Super Bowl Thoughts and THE XLII PICK
I rarely moan and groan, and when I choose to do so it is always about one thing. Access. Or my general lack thereof. Regrettably, being founder, editor, and sole writer of Ballgamespoints.com doesn’t qualify me for access to Super Bowl Week. There were approximately 5,000 media credentials issued for Media Day XLII, going to everyone ranging from a 9-year-old kid probably skipping a test on the times-tables to a striking Mexican TV reporter sporting a wedding gown and using the platform to propose to Tom Brady. And every other conceivable character in between. Nothing for me though. Bollocks. So here I am again, digesting the buildup to the big game from my cove in
What I will use this column as is a way of figuring out what exactly I’m going to do for the game, which I haven’t yet decided. The field has been narrowed to two choices. I can either A) go to Boston, watch the Pats with my Boston friends on a 62-incher, and pour into the streets of Beantown after the rebirth of a dynasty, or B) go to Staten Island, watch the game on a TV of comparable girth with my New York crew, and run the risk of being maimed. True, the answer seems obvious enough, but don’t jump to premature conclusions. There are pros and cons that go with each scenario.
So how can I possibly find a “con” in that scenario? For better or worse, the sports fervor in
Now I’m knee deep in the “real world”, attempting to make it in the field of sportswriting. And I’ll tell you something. The only thing better than having been in Boston for those two defining moments was being in New York for the 2004 ALCS (Games 4-7 that is). I gained an immense amount of perspective into the psyches of the sports fans in this city, because for once, they revealed something other than obtuse superiority (yes, I’m speaking to you, Yankee fans). Even better is the fact that with multiple teams in each sport, cross-sport affiliations aren’t set in stone. I have one buddy who is a Yankees/Giants fan; another who supports the Mets/Jets combo; another yet who bleeds Mets and Giants; and rounding out the bunch, one guy who has undying love for the Yankees and whichever team Michael Vick will be on come Madden 2010. An eccentric bunch, these New Yorkers.
Which brings us full circle, back to “Super Bowl Scenario B”. All of the previously mentioned characters will be at Cotter’s (aka Mr. Mets/Giants) domicile on
THE XLII PICK
For the record, I’m 7-3 this postseason. More importantly, I’m 4-1 in games which involved the Patriots and Giants, with my first “L” coming after I picked Green Bay in the NFC Championship. (As for that someone who’s 5-0, please make yourself known; I’ll give you your own paragraph.) Because I live in
Unfortunately for the Giants, in Super Bowl XLII they will not be facing the 2006 Colts or the 2003 Patriots or even the 2000 Ravens (who dismantled the last Giants outfit to make the Super Bowl). Those are three of the great championship teams of the last decade. Three title-winning teams that may have seen their own destinies altered if they ran into these ’07 Giants. No, they’re not playing one of those teams. They’re playing the 2007 Patriots, the first group of professional football players to sit at 18-0; the first squad to be both undefeated and slighted; the only team that could claim to be on a mission that trumps the mission of these G-Men. In its NFL standings section this year, the New York Post stuck an asterisk next to the Patriots name every week, which correlated to a phrase at the bottom of the page: caught cheating. The Patriots are determined to maintain that asterisk forever, except with a different phrase to interpret it: only 19-0 team in football history. Damned if the Colts, Eagles, Ravens, Jaguars or Chargers were going to thwart them. Same for the Giants a month ago. Like those before and after them, the Giants smelled blood, Patriots blood, but couldn’t seal the deal.
There’s only one way the Giants can hope to put themselves back in that position: get to Brady. Get to him early and often. Get to him in the huddle, before the snap, after the whistle. Get to him in his sleep Saturday night. If the Giants want to stand a chance, they better understand that anything short of a total incursion on Tom Brady will lead to their downfall. But let’s face it. That won’t happen. The Patriots have come too far. They’ve had a vendetta to settle since their collapse in the AFC Championship last year in Indy, since Eric Mangini blew the whistle on CameraGate in Week 2. Each victory has gotten tougher, but so too has their resolve. When other teams have sniffed blood, the Patriots have sniffed immortality, yet refused to let it faze or distract them. They are out to prove Mangini is a traitorous rat. They are itching to huff and puff and blow down the neighborhood of Mercury Morris and the rest of those loony ’72 Dolphins. They have played 18 one-game seasons to get here. Football may be a business, but winning football games has become the business of the New England Patriots. That job ends Sunday night.
Patriots 30 Giants 24