I was going to write a post that explored what might have happened if Brett Favre hadn’t thrown an INT in OT of the NFC Championship Game, which would have basically resulted in the greatest Super Bowl in history no contest, but I came under the weather in the middle of last week, and I can’t really concentrate on much of anything under such circumstances.
As it is, this game is definitely one of the greatest Super Bowls in history, but I’m not sure it’s the hands-down greatest. Part of it is also part of the reason I didn’t want to coronate Super Bowl XXXVIII, which XLII is definitely greater than: the slowness of scoring in the first quarter, in this case the entire first half and third quarter, during which most of the scoring effectively came in the first quarter.
But another part of it? No one (well, maybe except people in the Big Apple) is going to remember this Giants team as Super Bowl champions, unless maybe they turn it into a dynasty of their own. They’re going to remember them as the team that dethroned the perfect Patriots.
The story writes itself fairly well, but I just can’t shake the feeling that the better team did not win this game – that the Giants are champions more by dint of their role in a fantastic story, one that really stretches out over the whole season, than by any actual achievement. Part of it is the rather nondescript nature of the Giants. There’s a definite story surrounding Eli Manning but he needs to show that he really does have his brother’s genes in subsequent seasons. It’s nice that Michael Strahan, Plaxico Burress, and company get rings, but none of them are stars the way the quarterbacks and, sometimes, backs and receivers are. Green Bay would have had a better story: Brett Favre winning a Super Bowl in the twilight of his career and almost certainly pulling a Jerome Bettis afterwards. (Which is why I have less of an issue with the Steelers’ Super Bowl XL win than the Giants’ win here, despite the officiating controversies in the former game and the fact that I myself am a Seattlite.) The Cowboys… well, if this were a youth league or even college, a Cowboys-Patriots Super Bowl would basically have been a ready-written sports movie. But the Giants… the Giants are boring. Let’s face it.
About today’s strip: I did, of course, make the strip before the game, but it did cross my mind that the Giants could win the game. I decided I would keep the first panel regardless of the outcome because… well, you’ll see when you see it.