports Network has curling on (China 6-3 over US at the half)
— CBS Sports Network has poker on; Phil Hellmuth is playing with an Aria hat on that I declined to buy when I stayed there in December. For what I spent there, they should’ve thrown in a free hat.

8:35— Falcon offense went 68 minutes between drives; they get the second half kickoff.

Teams leading the Super Bowl at halftime are 37-10 (three games were tied).

8:47— Neither team scored on their first drive of second half; now Martha Stewart is on a commercial with Snoop Dawg. Another $5M down the drain.

8:55- Atlanta scores another touchdown; Arthur Blank is dancing again. Falcons just seem like the faster team across the board. 28-3 Atlanta; can we see Robert Kraft? Please?????

Right on cue, FOX shows Kraft and his hideous son Jonathan, who mocked Colts GM Ryan Grigson after he was fired. I understand why he would enjoy Grigson getting canned, since he helped instigate DeflateGate, but be a bigger person and keep it to yourself.

9:00— I’m in my late 50’s; right now I’m thinking of someone who is my age who became a Falcons’ fan as a little kid and has lived/died with every game of theirs since then. They must be SO EXCITED and that clock must be going so slowly for them.

Meanwhile, the Falcons have a new domed stadium opening next year; pretty good time to be selling luxury boxes/PSL’s for the new ballpark, eh?

9:05— Brady just ran for 15 yards, winning somebody a prop bet on his rushing yardage.

9:07— New England scores on a TD pass to White; time-consuming drive, and now the score is only 28-9 as Gostkowski clanks the PAT off the right upright.

Caesar’s Palace offered a prop on: “Will a PAT/FG hit the goal post?” The line was -$600 and of the $20,250 wagered, $20,o00 of it was on “No”. Whoops.

Mike Pence is sitting with Texans’ owner Robert McNair; when he was watching the Super Bowl at this time last year, Mr Pence had zero idea how much his life would change in a year. It won’t happen, but what a book he’ll be able to write if he ever wanted to.

If you had 8-0 in a square pool, you just threw something; if you had 8-9, you’re damn happy.

9:10— Onside kick fails miserably. Falcons take over at New England’s 45 with 2:06 left in the third quarter. If you’re an Atlanta fan, that clock can’t move fast enough.

17 years ago, the Rams led Tennessee 16-0 in the third quarter; a game that seemed over soon got very dicey. That freakin’ clock went so slow. Atlanta fans are not resting easily yet.

9:18— Third quarter is over. 28-9 Atlanta.

9:20— Arizona CB Tyrann Mathieu just tweeted this: “NE should have played Mike Floyd. They have no deep threats… ATL LBs too good. They aren’t any mis matches”

In NFL history, teams leading by 19+ points after third quarter in playoff games are 94-0.

9:27— New England is driving again, but Grady Jarrett (#97 on the Falcons) is having a big game; he has just tossed a few guys out of his way tonight. If you’re thinking (too early) about an MVP for this game, Jarrett deserves consideration.

Jarrett’s dad, by the way, is former Falcon linebacker Jesse Tuggle.

9:29— Patriots kick a field goal; game is 28-12 Atlanta with 9:44 left. If you’re a Falcon fan, that damn clock needs to start moving a little faster. Couple of first downs wouldn’t hurt, either.

Ryan is 7-7 for 121 yards on passes thrown in the middle third of the field. Atlanta’s offense has done very little in this game, but they have run the ball for 6.8 yards/attempt.

9:38— Ryan is sacked/fumbles and New England recovers on the Atlanta 25; if you’re a lifelong Falcon fan, your blood pressure just went up. A lot. This will be the longest hour of your life.

Random baseball stat that I just saw on Twitter: Claudell Washington struck out 39 times against Nolan Ryan, the most of any player ever.

9:40— Danny Amendola just caught a TD pass from Brady and the score is 28-20 with 5:56 left. When Amendola played for the Rams, he got hurt on every other play. Now he’s Cal Ripken.

I’ve lived through a game just like this; if you’re an avid Falcon fan, life is standing still right now; you’re ignoring the commercials and praying for Ryan to hit Julio Jones a couple times. Nothing else matters; you’re not hungry, Arthur Blank isn’t dancing anymore and your team that has never won a Super Bowl is desperately holding on.

9:45— Ryan hits Freeman for a big gain and Atlanta has the ball at midfield. Clock is under 5:00 but one of the Atlanta linemenn just got hurt.

9:49— Julio Jones just made a great catch!!! Fantastic!!! First down and Atlanta is in field goal range. Clock is at 4:40, the ball is on the 22 and those five draft picks the Falcons traded to the Browns so they could draft Jones seems like a mere pittance.

9:53— Good God. The Falcons implode, wind up with a 4th-and-33 near midfield; they’re punting with 3:38 left and New England has two timeouts left.

I’m guessing this is getting big TV ratings.

10:00— Julian Edelman just made a great catch on a deflected pass; Atlanta wasted their last challenge— they’ll lose it. That catch will go down in history as a great play but by God Atlanta, make a play!!!!

10:02— New England is inside the Atlanta 25 and Falcon fans are promising to give up any bad habits they might have if just this one time, their team can win. Even if the Patriots score a TD, they need the 2-point conversion to tie the score.

How hard is Roger Goodell rooting for the Falcons right now?

10:06— White scores another TD. 28-26. High drama. Patriots have to go for 2- they make it, so now a game that was 28-9 after three quarters is 28-28. Kraft and his creepy son are hugging in their box. Aikman just called Brady the best QB ever. I have empathy for loyal Falcon fans.

0:57 left, the Falcons have no timeouts; if you bet the over, the only way you can lose in on a safety. If you took three points or money-lined Atlanta, you’re queasy.

10:10— I saw an article this week that said if the Patriots win 31-28, Vegas sports books would be refunding tickets for a week— so many wagers would be pushed.

10:14— First overtime in Super Bowl history. 28-28. FOX executives have to be thrilled.

10:18— Patriots are -$165 in OT; Atlanta is +$145. New England has the ball first.

During the week, odds on there being overtime was +$525.

10:23— Pass interference on Atlanta; ball is on the 2-yard line. TD wins the game; if they kick a FG, Falcons will get the ball for one possession.

10:24— New England scores, the Patriots win 34-28 and my condolences to Falcon fans.

Author: Armadillo Sports

I've been involved in sports my whole life, now just write about them. I like to travel, mostly to Las Vegas- they have gambling there.