Sunday, February 3, 2008

18 and D'OH

Repeat after me: The Giants beat the Patriots to win the Super Bowl.

Let me rephrase that. The Giants are Super Bowl Champions.

Let's put that into perspective. If I would have told you on December 10th that Eli Manning would lead the Giants on a game winning drive with 2:00 left in the fourth quarter to beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl, you would have had me committed to my local mental hospital.

Fast forward two months and that was exactly the scene that played out Sunday night in Glendale, AZ as the Giants shocked the football world with a thrilling comeback victory in Super Bowl XLII over the New England Patriots 17-14.

And yes, Eli Manning was named the Most Valuable Player.

So how did this twist of fate happen? Let's just say that Karma is a bitch.

Just ask New England Patriots Owner and CEO Robert Kraft, who had the phrase "19-0 The Perfect Season" trademarked before the Patriots played the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII.

Before Super Sunday, the Patriots were 18-0 and 11.5 point favorites heading into the Big Game. After a stunning, last second loss to the Giants, Kraft now has a trademark saying that isn't even true.

How about this for more proof of karma. Kraft's coach, Bill Belichick, already has three Super Bowl titles. However, thanks to his wardrobe attire in last night's game, he will not have a fourth to put up on his mantle. Belichick choose to wear a red hoodie, not his customary grey hoodie. The last time Belichick wore the red hoodie was in a lose to the Colts in the 2006 AFC Championship game. I think the red hoodie has found its way into the garbage can.

The 2007 New England Patriots had a roster full of 11 Pro Bowlers and the Giants had exactly 1. There's that funny thing called karma again. It struck the Patriots at the most inopportune time after such a perfect season. The Giants played as a team; no one player was bigger than the offense or defense as a unit. The Giants defense made MVP Tom Brady look like, well, the normal Tom Brady. Some of his throws were off, and the same QB who threw for a league-record 50 touchdown passes this season lacked mobility in avoiding the pressure from the Giants front seven.

During the week leading up to the Super Bowl, Pro Bowl receiver Randy Moss, whom the Patriots stole in the offseason in a trade with the Raiders for a 4th round draft pick, was given a restraining order by an ex-girlfriend who accuses Moss of “battery causing serious injury" to her at her Florida home. Karma striking again? You bet.

That little thing called Karma also showed up on the Patriots sideline after taking a 5-month vacation allowing the Patriots to become the first NFL team to start a season 18-0. They set an NFL record for most points scored in a season. But when the time came to win their most important game of the season, they choked away a chance at immortality in the Arizona desert.

The football gods waited until the biggest stage possible to exact their revenge on the Patriots. Instead of being celebrated for their invincibility, the Patriots will be remembered for their fallibility.

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