Mesmerizing Superbowl LI

images-7

photo by belltower.mtaloy.edu

 

Even though I was rooting for underdog Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons in Superbowl LI,  I have to admit that the comeback by Tom Brady and the New England Patriots was mesmerizing.  The much less experienced Matt Ryan and the Falcons were winning 28-3 at halftime, a lead that carried them well into the third quarter.  Falcon fans and Brady haters were celebrating everywhere.  Even the Patriots’ cheerleaders looked less than spirited.

It seemed like the Patriots could not get anything right when the extra point was missed on their first touchdown.   However, another touchdown with a two-point conversion brought the Patriots back into the game.  A Falcon fumble and injury in the fourth quarter continued to fuel the train wreck orchestrated by Tom Brady and his offense.

From that point on, it was the Falcons that could not get anything right, especially when committing a few undisciplined penalties, one of which left them out of range for a field goal that might have slowed the Patriot’s momentum and run them out of time.  Instead, the penalty resulted in the game-tying Patriots’ touchdown.

In the first ever Superbowl overtime,  the Patriots won the coin toss giving them first possession of the football.  This meant that a touchdown would win it for them; a field goal would give the Falcons their chance to score. The Patriots needed no further encouragement; they marched down the field and over the goal line, with very little resistance from the stunned Falcons, for a Patriots (and Tom Brady’s)  5th Superbowl win.

Whatever you think of Tom Brady and however tired you are of him winning, it was an awesome and mesmerizing game to watch, at least the last half was.  If you only tuned in at half time to watch Lady Gaga, I hope you watched the rest of the game.   Whether or not Tom Brady upstaged Lady Gaga is debatable; she did perform a spectacular show.

photos by  fantasysportaction.com  and billboard.com

 

 

Football and snow angels?

photos by Katherine Shayanpour and Kimberly Boville-Belair

Today in Ottawa, the hometown RedBlacks are taking on the Edmonton Eskimos in the CFL’s Eastern Conference final for the chance to play in the Grey Cup.  For you American football lovers, that’s our equivalent to your Super Bowl in the NFL.  Although Edmonton plays in the Western division, the fact that their season record was better than other Eastern division teams gave them a chance (called a crossover) to play off in the Eastern final.  If they beat Ottawa, there would be two Western division teams in the Grey Cup final next week.

The weather forecast predicted snow and blustery conditions today after unseasonably mild temperatures for the past month.  For once, the weather forecast was bang on.  Here in Canada we are somewhat used to playing football in the snow, although apparently there are some players on the field today that are not.

Greg Ellingson has obviously played in the snow before.  After catching a beautiful pass for the Ottawa Redblacks’ first touchdown, Ellingson created a celebratory snow angel in the end zone…

cxuv3-uweai9lgr

photo by @CFL

Although the Ottawa Redblacks were winning 17-3 at halftime, there were a few tense, nail-biting minutes in the last quarter where the Edmonton Eskimos came close to tying it up, the score getting as close as 28-23.  Lots of slipping, sliding, and fumbles, a few too many dropped pass completions and turnovers, but the Redblacks held on to the lead and came out on top 35-23.

photos by Kimberly Boville-Belair and Katherine Shayanpour

Congratulations to the Ottawa RedBlacks. Bring on the Grey Cup!

Are you ready for some football?

Are you ready for some football?  Super Bowl 50 just got underway in San Francisco with Lady Gaga singing the American national anthem.  What an incredible voice!

 

The Carolina Panthers quarterbacked by Cam Newton faces off against the Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning.  The 26 year old, brash, confident, youngster vs the 39 year old, calm, soft-spoken veteran; who will reign supreme?

The snacks are ready…

 

2_edited-1

 

Since my husband thinks the Carolina Panthers will win big, I am cheering for the Denver Broncos…….stay tuned

 

Mother Nature Outperforms the Ottawa Redblacks and BC Lions

Mother Nature definitely outperformed the Ottawa Redblacks and BC Lions football clubs last night with a spectacular thunderstorm.  The game was a low scoring one (7-5 for BC) with no touchdowns recorded.  There were very few skilled passing or running plays performed by either team, with the roar of a chainsaw announcing a Redblack first down an uncommon sound.  The fans enjoyed the game nevertheless, shouting MOOOCHOIR each and every time a “flag on the field/mouchoir sur le terrain” was announced.  Unlike the sound of the chainsaw, the MOOOCHOIRs  were frequent.

Mother Nature’s contribution to the entertainment caused a rain delay in the fourth quarter, which of course happened just as the Redblacks had moved the ball down the field into field goal range with a late surge of momentum, hoping to add the three points to their score to clinch the victory.

We heard the thunder and saw the lightning as the storm approached the stadium, but we all hoped it would pass us over.  As the storm hit with a torrential downpour and gale force winds that sent sideline advertising sailing onto the field, the officials cleared the field announcing a rain delay, forcing the players and fans to safety.

Like most thunderstorms, it was over quickly and the game continued, but the Redblacks were unable to catch the Lions.

 

 

Thirty six hour pre-Christmas Family Vacation

It is not often that all five members of my family get a chance to spend quality time together, so when it does happen it means the world to me.  This past weekend we piled into our family van and drove to Toronto, leaving Saturday morning and returning very late Sunday night.

My husband and three sons are avid NFL fans, so for my husband’s birthday in August I purchased five tickets to a football game between the Buffalo Bills and the Atlanta Falcons to be played December 1st in Toronto’s skydome.  The NFL started scheduling games in Toronto a few years ago to increase their fan base in Canada.   From what I saw, it seems to be working; what a crowd!  My family are all Miami Dolphin fans, so were actually cheering against the Bills for the Falcons, as the Dolphins are battling with the Bills for a wildcard spot into the playoffs.  The game was very exciting and although the Bills got off to an early lead, the Falcons fought back and won in overtime, due to a turnover by the Bills which resulted in a Falcons field goal.

Although our eldest son graduated from Queens University in Kingston, and has never lived in Toronto,  he has visited friends there often and so made a great tour guide of the city.  We stayed at the Hilton Hotel on Richmond St West, right downtown, within walking distance of the CN tower, City Hall, the Eaton Center, lots of great restaurants and of course the stadium where the game was played.

Fortunately the weather was not too cold, so we enjoyed the walking tour of Toronto Saturday night.  The Christmas lights throughout the city were quite beautiful and there were lots of people out to enjoy the season’s festivities around City Hall.  Sunday, game day, was rainy but the stadium is covered so we were very comfortable.

Even the traffic was bearable; we parked at the Hilton and walked everywhere, so after the game when everyone was heading to the subway and the parking lots around the stadium, we were able to get to our car and get out of the city with no delay.

We were all exhausted Monday morning for work and school, but the adventure was fun.