By Carly Pete
I had no distractions, no quantities of snacks to prepare, no college homework. For the first time ever, I watched the whole Super Bowl at home alone, without male commentary in the house, yet understanding the plays because of having raised sons whose lives for lengthy periods of time while growing up revolved around football, both playing and watching. Football in our testosterone filled home had always been an occasion for celebration. And, the Super Bowl? If another family member or friend wasn’t throwing a Super Bowl party, it was because our family was hosting one that year. Even those of us, mostly women and girls, who neglected to follow along religiously through the whole season became fully conscious by the Super Bowl and knew which teams were playing and who we wanted to win.
Personally, I liked the community the game built across teams, even nations, through a display of sportsmanship, fairness and reward – the one goal one bowl of it all. Over the years, I saw the Super Bowl as a worldwide event that millions of people, including couples, families and friends, watched together – the cooking equivalent of black-eyed peas and collard greens on New Year’s Day for a foodie like me.
By game time I was all set – with tuna salad, red-skinned potato kale cheese soup, and homemade buttermilk cornbread – leftovers from my grandchildren’s sleepover the night before. I watched Super Bowl 49, from start to finish, contentedly alone, for the very first time…yet knowing my people near and far would be watching, too.
The game was spectacular throughout, until the last minute.
The next day, my brother said the losing play call came from the owners’ box, not the Seahawks’ coach. One son said, “bleh,” he had been busy with his family and had only half-watched the game. One said the outcome was Russell’s fault! The third son and I didn’t get a chance to talk until Tuesday night (although I’d seen a Facebook post from him Sunday after the game referencing slantgate, haha). He elicited a different issue: Christopher informed me that Pete Carroll formerly coached the Patriots, previous to Belichick. Whaaaaaaat? I did not know that…
So, had only one owner won? Had everyone else lost, in addition to Pete, like the 2000 US Presidential Election, which, in my opinion, was ultimately decided by a single vote among the five/four majority on the Supreme Court, possibly Clarence Thomas’s decision? Or, had one of these coach frenemies simply lost a bet, like in the movie Trading Places? Did Pete Carroll lose a bet and have no choice but to call that slant play? Therefore, were we – fans, quarterbacks, teams, coaches – all of us, merely pawns in their high stakes power play?
Whoever was responsible for the bad call during Super Bowl 49, that person had no meaningful relationship with the Seahawks Team and is not a winner. That part is clear.
My son, Lawrence, a football enthusiast from way back, presented an even more complex scenario to me. He pondered what might have been had the quarterback defied the powers-that-be and run the ball that last yard himself. Whew! Now, that’s real leadership, the caliber of a man who knows under which circumstances – for the people he loves and when it’s the right thing to do – to break the rules.
I give my heartfelt congratulations to Richard Sherman, Marshawn Lynch, and Russell Wilson, in that order…also, Malcolm Butler.
Overall, it’s irrelevant that Pete Carroll and Bill Belichick coached the Patriots in consecutive years. But, for pete’s sake – Pete, your love/hate relationship with Bill was pathetically apparent by the play you called. And, if the owner of your team or another of your coaches is responsible for that play, neither of you has a substantive relationship, understanding, nor respect enough for the Seahawks.
Hell, I think I could have coached that last minute better than you, and I’m just a girl called Pete. That last minute, as Lawrence would say, “Was crucial.”
Thanks for listening.
About Carly Pete: Carly, a 2013 graduate of Salem College, earned B.A. degrees in Communication and Creative Writing. She resides in Winston-Salem, where she works as a communication consultant, lyricist and writer.