Super Bowl XLVI PreviewPosted: February 3, 2012
Why no one should bet on the Giants.
By Bryan Berlin
I remember Super Bowl XLVII very distinctly. It was my freshman year of college at Northeastern and I was stuck watching the game alone in my dorm room. Well maybe I wasn’t stuck there. I was just anti-social and didn’t want to be surrounded by a sea of Pats fans in the common room.
The Giants had no reason to be at the Super Bowl. They had stumbled into the playoffs and happened to put a string of wins together at the right time to get there, but they were facing the 18-0 Patriots. The team that beat their opponents in the regular season by 19.6 points a game. It was stupid to even think the Giants had a chance in the game.
And then, after one of the wildest catches I have ever seen, the Giants somehow won. I found myself jumping up and down in my dorm room silently celebrating as I heard the pissed off Patriots fans all around me. The Giants had given the Patriots one of the biggest fuck-yous in sports history and all seemed well. The Patriots fans took it better than I expected. I guess it’s not hard when your team is good enough to have a guaranteed spot in the playoffs every year, but now all of that’s changed.
Four years later, we find ourselves in an eerily similar spot. The Patriots came in as the #1 seed in the AFC; the Giants barely slipped in on the NFC side. The Giants surprised everyone on their way to the Super Bowl, winning the NFC Championship with a game winning field goal in overtime. The Patriots safely made their way to the Super Bowl as expected. It’s like the universe is lining up perfectly for history to repeat itself.
And that’s what I hate as a Giants fan. The Giants already had their dream season. Their dream 4th quarter winning drive. The Giants should have just continued their trend of building up expectations early in the season only to disappoint fans when it came to playoffs. That Super Bowl victory should have bought the Giants at least 10 years of forgiveness from fans.
Instead, the Giants couldn’t have put themselves in a better situation for the bloodthirsty Patriots. While it won’t bring them back a perfect season, there is a chance for so much redemption. And the fact that they’ve lost some games this season takes so much pressure off the Patriots players. Instead they can just win to get back at the Giants. Sure, the Giants winning would give them another Super Bowl championship, and probably put Eli Manning into the elite Quarterback category, but there’s just less on the line.
At the end of the day, the Giants are a team that strives on low expectations. On November 6th, after the Giants beat the Patriots 24-20 to get to 6-2 on the season, I tweeted, “The Giants are now at the perfect point to completely disappoint all of their fans.” They ended up losing 5 of their next 6 games. The second anyone gives the Giants any shot or any credit, they will always disappoint you. After those 6 games they sat at 7-6, and most people were counting them out of the playoffs at that point. I know I was. At that very moment, they started a 5 game winning streak which took them into the playoffs and all the way to the Super Bowl. In the 2007 season, it didn’t matter that the Giants had made a similar run to get to the playoffs. They were taking on an undefeated team and no one was giving them a chance. Now, people are giving them a chance, and that’s the last thing the Giants need.
What Super Bowl XLVII will almost surely do is create a new rivalry in the NFL. Up until this point, each of these teams had rivalries with the other New York team, the Jets. Now matchups between these teams could produce fan hatred that may rival the Yankees and Red Sox. Or maybe they’ll just get together and talk about how much the Jets suck. These things are hard to predict.
Speaking of predictions, predicting the winner is hard. Instead I’m going to make these other bold statements:
– Gronkowski is going to play. I hate the media coverage speculating about this all week. If you have the opportunity to play in a Super Bowl you’ll do whatever you have to do to play. If you don’t you’ll hate yourself 20 years down the line for choosing your body over the glory. Instead, you can hate yourself in 20 years for needing a wheelchair because you shouldn’t have played football on your sprained foot.
– Peyton Manning will get more screen and talk time than either teams kicker. This is almost a no brainer. They’re playing in Indianapolis and his younger brother is one of the Quarterbacks on the field. Sorry Lawrence Tynes and Stephen Gostkowski.
– Jets fans will root for the Giants. This was a tough one but I think you take the fact that the Patriots are division rivals and you’d rather have a New York than New England victory. The only curve ball with this is the Giants essentially knocked the Jets out of the playoffs (Katie Baker has polled the public on this topic).
– Jokes you will hear during the halftime show: “I’m hoping for a wardrobe malfunction.” “I wish Britney Spears was here.” “
– Serious phrases you will hear during the halftime show: “Why isn’t she wearing more clothes?”
– Phrases Giants fans will say: “That catch was exactly like the David Tyree catch” (Actual catch nothing like that catch)
– Phrases you will not hear from anyone: “I can’t wait for Smash to premiere after this.”