All for Naught

3 Super Bowl wins in 4 years; dynasty; team of the decade; quarterback of the century; undefeated regular season; 18-0 heading into the Super Bowl; immortality -- all brought to naught by one amazingly, brilliantly, dazzlingly lackluster performance Sunday evening. Did they choke? Or did they simply begin -- after weeks and months of protestation ("series of 1-game winning streaks", etc.) -- to believe their own press? Did they show up in Glendale expecting to win just as 9 out of 10 pundits expected them to win? Did they walk onto that field daring fate to deny them what was rightfully theirs?

The Giants knew it; the Patriots seem to have forgotten: there's a reason they play the game.

And so we have the answer to the ubiquitous question: who wants it more? On this day, on this stage, the Giants definitely wanted to WIN the Super Bowl more. For I do still believe that if they Patriots had wanted to WIN the Super Bowl as much as they appeared to think they should HAVE the Lombardi Trophy, they would have won. They are deeper, stronger, better, and their quarterback is one of the best ever.

But the Giants came to play, and Eli and the boys deserved that win. Congratulations.

Many years ago, Geno Auriemma took an undefeated UConn women's basketball team with no Seniors and four Freshmen into the Big East tournament. They were riding a winning streak that stretched back into the undefeated championship season of the year before, and the pressure had to be getting to them, but they sailed into the conference championship game with nary a hiccup. The Big East tournament championship went to Villanova that year, however, and with that the pressure was off. No longer carrying a two-season-long winning streak around with them, the Lady Huskies were free to sail their way through the NCAA tournament and capture their fourth national title.

Perhaps if the Patriots had lost to the Giants in week 17....

For now I must soothe myself by remembering that the Red Sox have won 2 World Series since the last time the Yankees were anywhere NEAR one, and the Celtics are still in first place and flying high.

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