When Nike dropped its latest commercial about coming back against the odds, Patriots fans saw a familiar scene, as Danny Amendola crossed into the end zone for the two-point conversion that tied Super Bowl LI.
What follows that play is also a familiar scene to Patriots fans -- the utter shock and excitement of their team orchestrating the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history. Bill Gouveia, a columnist for the Sun Chronicle, is seen pacing in his living room, hands on his head in sheer disbelief.
It is a two-second clip that represents the exact emotions Patriots fans felt in 2017 and what Gouveia has felt for 49 years as a season ticket member.
The original video was posted by Gouveia's son, Aaron, after Super Bowl LI. It got picked up by a few websites in the days following the game, but since then, their family hadn't given the video much thought. Until recently when a representative from Nike reached out about using a clip in an upcoming commercial, but again, the family didn't think much of it until it aired.
When texts and calls started flooding in on May 23, Gouveia was stunned.
"It was just hard to believe that it was me. I remember just the sense of elation [from the Super Bowl win]. You see me with my hands on my head because I didn't know what to do. I was like I couldn't believe that this actually happened," he said. "It sunk in about an hour after I saw it, when more people started to call me and I realized, wow that's a national TV commercial. That is really cool. I go around telling people now, 'Listen LeBron and Tiger and Serena, they kept bugging me to do a commercial with them and I kept saying no. Finally to shut them up, I said okay fine I'll do one.'"
From the cold, metal benches of Foxboro Stadium to six Super Bowl wins, Gouveia and so many other Patriots fans have seen the franchise comeback both in the short and long term – whether it is a game, like Super Bowl LI, or turning the organization into a dynasty.
For Gouveia and his family, the Patriots have been more than just a team to root for. It's a lifestyle. They plan weekends, vacations and even weddings around the team's schedule.
"Practically everything in our lives is pretty much planned around the Patriots and around the NFL schedule for the Patriots and everything else," Gouveia said. "When they moved to Foxborough, it just became much easier to go. Then they really became our team. The great thing about the Patriots is what they do for family. We build our family around it."
The team has proven it is not a one-way street. In 2018, Gouveia's grandson was picked on at school for wearing nail polish, and the Patriots shared a video of Rob Gronkowski encouraging him to be himself. Martellus Bennett showed off his painted nails in solidarity. The commercial highlights all the ways sports can invoke humanity and hope, a reminder that, together we will get through this. That has certainly been the case for Gouveia.
"To see something like that, at least it feels like it gives you hope. At a time when hope is not the thing that really jumps to the surface right now, you know that people have faced tougher situations and come back," he said. "I'm a big analogy person, and the analogy between life and sports is probably the biggest and the most accurate. In 20 years, I probably won't be able to talk to my kids or my grandkids about much pop culture or music or whatever is going on, but I'll always be able to talk about sports. That's something you can't take from me or from them.
You can watch the Nike ad below. You'll see Gouveia around the 50-second mark.