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Boston early-edition paper gave Super Bowl LI to the Falcons

BOSTON (AP) — It wasn’t exactly “Dewey Defeats Truman,” but some Florida readers of The Boston Globe learned a different Super Bowl outcome than most on Monday morning.

Early editions of New England’s largest newspaper ran a front page suggesting the Patriots lost to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday night, with a headline that read “A Bitter End” over a large image of star quarterback Tom Brady falling to his knees. The Falcons had a comfortable lead going into halftime, but the Patriots mounted a furious rally and won 34-28 in overtime for the franchise’s fifth championship.

It’s not clear how many readers received the incorrect front page. Globe officials didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment Monday.

Boston-area editions ran the headline “A Win For The Ages” and showed a triumphant Brady holding up the championship trophy as confetti fell.

“When my husband saw that headline he absolutely bounced off the wall,” Mary Tivnan said of the front page they received in North Fort Myers, Florida.

The Brewster, Massachusetts, couple, like many New Englanders, spend their winters in warmer climates. Tivnan said her husband, Frank Tivnan — a former Boston Herald political reporter and spokesman for the late Boston Mayor Kevin White — went out Monday afternoon to scrounge up more copies of the Globe, for posterity.

Globe subscriber M. Charles Bakst, a Rhode Islander also spending time in Fort Myers, Florida, said he sympathized with the deadline pressures that likely caused the Pulitzer Prize-winning news outlet to fumble such a critical story for its readers.

Deadlines, especially on sports stories late at night, sometimes force journalists to write about outcomes and lay out pages before games are final. That lets news outlets publish quickly when games end.

Bakst, a retired political columnist for The Providence Journal in Rhode Island, said the headline reminded him of the infamous front page the Chicago Daily Tribune ran following President Harry Truman’s 1948 re-election victory over challenger Thomas Dewey. He also wondered what impact the flub might have on the newspaper industry broadly, which has been struggling for years as more people turn to social media and online news sources.

“I worry that this incident might cause some readers to say, ‘That’s it, I’m done with newspapers,'” Bakst said.

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