Wow! Originally I thought I would post something today about the Super Bowl LI commercials. But I barely remember them. The fragments I do recall are only because I’m trying really, really hard to come up with something. As if I’m being interrogated during a crime investigation. Um… there was the Skittles spot. Um… then Alfa Romeo showed up for some reason. Justin Timberlake referred to an old NSYNC song. And Terry Bradshaw was a mess. I’m sorry. I’ll go back and watch them later to see what I should have remembered.
Last night was all about the game. It was hyper-relevant to me and my social circles because I grew up in New England as a huge Patriots fan. But I recently lived, and still own a home, in Atlanta. I have great love for my Atlantans and the way they embraced the Y’Albrechts. I didn’t want either fan base to lose.
But I wanted the Patriots to win.
I won’t recap the entire game. FOX, ESPN and the NFL Network can do that ad nauseam. I’ll simply share a couple of inflection points.
At the opening kickoff the game was close. Really close.
Then, when the Patriots went down by two touchdowns, the announcers were quick to point out that no team in Super Bowl history had ever come back from a 14 point deficit.
That concerned me, statistically. But come on, my team is the Pats! You know, Tom Brady, Malcolm Butler, Bill Belichick. We can make up 14 points wicked fast. It was early in the game. I’ve seen this movie before.
But suddenly it was 21 nothing. Even the eternal optimist in me was discouraged going into halftime down 21-3.
It didn’t get any better in the 3rd quarter. In fact, the Patriots were down by 25 points with just over 2 minutes to go in the 3rd quarter. That was 2.5 times the largest lead any team had ever overcome in the Super Bowl! This was not good.
I felt like 12-year-old Adam, watching my team get steamrolled by the 1985 Bears. I was having painful Steve Grogan, Tony Eason flashbacks. Even Billy Buckner made an appearance.
There, in the lopsided 3rd quarter, an amazing Super Bowl statistic was born. Maybe the most shocking statistic in the history of sports. It has the potential to change your life if you let it. According to ESPN:
Atlanta had greater than a 99.5% win probability when leading 28-3 in the 3rd quarter.
Or, said another way (which may be statistically illegal):
New England had less than a 0.5% win probability when trailing 28-3 in the 3rd quarter.
Yet we know what happened.
I am not viewing the comeback as a Falcons fan. I don’t see a letdown. Or a choke. Or an improbable loss.
I view the comeback as a Patriots fan. It was unbelievable in the truest sense of this overused word. And as the statistic shows, it was all but impossible.
But I also look at this crazy statistic outside of football. As a human. As a father. As a family member. As the owner of The Weaponry. As a friend of people battling with terrible hardships and nasty diseases and demons and addictions. What happened last night is a reason for the hopeless to hope. To believe the unbelievable. I have never purchased a copy of a championship game. But this game belongs in my library of reminders and inspirations. It may belong in yours too.
Winning in business is hard. It requires you to never give up, never give out and never give in. Let this game and this statistic serve as an inspiration when you are pitching new business, cold-calling, interviewing and recruiting. Let this game remind you to push harder when you are behind in revenue. And when you are ahead of projections. When you are losing market share and when creditors are calling. There is always something you can do to turn things around.
To my Falcons-fan friends, I know it hurts to sit on the other side of this inspirational teeter totter (seesaw). But the Falcons are on the rise. Great things will come your way too. Take it from me, going through a game like this, or getting demolished by the 1985 Bears, makes the eventual Super Bowl win even sweeter.