I made arrangements to have someone cover the last half of my Sunday telepsychiatry shift (thank you, Jimmy!) so that I could come home, grab a bowl of chili and a beer and watch the Atlanta Falcons win Super Bowl LI. I live back in Georgia now, so I figured that the Dirty Birds were now my default team to root for, especially since it had been eons since they had played in their first super contest.
I really felt that they had a chance to beat the juggernaut that is the New England Patriots, led by their quarterback Tom Brady, already winner of four Super Bowl rings and tied with Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw in that regard. Matt Ryan had just been crowned the NFL MVP for the season the night before, after all, so there was only one way to go-up. I was confident, and I knew it was going to be a great game.
Lord knows, none of us realized how good a game it would be. One for the ages.
Atlanta was quick out of the blocks, and they played true to the expected game plan. Get out there, run hard, score early, build a commanding lead, and then hold on for dear life to win the Lombardi trophy. They built a 21-3 lead at halftime. It looked fluid and poetic. It looked too easy.
The Patriots, lead by that same Tom Brady who had been slapped with a Deflate Gate penalty of four games on the bench to start this season, roared back, scoring thirty-one points in the second half, the last twenty-five of which were unanswered by the flightless birds. And to add insult to injury, this was the first Super Bowl in history that went into overtime to decide the winner.
The Patriots. Seven Super Bowl appearances. Five wins. The biggest comeback in the history of the game, probably in all of sports.
The Falcons. Second Super Bowl appearance. Two losses, this one an epic free fall that had to even make Greg Norman shake his head in wonder.
The Patriots wanted it more.
Was it to vindicate themselves? To get back at the Commissioner? To assuage Tom Brady’s guilt?
It doesn’t matter.
In the end, they just flat-out wanted it more, and they did everything they had to do to get it.
We all make plans. We dream. We fantasize. We think we know exactly what we want.
Do we? Really?
Do we really want to buy that (fill in the blank) if it means saving every nickel we can for the next five years to do so?
Do we want a better body enough to go to the gym, hit the road, lift the weights, and ride the bike for the hours it takes to get there?
To be the best, to have what you want, to rise up (sorry Atlanta) to the top of your field, or to make your mark in the history books, you have to want it more than the next guy, or lady. You have to make a plan, have the drive and the guts to execute that plan, and then go out in the blazing sun or under the hot spotlights of scrutiny and show what you’ve got.
On this particular Sunday, New England did. They have a fifth ring to show for it.
Do you want it more?