In a moment New England Patriots fans had long been waiting for, Tom Brady accepted the Super Bowl MVP trophy from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Monday morning.
As expected, it was an awkward exchange, given that Goodell suspended Brady for the first four games of this season as a result of the "Deflategate" saga.
Goodell started the ceremony by praising Brady as "one of the greatest players of all time," before calling the quarterback up on stage with a "C'mon up, get your trophy."
The two then stood together as Goodell handed Brady the trophy, smiling awkwardly for photos.
"It's all yours," Goodell said. The two then exchanged a few words that weren't audible.
"Thank you, I appreciate it," Brady said to Goodell once he took the podium, with a sheepish grin on his face.
Brady's comeback in Sunday night's game will go down in sports history after the Patriots pulled themselves back from a 25-point deficit against the Atlanta Falcons to a 34-28 win. It was the first overtime game in Super Bowl history.
It was the Patriots' fifth NFL championship, and Brady won his fourth MVP award. He now has the most Super Bowl rings of any quarterback.
"I think it was just a great team performance," Brady said of the comeback, "a great way to really culminate the season. It took kind of a miraculous efort to do it. I'm just so happy we were able to get it accomplished.
"It was a night I'll never forget. It was a great win for our team."
He said the team was a bit down at halftime, but still didn't feel like they were out of the game.
"It was just such an exciting game," Brady said. "It's an honor to be here and have the commissioner present us with this trophy. It certainly means a lot."
Brady also commented on wide receiver Julian Edelman's amazing fourth quarter catch that kept a key drive alive.
"That was a ridiculous play," he said. "We've had a few catches like that go against us. it was nice for one to go for us. I still don't know how he came up with it."
Brady would not say whether his fifth championship meant more to him than the others because of his four-game suspension stemming from the Deflategate scandal.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick also spoke Monday morning, saying his team earned the victory "all the way" through its hard work all season long.
"I thought we responded to a lot of challenges throughout the course of the year," he said. "I couldn't be prouder of these guys. They just compete and don't stop competing, and we saw that last night.
"What everybody saw last night in the fourth quarter and OT from the New England Patriots is what I've been seeing for the last seven months."
He said it would be "inappropriate" to suggest that Brady put in more effort this season for any reason.
"To insinuate that this season was somehow different, that this year he competed harder or did anything to a higher degree than anything he has in the past I think is insulting to the tremendous effort and leadership and competitiveness that he's shown for the 17 years that I've coached him," Belichick said.
Brady missed the first four games of this season for what the NFL determined was his role in a scheme by the Patriots to underinflate footballs used in the 2015 AFC championship game against the Indianapolis Colts. The team was also docked two draft picks and fined $1 million.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft alluded to the "Deflategate" saga that overshadowed much of the beginning of the season on Sunday night when he accepted the Lombardi Trophy from Goodell, who was booed by New England fans.
"I want to say to our fans, our brilliant coaching staff, our amazing players who were so spectacular, this is unequivocally the sweetest," Super Bowl win, he said.
The Patriots are scheduled to return to Logan International Airport on Monday afternoon.
The celebration continues on Tuesday, as Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has already announced that the Patriots victory parade will be held at 11 a.m. Additional details are expected shortly.