Feb 5, 2008
I wasn’t able to touch on the Super Bowl yesterday because I was finishing up the “Lessons Learned” article, but I’ll chime in here. I usually try to avoid taking about things that have been beaten to death, but this one was big.
First of all, I feel great for the Giants, and especially for Eli Manning. The Manning’s have a lot of haters out there, some in the media in fact, and they have been shut up, probably forever. There’s nothing more special in sports than watching teams and players execute at the most important time. It’s what these players prepare for and practice for decades, yet we rarely see a scenario unfold as dramatic as the one that unfolded at the end of that game. That last drive is still a blur to me because it was so intense. You gotta love sports.
I don’t know if the Patriots really cheated, and if they did, if it truly helped them. More specifically, I don’t know if what they did differed greatly from what other teams have done. I know there’s some damaging evidence, but I’m still not 100% sure. Regardless, they had to be taken down; it for the good of the sport on a variety of levels.
I referred to Patriot QB Tom Brady “Tom Lethargic” after the AFC title game, and again in the Super Bowl he did not appear to be himself. I’m not sure if he was injured, or if the pressure of the undefeated season smothered him, but he wasn’t the same guy. It was very odd to watch.
I do know, as the game unfolded, what his problem was. It was a lesson learned from the game, and it was very obvious. It matters little who you are, you could be the greatest quarterback in the history of the league, if you don’t have time to throw, you’re ability to play the position is severely limited, if not completely destroyed. It was no big secret that the best way to humanize Brady and to beat the Patriots is to get home and get to the quarterback. The Giants, unlike everyone else, just found a way to do it, and that’s why they won. Of course, they also found a way to protect their guy Manning, which is probably the second most important reason they won.
While their players and head coach came across as humble, there’s an arrogance here that is disconcerting. I’ve always sensed a disingenuous tone whenever they’ve come across as humble, especially from Brady. Brady and Randy Moss won’t be making the trip to the Pro Bowl this weekend. I wonder if they would have done so had they won the game? Uh, yeah, they would have.
So unless you’re a Patriots fan, it was a very satisfying game and end to the season. I was watching the game with a few people who were rooting for the Pats in the first half, yet converted to Big Blue’s side by the end, so the big game had a very cathartic effect, which was great. All is well with the world now, even if you’re a Pats fan (after all, you still have three titles and your team did go 16-0).
As for Plaxico Burress and my big money league (see previous post), his quiet game did cost me a couple of thousand, but his TD catch did get me second place and $800, so I can’t complain.
And by the way, final lesson learned in 2007, and I’ve written this before. When in doubt, go with a Manning.