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Happy 3-28. Let's Once Again Celebrate the Greatest Comeback of All Time

ComebackPoster

Happy 3-28 to Patriots fans everywhere.

And if the rest of you haven’t figured out by now this has become a high holy day for us, the way May the 4th is to Star Wars nerds, March 4th is for band geeks and 4/20 is for stoners, let me fill you in. Because the Patriots have so many Super Bowl championships in the first week of February that it’s hard to keep track of them all, we set aside this day each year to celebrate what is in many ways the most special of them all, the 25-point comeback against the Falcons in Super Bowl LI.

There are just so many memories, so many great moments, that the colors of them tend to blur together, in spite of how unforgettable they are individually. Tom Brady’s 15 yard scramble on 3rd & 8. James White’s spin move for a touchdown. Dont’a Hightower’s strip sack, after Tevin Coleman went out with an injury and Matt Patricia put him in a wide-9 split, gambling that DeVonta Freeman wouldn’t pick him up.

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Malcolm Mitchell’s two 1st down catches, one after he had fallen to the turf. Danny Amendola’s catch along the goal line. White’s direct snap two-point conversion. Trey Flowers’ sack with the Falcons in range of a field goal that would’ve been the Thanos snap that turned the Pats hopes to space dust. The huge boundary catch by Chris Hogan on 3rd & 10 from the Pats 8 yard line. Of course Julian Edelman’s catch for the ages.

Edelman catch

And the whole overtime drive, finished off by White forever immortalized in a LEGOs tribute:

How improbable was The Comeback? Allow me to demostrate in graph form:

And in the words of one writer, who is actually a Win Probability Denier because your mathematical laws do not apply to Tom Brady:

One of the newest scourges of the stat world is win probability, a statistic that takes into account every aspect of the game (score, possession, time remaining, point spread) and spits out a percentage that a team will win or lose a given game after every single play. …[M]ultiple times in the second half of Super Bowl LI the Atlanta Falcons were given a 99.9% chance to defeat the New England Patriots — basically as close to a lock as you can get without the clock reading zeroes. Because the Patriots scored the “one-in-a-thousand” comeback, the numbers have been breathlessly repeated in the press and among fans as if they’re gospel. Bow down: Tom Brady apparently managed to not only defy the logic of football but the fundamental tenets of mathematics.

It’s all nonsense. … WP should never be taken literally because sports aren’t played on calculators and win probability doesn’t account for the countless human factors involved in a comeback — namely Tom Brady.

So this is what 3-28 means to us in New England. It’s the day we do more than celebrate a win or a great comeback. It’s a day of observance. Of hope. It’s a day when we acknowledge that anything is possible.

Marathon

It’s a time for good parents from Vermont to the islands, from the coast of Maine to whatever part of Connecticut is the border with Giants territory, to teach their children that they should never give up. It’s our annual reminder that no situation is so grim that we cannot find a way to triumph in the end.

28-3 cap

And mostly a day of Thanksgiving, in which we are grateful for all our blessings. And remember that of all the times and places since the dawn of the universe, we share a planet with Tom Brady.

So to celebrate with us, buy a shirt. Happy Holidays.

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