Now that we can move beyond all this crazy talk about the Patriots being the best championship team of all time, let’s take a few moments to focus on what we’ve learned from yesterday’s Super Bowl upset. In no particular order:
1. Never underestimate the ability of the underdog.
This should be becoming more and more obvious to you sports fans, especially after last night’s game. A lot of people thought I was rather crazy to be picking the Giants simply because the KSU Wildcats had upset the KU Jayhawks earlier in the week, but sometimes it takes a prophet to open the eyes of his people. The Giants proved yesterday that no matter how good the other team might be, the underdog always has a chance to win the game.
2. When you start talking about having a perfect season, you’ve already lost.
If Patriot Fans are looking for a scapegoat this morning and they can’t bring themselves to blame Bill Belichick (see lesson three), then I suggest Ty Warren. Why would I suggest a defensive lineman who made 6 tackles (4 solo) and no blatant mistakes in the big game? Because he was the first Patriot to slip up and actually acknowledge that he was thinking about going 19 – 0. This only opened up the floodgates and allowed for several other players to make varying comments on the possible feat. When this happened, I knew that the Patriots had set themselves on a tragic path for failure.
Look, I don’t care who you are or what sport you play, as soon as you acknowledge that going perfect is your goal, then winning the championship becomes secondary. We see it happen every year in college basketball, college football, and the NFL. The only way to be perfect is to refuse to be perfect. It’s what we educated folk call a paradox.
3. Bill Belichick Isn’t Perfect.
Remember after the half when the Patriots came out for their first offensive series? They received the kickoff and marched the ball 48 yards to the NY 31. On 4th and 13, they elected to go for it instead of attempting a 49 yard field goal. Tom Brady ended up throwing a pass out the corner of the end zone missing Gafney completely and turning the ball over on downs. This ended up being the longest time of possession the Patriots had the entire game and not to mention the first decent drive that the Patriots had had since their very first drive which ended in a touchdown.
I’m not one that is big on second guessing coaching decisions and analyzing particular play calls after the fact, but I just can’t help to point out that going for a field goal instead of throwing a 40 yard pass on 4th down might have been a better option, especially when your kicker has made a 52 yarder during the regular season. While there is certainly no guarantee, especially from that distance, it just might have changed one of the most thrilling endings to a Super Bowl game that I’ve possibly ever seen (keeping in mind SB XXXIV was pretty remarkable) into the first overtime played in Super Bowl history and given the New England Patriots a chance to do the unthinkable: 19 – 0. Unfortunately, Bill Belichick had other ideas. I guess nobody’s perfect.
Keep dreamin’, Pats Fans. There is always next season.