Before last night’s Super Bowl, I asked a question, about which I was totally sincere:
How insane would this game have to be to match Game 7? Late lead changes, Hail Mary ties it, overtime … still don't think it gets there.
— Brett Taylor (@BleacherNation) February 5, 2017
There weren’t really any late lead changes, and no Hail Mary (but that Julian Edelman catch that led to the tie was probably even more improbable than a Hail Mary), but I’ll admit: that game was as close as it could have been to matching Game Seven of the World Series.
The problem for the Super Bowl was always going to be the lack of the extreme historic context for the Cubs and Indians coming into the game (and the crazy six game series that came before it). Further, Game Seven has come to be regarded by many, when considering everything, as the greatest baseball game in history. Will this Super Bowl be regarded as the greatest football game ever? I tend to doubt it.
Consider the win probability charts:
A look at the dramatic turn in win probability in the Patriots' Super Bowl win pic.twitter.com/1SYGxRBuEK
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 6, 2017
Win probability for Game Seven – not as extreme as Super Bowl LI, but more back and forth. FWIW. pic.twitter.com/eSwpyo2Pr0
— Brett Taylor (@BleacherNation) February 6, 2017
There’s no debate that the swing in the Super Bowl was more extreme, and that the comeback (Patriots’ chances bottomed out near 1%) was even more mathematically impressive than the Cubs’ 3-1 series comeback (about 15%) or the Indians’ game-tying comeback in Game Seven (just under 4%). But the Super Bowl was something of a steady game, slightly-less-thrilling game, thanks to mere two arcs: the Falcons went nuts, then the Patriots went nuts. The end. Game Seven, by contrast, had the Cubs getting out to a big lead, the Indians tightening things up, the Indians then tying things up, the Cubs then taking the lead in extra innings, and then the Indians scoring in extra innings, and leaving the tying run on base when the game ended.
It’s a fun, completely meaningless debate to have. For me, as I sit here this morning, I’m thinking that Game Seven was more thrilling, more impressive, and more important.
And, of course, I won’t leave you hanging. We can’t talk about Game Seven OF THE CUBS WINNING THE WORLD SERIES without showing a really nice highlight package from the game: