Lyons: Super Bowl reminds players to play to end

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, February 8, 2017

I bought my husband one of those smart speakers for Christmas.

It’s a pretty cool little invention. You can tell it to do stuff, get news headlines, weather forecasts and ask it silly questions.

My husband mostly uses it to set a timer for the dryer because the actual timer on the dryer stopped working some time ago.

My daughter and I use it to play music, get it to tell jokes, make up goofy songs about the dogs and look up stuff. I think it’s awesome.

Remember when I said I got it for my husband?

Sunday night, just as Super Bowl LI was about to finally kick off, I was scrolling through my Twitter feed when I spotted a tweet from a fellow sports scribe.

He said his smart speaker had predicted the outcome of the game.

Intrigued, I paused the pre-game festivities and asked Alexa, “Who is going to win the Super Bowl?”

She definitely surprised me when she said something like, “The Patriots are a three point favorite to win the game, but the Falcons’ offense should soar to victory.”

We got a nice chuckle out of it, and I encouraged other owners to ask their computers the outcome.

Then we dug into the 7-layer dip.

As the Falcons began to dismantle the Patriots’ finely tuned machine throughout the first half, we were amazed at Alexa’s psychic abilities.

Of course, as Saints fans, we had a hard time rooting for the Falcons at first, but I usually do take up for the underdog.

Plus, how could I not root for our own Tyson Jackson, the former West St. John and LSU standout, who is now a Falcon?

I had talked to him last week about the game. He told me he was thrilled to have the opportunity to play in a Super Bowl for the first time and was looking forward to trying to stop Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

He also was stressing about all the requests for tickets from his family and friends back home.

As the team went into the locker room at halftime, I saw him pointing and waving at some folks in the stands, so he must have gotten a few friends in.

Jackson had a pretty good game, by the way, recording a tackle and I saw him hurry Brady once or twice. He got on TV and had his name mentioned by the broadcast crew.

And I’ll bet there were a few moments when he was thinking, “Man, we’re about to win the Super Bowl.” Alas, it was not meant to be.

The greatest quarterback to ever play the game led the Patriots on a comeback in the fourth quarter, sending the game into overtime, where the Pats won 34-28.

I know Saints fans throughout the land were cheering because the “Dirty Birds” lost. They just couldn’t help themselves.

I felt bad for Jackson, though. I’m sure he and his teammates thought the game was well in hand. There’s a lesson there.

It’s not over until it’s over. In the aftermath of the game, I saw quite a few coaches using Sunday’s game as a teachable moment for their players.

Jackson knows it. Last he talked about his sack of Aaron Rodgers in the NFC championship game, a moment he was very proud of.

“I know this, you have to play every play until the referee blows his whistle,” he said.

And you have to play every game until the final horn.

Lori Lyons is sports editor at L’OBSERVATEUR. She can be reached at or 985-652-9545.