Are you part of the Tom Brady fan club, or are you ready to #RiseUp with your Falcons as they fly into the Super Bowl? Regardless of what team you’ll be supporting on February 5, if you’re here on Boat Trader then there’s at least one thing you have in common with fans of other teams: a love of boating.
This year’s Super Bowl LI showdown between the AFC champs, the New England Patriots, and the NFC champs, the Atlanta Falcons, kicks off along the sands of Trinity Bay, Galveston Bay, and the Gulf of Mexico. Known for being a city situated on the shores of the “Third Coast,” Houston, Texas has always been a hotbed of boating, fishing, and watersports. In just a few days, this water-loving city will also become the game day headquarters for crazed football fans from across the country. Whatever the final outcome of the game, you might be surprised to learn that both teams, along with the host city of Houston, have strong ties to the boating lifestyle.
Boat Trader is happy to provide a nautical twist to the pregame coverage by compiling six boating-related things you probably didn’t know about this year’s Super Bowl LI.
Let’s start with the host city, Houston.
1. This year will be Houston’s third time hosting the Super Bowl. The first was in 1974 at Rice Stadium for Super Bowl VIII when the Miami Dolphins defeated the Minnesota Vikings. Most recently, Houston was the host in 2004 for Super Bowl XXXVIII at Reliant Stadium when New England took home a victory against the Carolina Panthers.
Aside from its accolades as a Super Bowl-host city, Houston is home to 90,000 registered pleasure boats and has the third highest concentration of privately owned marinas in the U.S. The Galveston Bay Estuary Program has also reported that Galveston Bay produces more oysters than any single body of water in the country. And we can’t forget about their shrimp harvesting and blue crab population—anyone else starting to crave some seafood?
2. Less than a month before this year’s Super Bowl kicks off, another major event was held in Houston: the Houston Boat Show, known for being the largest indoor show for outdoor sports in America. The show took place January 5-15, and featured more than 1,000 boats and RVs and more than 100 fishing, sport, travel, outdoor, and art exhibits.
New England Patriots
The New England Patriots are no strangers to Super Bowls—and specifically, Super Bowls that are hosted in Houston. As we stated earlier, the Pats made their way to Houston in 2004 for Super Bowl XXXVIII and took home a “W.” This year, New England is back again and looking to do the same.
3. The last time the Patriots were crowned Super Bowl champions was in 2015 after they defeated the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX. Upon their return home to Boston, the team celebrated in true Bostonian fashion—by riding around in Duck Boats. In what’s now become a tradition for the four-time Super Bowl champs, Boston Duck Tours provides the team with “World War II style amphibious landing vehicles” for their victory parade through the city.
Will New England find their way to their fifth Super Bowl victory this year? As the famous Boston native Paul Revere once said, “One, if by land, two if by sea, five-time Super Bowl champion if by Duck Boat…” Or, something along those lines…
4. Patriots head coach, Bill Belichick, has long been known for navigating the waters of Massachusetts in his boat, which is currently (and appropriately) named VI Rings. As reported by CBS Sports, the boat was originally named V Rings, but quickly received a name change after the Patriots victory in Super Bowl XLIX. Belichick currently has four Super Bowl Rings that he’s won as head coach of the Pats, and two as an assistant coach for the New York Giants. As his team heads into Super Bowl LI, VI Rings might very well be due for a name change again soon.
On the other side of the field, we find the Atlanta Falcons. Unlike their opponent, this is only the Falcons’ second Super Bowl appearance. A win in Houston for Super Bowl LI would be the franchise’s first ever Super Bowl victory.
5. Less than an hour’s drive north of Atlanta, boaters will find Lake Lanier—and on a warm sunny day during the NFL offseason, boaters might also find multiple players from the Falcons’ roster. For the past nine years, the team has partnered with the Wounded Warriors project for their annual Fishing with the Falcons event. Players, coaches, cheerleaders, and staff make their way to the lake to spend the day on the water for fishing, fun, and fellowship with military veterans. Take a look at some of the highlights from last year’s event.
6. Lake Lanier is not only the venue for the annual Fishing with the Falcons event, it’s also the home waters of the Atlanta Falcons Training Camp, located in Flowery Branch, GA. The training facilities are less than a 10-minute drive from the shores of Lake Lanier.
So, will Tom Brady bring home his fifth Super Bowl ring, or will Matt Ryan rise to the challenge and lead the Falcons to their first Super Bowl win? We’ll find out on February 5 when Super Bowl LI kicks off at 6:30 pm EST.
Be sure to share all your pictures and videos with us on the Boat Trader Facebook page and let us know what side you’re cheering for. If you’re already planning your Super Bowl Party, why not host the party on your boat? And if you’re thinking ahead to next season, check out our article, Boat-Gating for Football Fans.