New England Patriots v Seattle Seahawks

Well that was without a doubt the craziest end to a Super Bowl I’ve ever seen. Pundits on every sports outlet are going to spend the next week poring over the game parcel-by-parcel, yard-by-yard, trying to explain a fourth quarter that was basically inexplicable. So many stupefying plays in such a small period of time that it completely transcended the element of human drama. This was something larger.

If you’ve followed the Seahawks at all, you know that they play with 11 men on the field like all other football teams. But you also know that they have a 12th man with them spiritually. The fans in Seattle think they are collectively the 12th man, which is a super romantic and wrong idea. Just listen to Russell Wilson. The 12th man is God, which explains a lot about that game against the Packers and the recent dominant success of our feathered friends from the Northwest.

So you would think, then, that the Seahawks had the ultimate trump card. Hard to lose the game when God is sitting there with a bowl of chili and a Steve Largent jersey on, no matter what kind of shady side deals Belichick may have been cutting with Irish-Catholic pastors from Southie. When the Seahawks got the ball with two minutes left, down four, the story was writing itself because God had already written it. Duh.

Except what played out in front of all of us deviated from scripture in the most stunning way. So let’s back up a bit to try and explain it. Russell Wilson is a smart man who clearly studies the game. And his Super Bowl preparation had to have led him to one man and one man only. The man with all the secrets. He who knows all, and particularly how to rip the Patriots’ solitary beating heart from their chest and snack on it like a Khaleesi. I speak of course of Eli Manning.

So what happened when Russell met Eli and they talked thwarting the Patriots? I think Eli, as he nursed a glass of warm milk and looked bored, probably told Russ to forget all of his hallelujahs. God can only take you so far when you’re battling the Patriots. Tom Brady could start his own religion right now and all of Massachusetts plus anyone who owns UGG boots would follow him. What it takes to beat the Patriots, Eli mused, is a deal with the devil.

“The devil?”

“The devil.”

Because at some point to beat Brady’s Patriots you’re going to need some divine intervention, and it just so happens that the devil’s favorite pastime is devastating the Patriots. Tyree. Manningham. Think those two non-descript dudes made miraculous plays on their own? Hell no. The devil was pulling those strings and even Russell the Pious had to concede that point. So he tucked his rosary beads into his jacket and made a Venmo deal with the devil, hoping that Eli wasn’t leading him astray.

When Jermaine Kearse made that juggling, ping ponging circus catch that took its place next to the helmet catch on the devil’s mantelpiece, Russell was validated. There it was, the unbelievable play promised to him in the Book of Eli. All they had to do was run the ball with their Minotaur of a running back and Seattle was assured its second consecutive Lombardi trophy.

But God has NBC (mainly for Parks and Rec but convenient for the Super Bowl), and God was watching too. And God knows a deal-with-the-devil catch when he sees one. Can’t bullshit a bullshitter. And God was so enraged that his guy Russell would go behind his back that he tore his Seahawks jersey off in fury. He took a break from causing snowstorms in Siberia and smiting bad tippers to use his holy playcalling override on Pete Carroll’s headset. Handoff to Marshawn? Nope. Dangerous slant route with a high chance of interception it is! We all know how that turned out. Malcolm Butler “had a vision.”

It may seem a bit convoluted but it’s the only way it could have happened that makes any sense. And somewhere in a dank, dark room, Eli Manning is sitting alone laughing to himself at another great trolling job. Amen, Eli. Amen.