Super Bowl Sunday

This upcoming Sunday marks the 51st time people have gathered with friends, food, and drinks to watch funny commercials and the NFL Championship. It’s Super Bowl Sunday.

For a high schooler like myself, it’s probably the only sunday night that you’re looking forward to. Other than Super Bowl Sunday, sunday nights are just a huge sigh as you start thinking about the incredibly long week of school that will start the next morning.

On Super Bowl Sunday, family friends get together to enjoy a night that celebrates the game of football. There’s usually some betting, and sometimes the Giants, Steelers, or Patriots are in it.

In my community, this would mean someone at the party is both nervous and excited to see their favorite team take the field. This year, the Patriots take on the Atlanta Falcons, who are quite the juggernaut that no one really saw coming.

With a coaching staff headlined by Dan Quinn and Kyle Shanahan, the Falcons cruised past the Packers with ease in the NFC Championship, making a crystal clear statement that the Patriots will get a run for their money.

The Falcons are in the Super Bowl for the 2nd time in franchise history, and haven’t been there since 1999. On the other hand, this isn’t Tom Brady and Bill Belichick’s first rodeo. This will be Brady and Belichick’s 7th Super Bowl appearance, and they’ve been very successful other than the two times against my Giants.

This game is very hard to predict. It’s hard to pick against Brady and the system, but the Falcons blew threw the NFC with ease. Both teams are more offensive minded, but both defenses have been overachievers.

In the past, the Giants were able to beat Brady with pressure. If the Falcons can dominate the New England offensive line, it could be a long day for Brady. The Falcons have Vic Beasley Jr, who led the NFL in sacks this year and could be a difference maker on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the Falcons offense has the weapons to gash any defense, and they’ve proved it. Between Julio Jones, Devonta Freeman, Tevin Coleman, Taylor Gabriel, and Mohammed Sanu, Matt Ryan has a handful of playmakers around him.

While I would like to see the Falcons shock the world, I would also like to see Tom Brady silence the haters once again. Brady went to Michigan, so he is automatically my boy. The best QB of all time is constantly debated, but I want Brady to solidify himself as the best ever.

Without Gronk for most of the year, Brady has led the Patriots to convincing wins with a receiving core consisting of Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan, rookie Malcolm Mitchell, and Danny Amendola. In the AFC Championship, Brady made Chris Hogan look like Randy Moss.

If the Patriots can beat the incredibly talented, well-coached Falcons on Sunday, the argument for Brady only gets stronger.

I can’t make a prediction, but I will say that I hope it’s a crazy game and Brady throws the winning touchdown in the final moments.

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The Student Section

High school athletics means a lot of different things for different people. For some, it’s just an extra curricular to put on a college application. Some people just love being a part of a team. And for many, it’s a ticket to a better education than they could’ve ever imagined.

Whatever the reason, high school sports bring a bunch of kids together to represent their school, and ultimately their community. On the other side, it is the other students’ responsibility to show their support.

Going into this school year, there was definitely a lack of school spirit at my high school. In early September, the gym was quiet for volleyball games. It was boring, and it seemed like everyone was there only because they had to.

It wasn’t a good feeling, being an observing student. I can only assume it wasn’t the ideal home court advantage that the players hoped for either. So, my friends and I decided to start the official student section.

As the fall season went on, we began to see bigger and bigger crowds at volleyball, soccer, and football games. Realizing that our efforts were working, we wanted to expand even more. We decided to create a wild home court presence for basketball season.

In preparation, we made t-shirts that read “6th Man” on the front, with a cougar paw on the back. While there are five basketball players on the court from our school, we wanted the student section to be the 6th man that gave our team an advantage.

In addition, we didn’t even keep the profits. Only concerned with creating a sea of 6th Man shirts at basketball games, we donating the profits to a club that raises money for kids in local hospitals.

Then came the first game. Right after school we blocked off a section of the bleachers with yellow caution tape, went home to wait until game time, and hoped desperately for a good turnout.

A good turnout would’ve been an understatement. Sure enough, soon after the caution tape was taken down, the student section was born. Students flooded into the bleachers, a lot of them never having come to a basketball game before.

Not only was the attendance incredible, but the participation exceeded our expectations as well. Everyone joined in as we yelled, heckled the opposing team, and cheered for our own. We won the game, and from then on, the student section has given our team home court advantage.

Our basketball team boasts a 5-2 home record so far this season, both losses to top 15 teams in the state, a major improvement from last season. After all, 6 men is more than 5.