Super Bowl wrapup (No...more...goddam...predictions)

A moment of your time, please? I know you’re all busy celebrating or gnashing your teeth or breaking out the champagne for various and sundry reasons or sitting there in stunned silence, or stunned, not-so-silence, but I’ve lived half a lifetime of turmoil in roughly 2:35 game time (longer than that with clock stoppages, of course, but who’s counting), and I need to get this off my chest NOW.

In a previous thread (search for it; I’m too drained right now to recall), I made what seemed at the time like a very modest prediction. Quote: “Patriots win. Never mind by how much.” No crowing about double-digits or running it up or showboating or whatever. And indeed, I didn’t see any reason why they wouldn’t. Yes, I was well aware that Tom Brady was not omnipotent…last year’s AFC Championship against the Colts, where he horribly misaimed a 3rd down pass that would’ve iced it and sat helpless as it all slipped away, resoundingly drove that point home. Yes, I knew of Randy Moss’ history, including his notoriously fickle work ethic. No, I didn’t think “Spygate” gave them any major advantage (the equivalent of the Brazilian soccer team taking dives…if it helps a bit, fine; if not, they’re still a juggernaut) and wouldn’t have raised a stink even if it did. Plain and simple, I thought the Patriots were better. The game could’ve gone a number of ways, but I was confident if the worst did come to worst…i.e., down late…they’d galvanize, like they always did, and pull ahead. Maybe 3 points, maybe 1, but again, an inch or a mile.

This line of thought has rarely let me down. The 49ers clearly outclassed the Chargers, and the final score indicated that. The Bills never stood a chance against the Herschel Walker Trade Cowboys either time. And both teams in the AFC Championship game put together would’ve barely made a dent in the '85 Bears. The regular season may be full of upsets, but in crunch time, the strong beat the weak.

Even so, I wouldn’t have had any qualms about being wrong (shoot, it’s not like I’m being paid for this), inasmuch as I’ve never…not one time, ever…rooted for the Patriots to win the Super Bowl. If anything, I was relieved when that Brady’s last pass against the Colts hit the cold hard ground, as this squad has had FAR more than their share of unbelievable luck. Christ, the first Super Bowl run alone had about 500 seasons’ worth of flukes and blips and bleeps and quirks. And if anything, I felt that the Giants just wasn’t getting enough respect, neither now than their last Super Bowl, the one where the commentators never missed a chance to tell us how much they sucked and were the worst NFC Champion ever etc. The entire frickin’ postseason they were spouting this crap.

But there was one little mitigating factor…18-0. So far. I…and I know I’m not the only one…was SICK, SICK, SICK of hearing about the '72 Dolphins. (Part of it, of course, is that I wasn’t even alive then.) All goddam season long, it’s '72 Dolphins this, champagne popping that (and ages after Snopes shot that one down). By today, I didn’t want to think the words “'72 Dolphins” anymore. It didn’t help, of course, that predictably we failed to get a single candid comment from any actual member of the '72 Dolphins, at least some of which are probably even sicker of hearing about it than me. [NOTE: If they did come forward during the pregame or something, disregard the previous comment. I’m tired and don’t feel like checking right now.] I knew very well that a 4th Patriots Super Bowl would cement Tom Brady’s Hype God status for all eternity, spark months of incredibly tedios Bradshaw/Montana debates, and put a 500-pound cross with a 2,500-pound gorilla on it on Eli Manning’s back, but there would be one great, glorious benefit…no one would ever have to hear about those '72 Dolphins ever again. I felt a little bad about wanting the Giants to lose this, but in the face of this overwhelming benefit, I was willing to deal with it.

And make no mistake about it, the recent years have been an incredible watershed for all kinds of seemingly indestructible sports BS being smashed to bits, tossed in the compactor, and then dropped into the nearest volcano. The Red Sox vaporized The Curse, then three years later, turned 86 years of futility into a meaningless little screwy blip. The White Sox, ONE SEASON AFTER THE RED SOX, ended their slightly less famous curse. The Yankees, meanwhile, saw reality stomp them into the ground and drag them through it for ten miles. Every petty little slimeball attempt to drag down Lance Armstrong and his record for the ages went down in flames. Phil Phreaking Mickelson won his third major. Royce Gracie returned to the league he left in disgust years ago, received a hailstorm of hype and then received a cold reality check. (Not to take anything from him, but there’s no way anyone who expressed open contempt for the direction a league was going and accepted a fight anyway deserved anything but humiliation.) The college football championship picture turned into the most colossal mess imaginable, proving that the National Championship didn’t need a playoff…it needed to be put down. I’ve never lived in a time when there was this much catharsis, this many wrongs being put right.

Of course, I’d rather it not have been the Patriots’ 4th. Embarrassment of riches, and the Giants were due for some good fortune. (Their last Super Bowl was won under Bill Parcells, a Bob Knight-esque raving egomaniac and possibly the most overrated NFL coach in history, and over the most maligned also-ran franchise in the NFL…how much of a burden was that, I wonder.) Nonetheless, I was, in fact, tilting…just a bit, but tilting all the same…in favor of the Patriots. Mind you, it’s been ages since I’ve rooted for any NFL team in any game, so I didn’t think much of it. And I was confident that they’d, at the very least, fulfill my modest prediction. Sorry, G-Men. Just this once, all that is human and decent demands that you lose this game. There’ll be another time. Promise.

Well…well all know what happened. Brainglutton or Diogenes or whoever brought up some possible bad calls, but in the end, it makes no difference (and every Super Bowl has horrible calls, which of course there are never any repercussions for, so there’s no point in bringing it up anyway).

And it felt bad. Real bad. I, DKW, who had not wagered a cent on this paean of capitalisitc extravagance and had no stake other than some tepid off-the-cuff prediction that you probably wouldn’t have even remembered if I hadn’t brought it off, felt bad. Not because I had anything against the Giants (I did establish that I didn’t, right?), but because of the sinking feeling that nothing good will come of this.

The Brady-worshipping There-Can-Be-Only-One media machine won’t stop; they’ll just change the setting from “Brady” to “Manning”. The king is dead, long live the king. If anything, it’ll become exponentially worse since Peyton Manning not only also has a ring, he got it last Super Bowl (i.e. still fresh in memory). We’re also guaranteed pretty much until the end of time that not only will we NEVER, EVER hear the end of the '72 Dolphins, it’ll be the same crap over and over and over, without anyone even raising the obvious issue that’s come up. (I.e. How does 18-1 compare to 17-0, especially since they’re statistically the same? And if we can’t ditch American Idol’s ridiculous last-man-standing elimination format after it’s proven to be a dismal failure many times over, I have no confidence that this issue will ever enter the discussion.) But the worst part is that the team that actually won the Super Bowl, the team that deserves all the credit, the team we should be talking about and cheering and jeering and arguing to the moon…an afterthought. A side issue. Forgotten by April. And don’t kid yourselves; these idiots have been yammering for weeks about how this was a hopeless mismatch and the Giants suck for eternity and you ain’t seen running up the score yet, bub; they’re not going to abandon the script just because the game didn’t pan out the way they expected. (Hey, you remember any mass mea culpa or remorse when things started going south in Iraq and our troops were dying and Iraqi civilians were dying and entire blocks were without electricity and huge, suffocating swaths of anti-American sentiment were building and it was becoming increasingly obvious that we weren’t accomplishing a damn thing and the whole Shrubya Administration was a bunch of bumbling malcontents and all the media hype about how they’d be home by Christmas and democracy would flourish and all the naysayers would be exposed as the limp-wristed doomsayers they were? I sure as hell don’t.)

I made a tiny little prediction and had just a teensy little emotional involvement in the game, and even that turned out to be too mcuh. So I just want to say to one and all, it’s over. No more predictions, no matter how vague or hedging. No more emotional stake, no matter how minuscule. I don’t care if we get the champagne-popping stories until all the '72 Dolphins are dead, because at this point I just don’t give a damn anymore. It’s useless to hope at this point. The NFL is a league of massive streaks, imperious dynasties, justice being stomped into the ground (Driven home rather forcefully by Art Modell winning a Super Bowl. Among other things.), and absolutely nothing ever going right. If there even is a “right”. Sorry, Bengals, being a doormat to the man who wrote the book on overhyped media darling quarterbacks is as close as you’ll ever get. Sorry, Bills, your one and only shot really was a desperation field goal I wouldn’t have wished on Pat Dempsey. Sorry, Browns…at this point six Super Bowls wouldn’t be enough compensation, but it’s just never gonna happen. Sorry, current and all future Dolphins…now you learn what Hell is.

As for what I want from all of you…not much. A little understanding. A thoughtful nod or two. Some reassurance that you’re not exactly thrilled about hearing about the Manning Dynasty and the '72 Dolphins and Spygate for the next six months either. Maybe an offer to discuss the merits of 18-1 vs. 17-0 in a different thread (although that’s not absolutely vital). Putting my past really long OPs into perspective (dang, you thought I went on before:smiley: ). Mostly, though, remember what a fantastic, down-to-the-wire game it was and be appreciative of that, whichever side you’re on.

And above all else, remember that nothing, nothing at all about sports is ever guaranteed. And that’s what makes it so great.

P.S.: 16-0! I don’t care what Don Shula says, that’s worth something!

P.P.S.: I know you like pie. I like it too. No need to run that into the ground, mmkay? :slight_smile:

Sorry. Tom Dempsey. Okay, go ahead…

Well put. As a disappointed Pats fan (who nevertheless has offered untainted congrats to the Giants fans), I approve this message.

How long will it be necessary to keep the TV turned off in order to avoid the inevitable Mercury Morris gloating? :rolleyes:

I was so hoping that the Pats were going to win, just to shut his self important mouth up.

Thanks…simple, but heartfelt. (Wasn’t really expecting a lot of responses to this, but it’s good to see nonetheless.)

Can’t stand loudmouths like Mercury Morris either. Unfortunately, the only ones who can quiet him now are his teammates, and from what I can tell, most of them don’t even want to talk about it anymore. Ah well.

Think a “18 win streak vs. 17 win streak/17-0 /> 18-1” thread would go anywhere?

Hey, open it up in Cafe Society and see where it goes. Could kick off (heh) some good discussions about how you compare the football of 30 years ago with the game as it’s played today, position then versus position today, and so forth.

One element that has a great deal to do with who wins or loses is never part of the calculus. Simply luck. A good bounce in baseball ,a QB escaping a series of tackles then a catch caught against a helmet. You just can not account for breaks and luck. That is why you should not bet your rent money on sports. That is why a much better team can lose to the Detroit Lions.

As a Giants fan, I admit I could hardly be happier over the final result (though I didn’t permit myself to imagine it would actually happen until that final touchdown).

But if the Pats had been going against anyone else, I probably would have rooted for them. Partially that’s because, although I will sometimes root for the underdog, I also think that excellence should be rewarded.

But mostly just to because it would SHUT UP THE FRIKKIN DOLPHINS!

I subscribe to the Miami Herald here. When I started to read the morning-after coverage, I was momentarily disoriented because the sportwriters all sounded like they were writing for the New York Post, and under normal conditions they express utter contempt for all things New York. (I recall one of them saying the 2000 World Series couldn’t possibly be worth watching because both teams were from New York). Then I realized that the Giants were their new heroes because they had saved the record of their precious Dolphins.

I really think the 2007 Patriots should challenge the 1972 Dophins to a game, just to settle it once and for all. :smiley:

I’d pay good money to see that.

Oh, one more thing…where the hell are the debates??

If something like this happened in college football, the message boards would be shooting off flames. 19-0 would have settled the issue for all time. 18-1 opens up about a dozen cans of works. Should a new single-season streak count for something? Isn’t 17-0 statistically identical to 18-1, and if so, which one is really better? Where does this leave the ‘07 Giants’ place in history, especially since they were pretty ordinary in the regular season? How does this Patriots team compare to the ‘85 Bears, the Steve Young team of destiny 49ers, or the Broncos’ two Super Bowls? Who should get to decide what “matters”, what “counts”, and what’s “important”, anyway? Should it matter at all that the CURRENT Dolphins’ team is far from perfect, in fact downright abysmal?

There should be weeks, if not months of raging controversy and arguments being shouted back and forth. Yet so far, all I’m seeing are sore-loser whimperings from disgrunted Pats fans and endless repetition about the Dolphins being the Only Perfect Team. There’s gotta be something better, something juicier…doesn’t there?

(Anyone got a link, go ahead!)

At this point I believe the sore winner yawpings are drowning out any reasoned debate.