Are you playing to win? Or are you playing not to lose?
The difference has never been more stark than in the most incredible comeback in Super Bowl history that just took place today.
With just 8 minutes remaining in the game, the Atlanta Falcons led the New England Patriots 28-12. No team in history had ever made a comeback from 10 points behind. Until today…
The last minute comeback began with Patriot defensive tackle, Alan Branch, stealing the ball on the
Atlanta 25. Quarterback Tom Brady converted the advantage into a pass to Danny Amendola for a touchdown, with a conversion from James White. Score: 28-20.
The Patriots kept pushing with Tom leading a 91 yard touchdown drive and, with just 2 minutes 22 seconds remaining, Julian Edelman made an amazing catch against three Falcon opponents, setting up the field for a touchdown by James and a conversion by Danny evening the score at 28-28 with just 57 seconds left to play.
From a deficit which at its worst was what looked like an insurmountable 25 points down at 28-3, the Patriots had brought the game into the Super Bowl’s first ever overtime.
Twelve minutes into overtime, and James White ran two yards for a touchdown, winning the game 34-28 for the Patriots with a 31 point streak.
What gives a team the ability to stage a comeback as epic as this one today?
Tom Brady (who was only picked by the Patriots as the 199th out of 254 players in the 6th round of the 2000 NFL draft) sums it up when he says:
“I think that at the start of a game, you’re always playing to win, and then maybe if you’re ahead late in the game, you start playing not to lose. The true competitors, though, are the ones who always play to win.”
Late in the game, the Falcons were playing not to lose – and so ended up losing. The Patriots, on the other hand, had nothing left to lose – and so ended up winning.
How about you? What inspiration do you take from this epic comeback?
Are you playing life to win?
Or are you playing not to lose?
Tom himself, at 39 years old, is the oldest quarterback in the NFL. He started the season with a four game suspension as a result of “deflategate”, but has turned everything around by becoming the first player to receive Super Bowls’ most valuable player award four times, and finishes the season with a record five Super Bowl wins.
So take this inspiration for your own personal overtime. And get back in the game.
A big congratulations to the New England Patriots for creating history.
After the game, Tom Brady said of the team: “We all brought each other back. We never felt out of it”, and then looking at the Lombardi Trophy said “We’re bringing this sucker home.”
And Danny Amendola said of Tom: “He was the same as he always is: cool, calm and collected. He’s the leader, the general, the best ever and that is the end of the story.”