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New England Patriots' Tom Brady holds the Vince Lombardi Trophy after defeating the Atlanta Falcons in overtime at the NFL Super Bowl 51 football game Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017, in Houston. The Patriots defeated the Falcons 34-28. At right is Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

So Falcons fans, when are we going to protest?

That's right. Protest.

Everyone's doing it.

Something doesn't go your way, let's take to the streets. Signs. Chants. Bring out all the bells and whistles.

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Jay Greeson

That's what we do now, right?

Consider the scenario and see if this sounds familiar:

Big event with huge — YUUUGE — TV numbers.

One side — from the South mind you — builds a huge lead and seems to be a surefire winner.

Then here comes a swashbuckling guy with a supermodel wife from a big city up north who pulls off an amazing comeback.

So where are the #NotmySuperBowlwinner or the demonstrations in the streets?

Of course, there aren't any. It's sports, and that's kids stuff, some will say.

Well, yes, it is sports. A happy diversion from the nasty stuff for a large number of Americans, and that diversion is never bigger than the Super Bowl.

More than 120 million Americans watched Sunday night as New England rallied from 25 points down to beat Atlanta 34-28 in the first game decided in overtime in Super Bowl history.

But even that diversion has become part of the country's divisive political discourse.

There was Colin Kaepernick, the knee-taking-during-national-anthem quarterback for San Francisco who stole headlines before revealing that he didn't vote.

There has been a litany of outspoken players, coaches and owners against President Donald Trump. Among them is Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett, who said before the game was played that if New England won he would not go to the Trump White House. (For what it's worth, Patriots team owner Robert Kraft is a close personal friend of Trump's.)

There has even been some backlash because Lady Gaga, who has been vocal about her anti-Trump views, simply showed up and delivered a great halftime performance that was not overly political.

Amid all the disappointment about Lady Gaga's relatively neutral performance — the fact that newspaper writers actually complained that she didn't protest is a sad statement on the current state of journalism — here's one person who was happy with the evening being about football players playing football and pop singers singing pop songs.

Heck, the backlash even ventured into the commercials during the game. For those unaware, the commercials during the Super Bowl are the pinnacle of marketing.

A 30-second ad Sunday was more than $5 million.

Sunday night was no different, including the PETA folks complaining on social media for the Ford ad that had a kitten filmed with a box on its head. Seriously, and yes, with all that's happening around us, it's pretty tough to get worked up about a kitten with a box on its head.

There also was blowback at Budweiser for what was perceived as a pro-immigration slant in its ad. At the same time as the commercial was being praised by critics, #boycottBudwiser (yes, the spelling was off) was trending on Twitter.

So it goes. No matter who you are or what you're pitching, someone somewhere will be offended.

And then comes the protest, whether it needs it or not.

Contact staff writer Jay Greeson at jgreeson@timesfreepress.com and 423-757-6343.

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