Tom Brady did it again.
The ageless quarterback led his Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a remarkable 31-9 Super Bowl victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Feb. 7. It’s his seventh Super Bowl victory, giving Brady more championship wins than any other quarterback in NFL history.
Throwing for three touchdowns in the first half alone, with two going to his forever right hand man Rob Gronkowski, Brady’s stats are impressive. With 201 yards, completing 21 of 29 passes and no interceptions, his game was impeccable.
We could go on and on about how great Brady’s performance was, but we can’t forget about the Bucs defense, holding the opposition to 107 yards. When looking at some of the numbers, the game should’ve been closer: 350 Kansas City yards to 340 Tampa yards, nearly even possession times and 243 to 195 passing yards. Yet stats doesn’t paint the picture all too well.
“We came together at the right time,” Brady said post-game. “I think we knew this was gonna happen, guys, did we?”
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was left desperately scrambling around the field in the second half, fruitlessly scanning for an open receiver. Despite throwing for 270 yards, Mahomes completed just 26 of his 49 passes and was intercepted twice. Compare that to Brady’s stats and you see how smothering Tampa’s defensive line was.
What made the win even sweeter was the Bucs winning their second Bowl in franchise history (the first being in 2003) and the victor taking the championship at their home stadium for the first time in league history.
The game itself isn’t the only thing significant about that night. With 25,000 people let into Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium on a “limited capacity” basis, the concept of social distancing was ignored in post-game celebrations in Tampa. With scenes of fans crowding the streets, Tampa’s mayor Jane Castor was displeased.
“It is a little frustrating because we have worked so hard,” Castor said on Monday. “At this point in dealing with COVID-19, there is a level of frustration when you see that.”
With Super Bowl parties being a yearly tradition in countless American households, many of them were likely held despite the pandemic. Experts and public officials alike, such as CDC Director Rochelle Walensky and Baltimore mayor Brandon Scott, predicted that Sunday gatherings had the potential to be super spreader events and urged people to stay safe.
“You are 20 times more likely to be infected with COVID due to an indoor transmission, even from a small gathering of your closest, trusted friends,” said SUNY New Paltz Vice President of Student Affairs Stephanie Blaisdell. “Staying six feet apart and wearing masks are the best way to stay safe indoors.”
Blaisdell confirmed that there haven’t been many problematic gatherings that the school’s Party Patrol discovered since its formation in August.
The after effects of any Super Bowl parties on campus, if any, have yet to be measured.