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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
May 6, 2024
Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
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Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
May 6, 2024

Super Bowl LI


By Carter Howe

The New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons will face off in Super Bowl Ll this Sunday. With many regarding New England quarterback Tom Brady and coach Bill Belichick, who have already won four Super Bowl championships together, as two of the greatest coach and quarterback combos of all time, the Patriots are favored to win.

Despite this, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, who was the third overall pick in the 2008 NFL draft and won this year’s Pro Football Writers Association NFL MVP award, certainly does not lack talent. Both quarterbacks this year have much at stake: Ryan has the chance to win his first Super Bowl and the first in Falcon history and Brady the opportunity to be the first quarterback to win five Super Bowls. Many analysts also say that Brady will be considered football’s greatest quarterback if he wins this year’s championship.

According to Grinnell diving coach Michael Retelsdorf, who has coached football in the past, this game will be all about compromising the quarterbacks.

“I think that the defenses are both solid,” Retelsdorf said. “What I’m really emphasizing is whoever can get these MVP quarterbacks to make the first mistake … whoever makes that through the duration of the game where it’s pressured on them I think that’s who’s going to win it.”

Because each team has an excellent quarterback, the running game will also be important.

“I think the running game … is going to be particularly important. I think they’re both going to be able to throw; you know they’re both MVP quarterbacks,” Retelsdorf said.

Retelsdorf also said that he thinks the media is trying to over-dramatize this game; pushing a dramatic narrative with Atlanta as the underdog pitted against the dynastic Patriots.

“I believe that they’re trying to give us the perception of what [The Falcons] are, that they’re an underdog. I am buying into that … I think New England’s going to win and I think it’ll be by two touchdowns … [the media] are setting this thing up for a big failure if it doesn’t happen … If he does win he’ll be the greatest quarterback ever, if he’s not now,” Retelsdorf said.

However, the coverage of the game has changed his views and Retelsdorf now believes that Atlanta has more of a chance.

“I think Atlanta has a chance, and I didn’t way before the media got to me, but now I’m like ‘oh they’re the underdog they’re not supposed to win, and if they do it’s the greatest upset’,” Retelsdorf said.

Retelsdorf included that he thinks the stakes seem to be so high with this year’s game because of ties between the New England Patriots and Donald Trump.

“I would say it’s almost a little political this year and … you hear about Kraft and Trump … I don’t want to make it sound political because I don’t think it truly is, but it just has that feel to it. If you’re not for Atlanta, you’re for the majestic dynasty and gosh well if I don’t like them, I’m a Vikings fan so I don’t like either of them,” Retelsdorf said.

Brady, Belichick, and Patriots owner Robert Kraft are all good friends with Donald Trump. Trump has said he regularly plays golf with Brady, and a red Make America Great Again hat was once found in Tom Brady’s locker. Kraft was also present at an inauguration dinner held by then president-elect Trump.

All three men insist that their bond with Trump is apolitical and is based on years of loyalty and friendship. In an interview with the New York Daily News, Kraft, a lifelong Democrat and donor to both Obama campaigns, said that after his wife Myra died Trump called him every week for a year and invited him to events to console him.

Despite this insistence that the connection is removed from politics, protests have sprung up in Houston, where the game is being held. These are expected to continue to take place, possibly even at the game itself. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has said that local, regional and federal law enforcement have been deployed to prevent violence from occurring and ensure safety, though no credible threats have yet been found, NBC News reported.

Retelsdorf said he is getting more excited about the game because of Brady’s chance to pass Joe Montana in his mind as the greatest quarterback ever.

“I’m getting more and more excited because it’s a legacy game and … Brady is the only guy who I could see [passing] Montana with what I’ve seen here in real life, so whether it’s vegan or vegetarian or whatever’s going on something’s right,” Retelsdorf said.

All in all, Retelsdorf said he is just looking for an exciting game and hopes that politics are left out of the matchup.

“I do want to emphasize that I hope that the game is portrayed as a true sporting event and it’s not the stage for anything political. I don’t want that because I’m a pure sports fan,” Retelsdorf said.

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