Dawned on me this AM that I hadn’t yet posted anything on the Super Bowl, so here goes: I found myself at the start of the game really ambivalent about who won, and fully expecting a Pats blowout. Now, I wasn’t all that surprised that the Giants got there; I had them even money to upset the Pack. But the Patriots? Another story, I thought. And while I’m not at all a Patriots fan, I’d found myself sort of rooting for them recently, only because of the history that was about (so we thought) to be made. Then again, I love underdogs, and the Giants were one, and I like Eli Manning, and all of that together put me in a frame of mind for over half the game of “well, whatever happens, happens”, which isn’t the way I normally look at sports (nor want to normally look at sports).
But about halfway through the third quarter, the sheer guts of the Giants won me over, as well as the fact that I really, really don’t like Bill Belicheat and the Patriots. And thus I began to pull for the Giants, when they were down 7-3, and thus I was pleased by the outcome. Couple things, and I’m done: one, what was Belicheat thinking, going for it on 4th-and-13, eschewing a 49-yard field goal attempt? This is the greatest team in football, and they can’t trust their kicker indoors to kick a less-than-50-yard field goal? A sports guy yesterday said that he’d looked up the stats, and the odds of making it on 4th-and-13 were 7 percent. Did Belicheat get cocky, believing his Pats and Tom Terrific couldn’t be stopped? At any rate, those three points were the margin of victory…
Two, as usual, we can look at a couple plays and tell the story. The obvious one was the scrambling-Eli-to-David-Tyree circus catch (I predict that catch will become the new standard in postseason receiving lore) that kept the drive alive for the Giants. Brandon Jacobs getting the yardage on 4th-and-1 is obvious as well. But the play that sticks in my mind is Asante Samuel having an interception in his mitts and letting it get away. He makes that catch, and it’s game-over, Patriots go 19-0, “nice try, Eli”. But he doesn’t.
And the rest, as they say, is history.