#COVID19Chronicles-307: February 8, 2021-Super Bowl LV (55)

It wasn’t an epic game, and the much touted clash of the Titans never materialized as Tom Brady led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a 31-9 Super Bowl win over Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. He sealed his 7th win.

Brady also won his 5th most valuable player award.

Brady set records as the oldest quarterback in a Super Bowl and winning it:

One commentator offered the snippet that Brady had the best winning percentage and had joined the franchise with the worst percentage and helped them win the Super Bowl.

Tampa Bay is the first team ever to both play and win the Super Bowl in their home stadium.

Brady also has the record for the Super Bowl appearances:

The score was lopsided and it was so in part because Mahomes and some other team mates were injured, but also because the Buccaneers were strong and efficient on offence and defence, the latter especially in the second half, when they added to their half time 21-6 score early then sealed the defence by allowing just 3 points from a field goal. It was the first time Mahomes had lost by double digits. But, that left the Chiefs with an unenviable place amongst teams that didn’t score a touch down at a Super Bowl:

Lots of records went by the way:

He wins on age grounds:

We had an invader on the field. The official broadcasters cut away from that, but nowadays that doesn’t mean it’s not caught for posterity:

It was strangely COVID-appropriate, with a stadium looking full, but with cut outs of fans, each costing US$100 for those who wanted their images there:

The Buccaneers should be celebrated, also, for diversity on many levels, including the oldest winning coach, at 63, black coaches and women coaches:

The NFL also had a first with a woman official for the game, Sarah Thomas.

The commercials and the half-time show will have their fans and detractors, but I liked most of that:

#COVID19Chronicles-293: January 25, 2021-A few sporting highlights amidst the politics

Impeachment articles will be sent to Senate today ahead of the historic second impeachment trial of now-former President Trump.

We wont go into the constitutionality of the impeachment now that Donald Trump has left office.

A lot of natural justice is involved in seeing that he is held accountable for a series of acts that appear to fit ‘high crimes and misdemeanour’ and tried to subvert democratic processes in the USA. The insurrection on January 6 stands out, but so too do the series of acts before that to overturn election results that had been declared as fair and certified, included a recorded call to Georgia’s Secretary of State where the then-president asked him to “find 11,780 votes”, to give him the win.

The weekend saw reports from the New York Times that President Trump tried to use the Department of Justice (DOJ) to ‘find’ fraud in Georgia and get its results overturned, including by filing a case with the Supreme Court after removing the acting Attorney General and replacing him with a ‘loyalist’ within the DOJ!

The NYT reports have been substantiated in other reporting:

CNN reported: ‘The effort ultimately failed as Trump appointees in the Department of Justice refused to file the lawsuit, according to the Journal. Rosen, along with former Attorney General William Barr and former acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall, refused to file the Supreme Court case citing that there was no basis to challenge the election outcome and the federal government had no legal interest in whether Trump or Biden won the presidency. Trump also backed down during the New Year’s weekend effort after top Justice Department officials, including Trump’s own Senate-confirmed appointees and other political staff, vowed to resign if Trump fired Rosen.’

Serious news always involves sport, in my mind. If two countries can go to war over a football match…. It’s always a buzz to live through some historical moment in sport, better if you witness it in person, but not bad to just see it unfold somehow.

So, I was excited when Henry (‘Hank’) Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s home run record in 1974, hitting his 715th.

That year meant more to me for Germany beating The Netherlands 2-1 in the World Cup Final.

I knew little about baseball, then, but I understood the violent racist backlash. Fortunately, political leaders saw the merits in raising his achievements to the right level of acknowledgment by President Bush (43) bestowing on him the Medal of Freedom in 2002. His death last week was the passing of a true all-time great.

Yesterday, another great marked another milestone in his seemingly unending career, as Tom Brady led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to victory in the NFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers, 31-26. This will see him play in Super Bowl LV (55)…in Tampa, the first time a Super Bowl team will play at home, after winning all of its playoff games ‘on the road’. Brady is 43 and will be in his 10th Super Bowl, another record; his win/loss is 6-3. This seals his claim on GOAT (greatest of all time) status? For sure, amongst quarterbacks.

Brady left the New England Patriots in March, since when the Patriots didn’t make the playoffs and Tampa make them for the first time since 2003.

The Kansas City Chiefs, current Super Bowl champions, will face the Buccs, after winning their AFC Championship game.

Lots of news billing there, not least ‘old’ versus ‘new’ guard. Bring it on for February 7.