Scattered Brilliance

From my brain to paper (or pixels as the case may be)

Super Bowl XLII: New York Giants vs. New England Patriots; A game for the ages

Super Bowl XLII will go down in my memory as one of the most shocking outcomes in a sporting event in my lifetime.  Not as much solely because of the outcome itself, but because of what transpired to get there.

I grew up in southwest Connecticut in the small town of Middlebury.  We were fairly equidistant from both New York and Boston and had no loyalties per se to either city.  But we did develop loyalties to teams.  No bond was tighter for me than that between myself and the New York football Giants.

I can remember playing catch with my Dad and being Lionel Manuel or Mark Bavaro or my favorite, Phil McKonkey or diving over the pile of couch cushions piled on the floor as Little Joe Morris.  I always have and always will idolize Phil Simms.

When I moved north for college, I found my baseball loyalties slowly shifting.  Coming off the strike and as a disenfranchised Mets fan into the heart of Red Sox Nation, one season of attending more games than I could afford at Fenway Park after college in 1997 and I was turned.  But my football loyalties stayed true, Giants Blue!

But being a passionate sports fan in the Boston area with no real rivalry or rooting interest between the teams, I allowed myself to get sucked into the Patriots in 2001.  I had moved out west for a few months around 9/11 and was sucked into a homesick whirlwind and the only cures were the Giants and the Tom Brady bandwagon.  I would go so far as to say, I rooted for the Yankees over the Diamondbacks I was so longing to connect with the northeast.  But I digress.

It was easy to follow and root for both teams over the years.  Then this year and the only match up I dreaded came to fruition.  I wanted to see history.  I wanted Tom Brady to lead his team into the record books.  But at the end of the day, I couldn’t root for him against my one and only true football loyalty.

So there I sit, alone and afraid to watch this game with anyone and I see a Giants team play the way I grew up watching and loving football.  I see an aggressive defense punishing the opposing quarterback and I have visions of  Joe Montana slumping off the field after being drilled by Jim Burt as Lawrence Taylor took it to the house.  They are bruising and battering Tom Brady.  It pains me to relish in every sack, but I do.

Truth be told, I thought Brady had won the game with his final drive.  I didn’t think Eli Manning had it in him to march his team 84 yards in 2:30 for the winning touchdown.  I can’t believe that they made it through 4th and 1, then watched the ball slip through Asante Samuel’s hands, then watched Eli slip through the Patriots’ defensive linemans’ hands and throw a prayer that was answered by David Tyree.

I watched as Plaxico Burress made good on his prediction with a perfect route and I watched the Patriots last breath get pounded to the ground by Jay Alford.

But for all the celebrating I was doing for the Giants, I must admit, I mourned along with the Patriots.  At the end of the day, it didn’t feel as triumphant as I wanted, only because the Boston area sports scene has truly invaded my sports soul.

Brady bummed

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