In my last column I thanked the New York Giants for giving me someone to root for in Super Bowl XLVI. More thanks to them for winning the NFL’s biggest prize and keeping Patriot coach Bill Belichek and quarterback Tom Brady from getting ring number four.
It’s always a great day when the team you’re rooting for wins the Super Bowl. It’s just as great of a day when the team you’re rooting against does not. Now that Super Bowl Sunday has come and gone I’ll go back to not caring about the Giants one way or another and instead go back to rooting full time for my Oakland Raiders.
It doesn’t happen often so I relish it every time it does, but few things in sports are more satisfying than watching Belichek and Brady walk off the field in defeat.
Regardless of personal dislike for the Patriots I have great respect for what their organization continues to accomplish every season. Say what you want about Belichek but the man can flat out coach. Who else could have won 13 games and gone all he way to the Super Bowl with a roster that consisted of 18 undrafted players plus another eleven who were drafted in the fifth round or later?
Could this year be any worse for Peyton? Not only does he miss the entire season but it ends with his brother hoisting the Lombardi Trophy while winning his second Super Bowl MVP trophy. All of this taking place in Peyton’s house in Indianapolis.
I’m sure Peyton Manning is happy for his brother’s success but I’m guessing there’s a part of him that wishes Eli’s success stopped short of passing him up in the championship ring possession department.
Speaking of Eli, while I’ve never been a big fan of his for how he forced his way out of San Diego at the draft in 2004 I give him big props for not only not backing down from his statement before the season where he declared himself a top five quarterback in the league but for playing like one when it mattered most.
Here’s my breakdown on the Manning brothers. I’ll take Peyton Weeks one through 16 but there’s no way I’m not taking Eli when it’s playoff time.
Wes Welker caught 122 passes in the regular season plus another 19 in the postseason. I’m sure he would trade them all for one catch with four minutes to go in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl.
While we’re talking about catches, the one by New York wide receiver Mario Manningham was the play of the game and will undoubtedly be talked about by both Giants and football fans alike for years to come. Welcome to NFL immortality Mr. Manningham and congratulations on never having to buy your own drink in New York for as long as you live. As spectacular as your catch was, David Tyree’s back in Super Bowl XLII was better.
I love the NFL. It’s the one sport that I consistently plan my activities around. In fact I think if you don’t like the NFL you must be a communist or at least Un-American. As much as I love the NFL, I fear that the regular season might be heading towards college basketball as far as regular season relevance. Three times in the past five seasons the Super Bowl champion has finished with a record of 10-6 or worse. In this recent trend, you don’t have to dominate the regular season, you just have to do good enough to get to the postseason and get hot at the right time.
For the love of all creatures big and small Roger Goodell, can we please move the Super Bowl to Saturday night? I don’t know about the rest of you but I’m tired of partying it up for the year’s biggest sporting event only to have to get up and go to work early the next day.
Lastly, congratulations to those of you that bet the first score of the game would be a Giants safety. Cashing a 50 to 1 ticket is always a nice feeling regardless of how little you wagered.
Thanks for stepping into the clubhouse.