What can I say. I’m an avid football watcher. Well, truth be told, I play fantasy football more than I actually watch football. I tend to default to the position of having to watch only those games that effect my chances to win on any given week. That probably ruined my football watching. Well, the fact my beloved San Francisco 49ers haven’t done so well lately has a lot to do with the demise of football watching. However, as a Niner faithful, I wait patiently for a resurgence, and perhaps even another Superbowl. But I digress.
Superbowl 42 will either be the crowning acheivement of the Patriots season, or be the one that got away. The New England Patriots, the only team in NFL history to 18-0, could do what the ’72 Dolphins actually finished: They completed the perfect season, won the Superbowl, and sailed off into the sunset. But the Patriots could accomplish the same feat; however, their achievement would be much more impressive. Due to free agency, there are very few dynasties anymore. Teams just don’t retain talent like they used to. With the ebb and flow of players, moving from one team to the next, lured by larger contracts and more prominent roles, owners and coaches find it near impossible to maintain collections of elite-level players. But the Patriots are the exception to that philosophy, given their three league championships in the last few years.
Standing in their way the New York Giants, a team that could arguably be playing better football than the Patriots right now. With a solid, if not dangerous defense, a solid stable of running backs, and wide receivers who are game-savvy, the only real question mark for the Giants has to be the quarterback position. Eli Manning has been the model of inconsistency over the last few years. Many wonder who will show up during a given week. Eli has shown flashes of brilliance, but also some moments of sheer lunacy. Until week 10 of this season, that question still remained. But something turned this team, and Eli, around. If he plays to his potential in his biggest game to date then the impossible may happen. The New York football Giants may win the National Football League’s biggest prize.
Until today, I was unsure who I was rooting for in the Superbowl. Truthfully, I would like to see the Patriots do the impossible, but only for selfish reason: so I can say I was there, I saw the perfect season, I witnessed (via remote) the impossible. But the Giants story is compelling, and their inspiration is, well, inspiring.
On week two of the NFL season, U.S. Army Lt. Col. Greg Gadson spoke to the players, and has been with the team since. Elected as an honorary captain for several games this season, he is special person to the players and coaches this season. But he is unknown outside the immediate team family: U.S. Army Lt. Col. Greg Gadson, who lost both of his legs in May when an IED (improvised explosive device) detonated while he was serving in Iraq. Gadson spoke to the Giants prior to their victory in Washington in September and continues to be a source of inspiration. Players understand their role in the game is simply that: a game. Gadson, on the other hand, has been to the worst place a man can be, and has been humble in his association with the Giants. A compelling story indeed.
So, whether it be the Patriots completing the perfect season, or Giants, inspired by a humble hero, I’m hoping for a good game. I’ll be pulling for the Giants to do the impossible, but if the Patriots win, that will be just fine.