04 February 2008

D-Fence!

Three thoughts I had after the game:

It's been said that defense wins championships, and that certainly was the case last night. But SOMEONE has to put points up on the board, and the Giants offense was able to muster up enough to squeak by. One can't help but think of last season's Bears, whose defense was better than the Giants, but the Bears offense was too weak and inconsistent to make anything happen when it counted. To all those who criticized Eli Manning for his inconsistency, I say two words: Rex Grossman.

And speaking of defense, it's a shame that the Giants defensive line can't get a collective MVP award. Yes, Manning's game-winning drive and extrication from an all-but-certain sack was, well, Brady-esque, and it will surely take the fast track to slow motion replay with baritone voiceover. But David Tyree's (who?) "helmet" catch was pretty special, too... Randy Moss-esque, in fact.

The Giants didn't win because of a game-winning drive; they won because the defensive line was in Brady's face all night long. Tuck, Umenyiora, and Strahan (finally, a ring!) are the real MVPs.

The postgame judgment of the Pats was as ridiculous as it was expected. I would single out in particular the ESPN pundit (don't know which one) who put together a piece defining the Pats as a failure. Yeah, sure... the most complete, deeply talented, and high performing team ever is a failure because one team figured out how to beat them. Uh-huh. Someone tell Roger Federer he's suddenly a failure on hard courts.

The Pats defeat signifies two things: First, it proves rule no.1 in sports: nobody is unbeatable. No matter how great a team or player is, they are never unbeatable. "Unbeatable" teams have lost in every sport at every level. Second, sports pundits are baloney-brained nincompoops.

Yes, the Patriots will be judged by their loss. That's the way most people look at it. But most people listen to vapid teenybopper pop music more than Brahms. Most people think Pamela Anderson and Jenna Jameson are hotter than Selma Hayek and Catharine Zeta-Jones. You see my point.

It's a bit of a shame that it has to be this way, but it is. The Vikings went to four Super Bowls in seven seasons but lost them all so they get little reverence (compare that to the 49ers, who won all four of theirs). The Bills made it to four straight but lost them all. Ouch. Nobody calls the Bills a great team, much less a dynasty.

I suppose my view is this: the Patriots' season was a demonstration of everything that can be great about a football team; the Super Bowl was a demonstration of everything that can be great about football.

Anyone who can't get past judgment of teams and players is saying more about their inability to see the big picture than they are about football.

1 comment:

Mark said...

"I suppose my view is this: the Patriots' season was a demonstration of everything that can be great about a football team; the Super Bowl was a demonstration of everything that can be great about football."

Great line.