SB debate question

No sooner had the New England Patriots pulled off the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history than sports pundits everywhere were asking, “Did the Patriots win Super Bowl LI or did the Falcons lose it?”

This is the go-to question for all talk radio and debate TV after a dramatic finish, a part of the debate-ification of everything in sports. And every time I’m left like Jacobim Mugatu in “Zoolander” screaming at my TV, “They’re the same thing! Doesn’t anybody notice this? I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!”

will ferrell zoolander mugatu crazy pills

The answer to the “Did Team A win the game or Team B lose it?” question is, always has been and always will be “both.”

Yes, the Falcons choked. There is no way to squander a 28-3 lead without massive blunders like Matt Ryan holding onto the ball too long in the fourth quarter twice, resulting in a lost fumble and then knocking Atlanta out of field goal range that would have iced the game.

And yes, the Patriots pulled off one of the greatest comebacks in sports history because Julian Edelman made an absolutely impossible catch and Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback in NFL history.

And yet sports pundits will spend all of Monday arguing that either the Patriots had an epic comeback or the Falcons choked as if they are mutually exclusive and not two sides of the same coin.


Because every great game must now be sliced into debate fodder and this is the laziest, most generic question that can be asked after any sports contest.

Well enough is enough.

If people want to spend Monday debating whether Tom Brady’s legacy is greater than Michael Jordan’s or the NFL MVP Award voting should be moved to after the completion of the season, then by all means go for it. Because those are actual questions with “yes” or “no” answers — however subjective and oversimplified as they may be.

But for the love of God, please finally stop asking me the same damn rhetorical question over and over.

About Jim Weber

Jim Weber is the founder of College Sports Only. He has worked at CBS Sports, NBC Sports and ESPN the Magazine and is the founder of a previous college sports website, Lost Lettermen (R.I.P.).

  • CreightonRabs

    This might be the dumbest take I’ve ever read. It makes for great debate, so just get off your high horse and stop playing Buzzy McBuzzkill.

    • StoJa

      Great debate…? It’s fucking stupid because one doesn’t happen without the other. One CAN’T happen without the other. All these “debate” shows are infuriatingly stupid. Just monkeys in suits screaming at each other across a table.

      • CreightonRabs

        You have proof of this or are you just creating ‘alternative facts’ for the hell of it?

    • Turk Turkleton

      “Great” debate does not mean intelligent debate.

      • CreightonRabs

        And your argument is based on what, exactly?

        That’s what I thought … it’s based on nothing useful.

  • Turk Turkleton

    What’s funny is that there is another one of these false choice questions in the first screenshot: “Who deserves credit for Super Bowl LI: Brady or Belichick?”

    You hear that dumb question all the time, like it’s not possible for both of them to be responsible for the Patriots success simultaneously.

  • Bryan Smith

    The one lesson to learn from the SB–when you have a chance to deliver the knockout blow you have to do it. Analysts need to talk about that and not “choking.”
    Basically the Falcons had the Patriots on the ropes and they let them off. Two plays really decided this game–when Atlanta had the ball and a 28-20 lead. Julio Jones makes a great catch and the Falcons are on target to get a least a field goal. A FG puts NE down 2 scores and even with the greatness of Brady, don’t think they would have had enough time to come back.
    But then Ryan gets sacked on one play and the Falcons are penalized on the next and suddenly ATL is forced to punt. I knew when that happened, the Patriots would win the game.