When the Atlanta Falcons blew a 28-3 lead in Super Bowl LI and lost in overtime to the New England Patriots, fans across the state of Georgia were smashing their TVs left a right. But no one might’ve been angrier than NBA great Charles Barkley, and he’s not even a Falcons fan.
Barkley has bet big money on the Super Bowl over the last few years, and the Falcons’ collapse cost him a cool $100,000.
The Falcons blew a 28-3 lead in Super Bowl LI
Feb. 5, 2017 is not a date Falcons fans will soon forget. It’s the day their beloved franchise should’ve won their first-ever Super Bowl title. But instead, it’s the day the Falcons blew the biggest lead in Super Bowl history.
After a slow first quarter, Atlanta erupted for 21 unanswered points in the second frame to take a three-touchdown lead. The early lead was capped off by an 81-yard interception of Tom Brady returned for a touchdown. That was the moment Falcons fans looked up in unison and said, ‘Is this really happening? We’re going to win the Super Bowl!’
Atlanta stretched its lead to 28-3 six minutes into the third quarter, and it looked as if the Falcons had it wrapped up. But Brady and company somehow rattled off 25 straight points to tie the game with under a minute left in regulation. Of course, the Patriots got the ball in overtime and won the game with a walk-off touchdown run by James White.
It was one of the most crushing Super Bowl losses in NFL history. Falcons fans didn’t know what to do with themselves, and Atlanta bettors — such as Charles Barkley — were just as devastated.
Charles Barkley lost $100,000 on Super Bowl LI thanks to the Falcons
Barkley recently appeared on the Dan Patrick Show and spoke about the worst beat of his gambling career. He said he bets on the Super Bowl every year, and the Falcons cost him $100,000 in 2017.
“The only time I lost in the last three or four years was those Atlanta Falcons,” Barkley said on the show. “What they (did) in the Super Bowl and what they did against the Cowboys (in Week 2) are two of the biggest choke-jobs in the history of civilization.”
Barkley said he was taking celebratory shots of alcohol as soon as halftime, and he ended up getting fairly drunk by the time the Falcons went up 28-3. We all know what happened next.
When asked how he coped with the loss, Barkley said the only solution was to drink through the pain.
“Well, no. I just got drunker,” Barkley said. “That’s one thing about gambling. You drink when you’re going to win, but you drink more when you’re going to lose.”
The Falcons caused Barkley’s only Super Bowl loss in the last four years
Barkley might still be reeling from the Falcons’ collapse in 2017, but he’s apparently been a successful gambler in other recent Super Bowls.
Barkley told Dan Patrick the Falcons caused his only Super Bowl betting loss in the last four years. He would be 4-0 if it wasn’t for Dan Quinn and his epic meltdown. Barkley might quietly be a Super Bowl sharp, so we’ll be keeping an eye on his pick in 2021.