The championship of American-style football was decided in Houston, Texas, Sunday night. VOA Sports Editor Parke Brewer was at Super Bowl XXXVIII and reports on the New England Patriots' dramatic, last-minute 32-29 win over the Carolina Panthers.
The New England Patriots won their second Super Bowl in three years. Both times the victories have come in the closing moments on field goals by kicker Adam Venetieri.
In 2002, his last-play three-pointer beat the favored Saint Louis Rams. Here in Houston against the Carolina Panthers, he booted a 41-yard field goal with four seconds left to give New England a 32-29 triumph.
"With this type of venue and the pressure on these [kicks] are never easy, but honestly you try to block all that out," he told reporters. "And a 41-yarder, it doesn't matter if it's in the Super Bowl or if it's in practice three months from now. So you just try to block all the external things out and kick it. But I will definitely cherish this one for a long time."
No one would have expected a total of 61 points in this game, after neither team scored for the first 26 minutes and 55 seconds - a Super Bowl record. However, in the final three minutes five seconds of the first half, 24 points were put on the board, with New England taking a 14-10 lead.
The third quarter was scoreless, leading a wild see-saw fourth quarter in which 37 points were scored. But none were bigger than Adam Venetieri's winning kick.
New England quarterback Tom Brady had three touchdown passes, led his team into position on the final scoring drive, and was named Most Valuable Player.
"Guys made some great catches out there on that last drive," said Brady, "and Adam drilled that sucker right down the middle to win it, so what a game, what a game; fitting for the Super Bowl, I guess."
New England's win caps an incredible season in which the Patriots won their final 15 games in a row. Coach Bill Belichick says he was amazed by his team's achievements. "I'm still kind of on cloud nine," said Belichick. "I'm just enjoying the moment. And boy, this will be an unforgettable season for me."
And it was an unforgettable Super Bowl for those who played in it, saw it in person or watched in on television.