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Why Super Bowl XLIX Is The Best Super Bowl To Date

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Full disclosure: I'm only 24. My first Superbowl memory is Adam Vinatieri kicking it through the uprights against the Rams as time expired. Nonetheless, I am completely convinced that this will go down in history as the greatest Superbowl to date. Here's why:

1. Legacy. The New England Patriots needed this win. Absolutely needed it. They needed it to put Spygate to bed. They needed it to make people forget about Deflate-gate. They needed it to end the Brady-Manning debate once and for all. They needed it to cement Bill Belichick as the greatest coach of all time. They needed it to prove that they are still the reigning dynasty. Six berths, four championships, clutch performances, big players making huge plays in the biggest moment of their careers. That is the Patriots' way.

2. Controversy. The aforementioned Deflate-gate was on the minds of every Patriots hater in the world. There were also some whisperings of tampering in the acquisition of RB LeGarrette Blount. Less controversial but more entertaining was Jeremy Lane's ridiculous assessment of Gronk's talent level early in the week (for a list of people making fun of Jeremy Lane, click here: http://sb.gg/1JisxGG). Richard Sherman has alienated many fans with his brash and forthright speech. Many people are similarly turned off by Marshawn Lynch for, well, the exact opposite. Belichick is hated by basically everyone who isn't from New England, and half the people who are. Brandon Browner is sometimes called a thug, Brady a crybaby, Revis a has-been, etc. Many people were calling this the Hatebowl, a contest between the two most hateable franchises in the NFL. And who doesn't love some good, old-fashioned hate?

3. Intensity. This was an edge-of-your-seat game with action from start to finish. There was pushing and shoving on the first play. The first quarter flew by with minimal excitement (save an ugly pick by Brady), but man did things break open in the second. Hard hits, injuries, shoving, and the most interesting part is that it was all legal. Very few flags thrown in this game, but don't think for a second it wasn't a knock-down, drag-out fistfight. Cap it off with an instigator penalty and ejection at the end of a last second brawl. On the final play of the game, a kneel down by Brady, the Seattle defense still pushed, desperately trying to make a miracle happen. Or maybe just venting their frustration and hurt. Intense until the last second.

4. Suspense. Didn't matter what side you were rooting for or if you didn’t have a stake in the game at all, this game could stop a heart. From a Pats fan's perspective, how scary was it seeing the defense not be able to stop Wilson or Lynch for large chunks of the game? Brady came back and did what Brady does to put them on top with two minutes left.

Up to that point, every time there was any sort of big play, fans erupted in houses, bars, and movie theaters across the country. I don’t know about where you were, but when the Pats scored with two minutes to go, there were no cheers where I was. There were no high-fives. I looked at my friend and he looked back at me. He said, “Oh crap. Seattle still has 2 minutes.” I couldn't disagree. Up by four, two minutes left, all we could do was pray the defense would hold. The first play, a sideline lob to Lynch that crossed midfield, told us that no, in fact, it wouldn't hold.

Malcolm Butler had done everything right since he entered the game. Smothering defense, never seemed to be out of position. And another huge pass to Jermaine Kearse on the sidelines went Butler's way. He answered with perfect coverage, a hand in the receiver's face, and a pass defensed. Except that it wasn't. How, oh how, did that ball find it's way to the receiver? Call it the Pats Superbowl Curse (Kearse?). Tyree, Manningham, Kearse. Every Patriots fan was thinking the same thing.

Goal line stance. Nails being bitten, people peeking out from behind pillows, rally caps on, lucky emblems of various natures being held/stroked/worn/drank from/etc. The Pats should have let Lynch score with a minute left. Why aren't they at least calling a time-out? No one in the room honestly believed that Pats would win. Then enter a bad play call, a perfectly timed approach, the luck of the draw, and the most clutch defensive play in the history of the Superbowl. The tension was tangible. Then it was broken in one improbable instant. It was a beautiful thing.

What do we take away from this game? First off, Brady is the greatest QB to ever play the game. The debate is OVER. Manning can keep his gaudy regular season numbers. Brady holds basically every post-season record for a QB. Manning doesn't compare. The only one who does is Joe Montana, and Brady has closed the door on that one too.

Second, Belichick is in the top 3 to ever coach and that GOAT debate may be over too. Unreal amount of success from both player and coach. This is historic and we are privileged to be watching it.

Third, Seattle's time is also now. In the age-old battle of youth vs. experience, experience won this round. It may not again. Russell Wilson's Seahawks are the next dynasty. This was not the game where the torch got passed, but that day is coming. And it's coming fast.

I know you all have a ton of info to digest on this game, but I want to thank you all for heading here and allowing my perspective and opinions to entertain/inform you. More to come in the days to follow. Please follow me on twitter @DaneRiker and on my personal blog at http://daneriker.sportsblog.com

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Full disclosure: I'm only 24. My first Superbowl memory is Adam Vinatieri kicking it through the uprights against the Rams as time expired. Nonetheless, I am completely convinced that this will go down in history as the greatest Superbowl to date. Here's why:

    1. Legacy. The New England Patriots needed this win. Absolutely needed it. They needed it to put Spygate to bed. They needed it to make people forget about Deflate-gate. They needed it to end the Brady-Manning debate once and for all. They needed it to cement Bill Belichick as the greatest coach of all time. They needed it to prove that they are still the reigning dynasty. Six berths, four championships, clutch performances, big players making huge plays in the biggest moment of their careers. That is the Patriots' way.

    2. Controversy. The aforementioned Deflate-gate was on the minds of every Patriots hater in the world. There were also some whisperings of tampering in the acquisition of RB LeGarrette Blount. Less controversial but more entertaining was Jeremy Lane's ridiculous assessment of Gronk's talent level early in the week (for a list of people making fun of Jeremy Lane, click here: http://sb.gg/1JisxGG). Richard Sherman has alienated many fans with his brash and forthright speech. Many people are similarly turned off by Marshawn Lynch for, well, the exact opposite. Belichick is hated by basically everyone who isn't from New England, and half the people who are. Brandon Browner is sometimes called a thug, Brady a crybaby, Revis a has-been, etc. Many people were calling this the Hatebowl, a contest between the two most hateable franchises in the NFL. And who doesn't love some good, old-fashioned hate?

    3. Intensity. This was an edge-of-your-seat game with action from start to finish. There was pushing and shoving on the first play. The first quarter flew by with minimal excitement (save an ugly pick by Brady), but man did things break open in the second. Hard hits, injuries, shoving, and the most interesting part is that it was all legal. Very few flags thrown in this game, but don't think for a second it wasn't a knock-down, drag-out fistfight. Cap it off with an instigator penalty and ejection at the end of a last second brawl. On the final play of the game, a kneel down by Brady, the Seattle defense still pushed, desperately trying to make a miracle happen. Or maybe just venting their frustration and hurt. Intense until the last second.

    4. Suspense. Didn't matter what side you were rooting for or if you didn’t have a stake in the game at all, this game could stop a heart. From a Pats fan's perspective, how scary was it seeing the defense not be able to stop Wilson or Lynch for large chunks of the game? Brady came back and did what Brady does to put them on top with two minutes left.

Up to that point, every time there was any sort of big play, fans erupted in houses, bars, and movie theaters across the country. I don’t know about where you were, but when the Pats scored with two minutes to go, there were no cheers where I was. There were no high-fives. I looked at my friend and he looked back at me. He said, “Oh crap. Seattle still has 2 minutes.” I couldn't disagree. Up by four, two minutes left, all we could do was pray the defense would hold. The first play, a sideline lob to Lynch that crossed midfield, told us that no, in fact, it wouldn't hold.

Malcolm Butler had done everything right since he entered the game. Smothering defense, never seemed to be out of position. And another huge pass to Jermaine Kearse on the sidelines went Butler's way. He answered with perfect coverage, a hand in the receiver's face, and a pass defensed. Except that it wasn't. How, oh how, did that ball find it's way to the receiver? Call it the Pats Superbowl Curse (Kearse?). Tyree, Manningham, Kearse. Every Patriots fan was thinking the same thing.

Goal line stance. Nails being bitten, people peeking out from behind pillows, rally caps on, lucky emblems of various natures being held/stroked/worn/drank from/etc. The Pats should have let Lynch score with a minute left. Why aren't they at least calling a time-out? No one in the room honestly believed that Pats would win. Then enter a bad play call, a perfectly timed approach, the luck of the draw, and the most clutch defensive play in the history of the Superbowl. The tension was tangible. Then it was broken in one improbable instant. It was a beautiful thing.

    What do we take away from this game? First off, Brady is the greatest QB to ever play the game. The debate is OVER. Manning can keep his gaudy regular season numbers. Brady holds basically every post-season record for a QB. Manning doesn't compare. The only one who does is Joe Montana, and Brady has closed the door on that one too.

    Second, Belichick is in the top 3 to ever coach and that GOAT debate may be over too. Unreal amount of success from both player and coach. This is historic and we are privileged to be watching it.

   Third, Seattle's time is also now. In the age-old battle of youth vs. experience, experience won this round. It may not again. Russell Wilson's Seahawks are the next dynasty. This was not the game where the torch got passed, but that day is coming. And it's coming fast.

    I know you all have a ton of info to digest on this game, but I want to thank you all for heading here and allowing my perspective and opinions to entertain/inform you. More to come in the days to follow. Please follow me on twitter @DaneRiker

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