21-3 at halftime. 28-6 in the third quarter. The game, in the mind of most, is over. Then, the unimaginable happens. The Patriots do what no other team has ever done in the Super bowl.
Watching the game, one had to think a Patriot victory out of reach. And yet, it happened.
It begs the question, is there a cosmic force at work in the universe that influences such things? Perhaps it was the power of the fans the propelled the Patriots. A collective cosmic energy that overwhelmed nature and brought victory.
My Red Sox fan friends would say that 2004 was another example. Down 3-0 to my beloved Yankees, they came back to do something no one ever imagined possible.
The temptation to see some cosmic interference (or justice in the mind of Red Sox fans) is powerful.
Yet, it is unlikely. For several reasons.
Assuming there is a god, why would the outcome of a sports competition on a small planet in a corner of a small galaxy matter?
Wouldn’t such a being have more important things to worry about?
Humans, by their nature, seek meaning and causation. They want to know why and how things happen. When faced with an inexplicable event, some see divine or cosmic intervention.
I see random chance and probability. Cosmic has nothing to do with it. Life’s meaning, or the things in life that have meaning to us, are products of our own efforts, our own motives, and the randomness of the universe.
Going to the Super bowl, each team had an equal chance of winning. The probability of things happening that favor one or the other team were about even. The experience of the coach, skill of the players, and random conditions all contribute to the outcome.
Edelman’s catch was as much chance as it was skill and determination. There but for an inch or so and the “greatest catch in Super bowl history” becomes a knocked down incomplete pass.
Many would see the improbable outcome of the game as proof of cosmic intervention. They overlook that improbable is not the same as impossible.
A myriad of factors, in equal measure, determine the outcome. One factor is chance. Someone must win and someone must lose.
If there is a cosmic force, I would hope it would devote its energy to more important issues. This world presents a plethora of choices. The variety and seriousness of these choices point to the absence of such cosmic phenomenon.
Although, I do see the possibility, however remote, of such cosmic influences. And, I fear, this force has a warped sense of humor.
How else does one explain a Cheeto-colored Prevaricator-in-Chief at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?