It’s been over 36 hours, but I’m still in disbelief.
By now you’ve probably heard that the New England Patriots won Super Bowl XLIX by defeating the Seattle Seahawks, 28 to 24. Much of the game was pretty ho-hum, until the final 3 minutes. The Patriots took the lead on a go ahead touchdown, leaving the Seahawks a little over two minutes to orchestrate their own comeback.
Seattle by luck, skill, serendipity, or whatever you want to call it managed to get to the Patriots 1-yard line, with a little over a minute to go, and a time out. All the Seahawks had to do was travel 3 feet, breaking the plane of the end zone, and the likelihood of them winning a second Superbowl in as many years was all but secured.
But that’s not what happened.
There’s a debate raging about who is to blame for what occurred next. What is certain is that the worst play call in Super Bowl history (and probably NFL history, given the gravity of the situation) ensued. Instead of handing the ball off to their All-Pro “Beast Mode” Running Back (Marshawn Lynch) who was having his way with the Patriots defense, the Seahawks decided to attempt a pass play.
From the 1-yard line.
With less than a minute to go.
In the Super Bowl.
Patriots Corner Back Malcolm Butler jumped the route and intercepted the pass.
I was speechless. Why? Why would the Seahawks decide to do such a foolish thing? Anyone familiar with pro football knows as the field get shorter, the difficulty of completing passes increases exponentially. There was no reason to take such a risk.
Over the past day and half, I’ve tossed this dilemma back and forth in my head. I’m not a fan of either team (go Giants!) but I was mortified by the events that took place on Sunday. All the hard work, training, preparation, and luck it takes to make it to the biggest game on the biggest stage, and it evaporated just like that.
I’ve been where the Seahawks were on Sunday Night before. The obvious solution is staring you in the face, but you think you’re too cleaver. You’re trying to cover all the angles, attempting to solve “a riddle wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma“. But often times in life, things are as straightforward as they seem. There are no angles, no catches, no provisions, just action.
It takes a lot of courage and self-awareness to make the obvious choice. There’s a sense of humility and surrender in doing the logical thing in the moment. Our hearts may tempt us to do the grandiose, over the top; kind of like an in your face to everyone who ever doubted you. I know, I’ve been there. It feels good initially, but then better judgement washes over you.
Wisdom has taught me, keep it simple son.