The New England Patriots scored 31 unanswered points to defeat the Atlanta Falcons in overtime, 34-28, at NRG Stadium in Houston on Sunday, making Tom Brady the first quarterback to win five Super Bowl games.
Just pinch me.
With the spectacle that is Super Bowl media night swirling about him, Chris Long sat at a podium in Minute Maid Park answering rapid-fire questions from reporters as fans in the bleachers shouted.
Last January, he could not have imagined being a part of the frenetic scene. He had just finished his eighth season with the Rams, his second in a row marred by injuries.
“A year ago I was thinking a lot about football or no football?” he said. “I was thinking about if I wanted to keep going, where I would be?
“So I never could have dreamed of this.”
On Sunday, Long will achieve a lifelong goal when he competes for an NFL championship.
The veteran defensive lineman is a key role player for a New England Patriots team that will meet the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium.
And his father, Howie Long, a Super Bowl champion and Pro Football Hall of Fame player, will be on site watching closely — and rooting for his son — while working as an NFL analyst for the “Fox NFL Sunday” show.
“Just pinch me,” Howie Long said Monday.
This is how both Chris Long and his father hoped the season would play out after Chris signed a free-agent contract with the Patriots in March.