The best pass in Super Bowl LI might have come when Tom Brady and the New England Patriots were in the locker room.
We know it sounds far-fetched but hear us out.
At the end of the Super Bowl LI halftime show, Lady Gaga jumped off the stage and caught a football. Remember that?
Well, according to The Boston Globe’s Andrew Mahoney, the man who threw the pass to Lady Gaga was Canton, Mass. native, and former Dartmouth quarterback Brian Mann.
Mann, who is now an associate athletics director at Rice University, was a last-minute replacement for the job.
“I was told they had someone lined up to make the throw, and he changed his mind on Tuesday, before the Super Bowl,” Mann told Mahoney. “So, they cold-called the Rice athletics department looking for someone, and the secretary for the athletic director said ‘There’s this guy downstairs, who’s done some different things, you may want to talk to him.”
While Mann certainly knows his way around a football, the pass he had to make at Super Bowl LI might have been the most difficult of his life, due to the circumstances and the intricate object that he had to toss.
“The general shape was a football,” Mann said. “But because they had put a covering and then the crystals over it, it was a lot bigger than a normal football. The crystals just made it so slippery. That just added to the challenge.”
To top it all off, Mann had to make the pass in a way he never had to on the gridiron, underhanded.
“I had to throw it up and over the foam pit, towards her to try to lead her into the jump,” Mann told Mahoney. “I tried to hit her right in the stomach so she could trap it against her body.
“Because of the challenge of the ball coming out of the dark, we figured out that if I threw it overhand, it was going to come at her with a lot more velocity. The idea was if I threw it underhand, that would allow the football to crest right in front of her.”
Mann delivered a perfect pass on the biggest stage, and even got to stick around to see the Patriots’ historic comeback.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Images
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