I was met on the Massachusetts Turnpike today with a Barack Obama banner proclaiming “HOPE” from an overpass. No thanks. No hope in Patriots town today. I went to Starbucks for a “consolation coffee” to start my day. The roast was as bitter as I’ve ever had. The weather here in Boston is a cold, grey overcast shadow. And so it does fit.
The highway was surprisingly clear – my guess is that there are more than a few fans sleeping off the football hangover that is inevitably the crash from riding the 18-0 wave. 18-1 is the difference between an all time great team and being the one Super Bowl loser everyone will remember years from now.
The recrimination begins: why go for it on 4th and 13 in the third when a 49 yard field goal was within reach? Why leave the sidelines while there was still time on the clock? The words of consolation inevitably are offered, but it’s less about losing the game and more about how the game was lost.
It would make this game far too important in the larger scheme of ones’ life to say something about dashed hopes and dreams; as a Patriots fan, it hurts in the way they lost Super Bowl XLII. Clearly, any time your team loses “the big game,” it hurts.
Were there some clear mistakes, were there controversial calls, were there some one fluky occurrence to which the fan could point and have something to complain about some injustice having befallen his team it would be easier. There is nothing easy about taking a 4 point lead with 2 minutes to play after having had your quarterback harassed all game, playing stout defense and losing on a magnificent drive. There is nothing easy about having had the most remarkable football season anyone who has watched the game for an extended period of time has ever seen come down to one remarkable drive in the final two minutes of the game.
For the New York Giants, sporting glory – a well deserved championship, indeed – is in hand. This was a team not many gave a chance to win this football game, and yet the improbable happened. For the New England Patriots, the game came crashing down upon them. Was it the weight of history or just failure to finish? There are many questions to be answered by the Patriots, some of which have yet to even occur never mind to be asked.
It would be so much easier to be able to say the Patriots lost Super Bowl XLII than it is to say the New York Giants won, but in the end analysis the Giants did win the game and the championship. They were the better team on the field and today the New York Giants are the Champions of the NFL. The overcast will lift, and the coffee will return to it’s perfectly balanced self. Today, though, while I’m sure the aches everyone on the Patriots roster are feeling are nothing compared to the pain of congratulating the winner, because as a fan I feel much the same way.