Monday, February 04, 2008

The Patriots failure

I'll admit it. I was rooting for the New England Patriots to win, if only because I wanted to witness a perfect season (and, in the process, tell the '72 Dolphins that they can finally STFU now).

Alas, it wasn't to be. And the New England Patriots, instead of being remembered as the greatest team in the history of the NFL with an unblemished 19-0 record, are now more likely to be remembered as the biggest failures in NFL history.

Not the worst NFL team of all time, mind you; the 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers have that title locked up. But the worst failures of all time in that, after dominating the league, winning eighteen games in a row - a feat unparalleled in NFL history - and creating an aura of absolute invincibility as they marched into a Super Bowl that they were heavily favoried - indeed, all but ordained - to win...

They failed.

Credit the New York Giants. They did their homework and they came to play. The domination of the Patriots' front four by the Giants' defensive line was almost pornographic in its explicitness. Eli Manning stepped out from his older brother's shadow to make the plays that win championships, including his evading a sure sack and making the miracle completion to David Tyree that saved the Giants' last possession and ultimately led to their go-ahead score. The Giants, a pedestrian 10-6 entering the playoffs as a wildcard, came into yesterday's championship game prepared to change the course of sports history. And they did. In the words of commentator Mike Celizic, who incidentally thinks that yesterday's game was the greatest Super Bowl in history, the New York Giants turned back the Patriots "at the very gates of immortality."

And that, unfortunately, is what the 2007 New England Patriots, with their 18-1 season, will always be remembered for.

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