The Patriots are going to win the Super Bowl. Okay, I gave away the big payoff at the end, but there you have it. I’m taking the Pats to take down the Giants.
Surprised? Me neither. Yes, I’m a homer. I root for the Patriots and always have. I was made fun of as a kid by the others in my neighborhood because the Patriots sucked (I grew up on Cape Cod mind you, and I was made fun of for rooting for the home team). I latched on to the Seahawks, and later the Eagles, as a kid just so that I had someone to root for that seemed “cool.” It was stupid, but I never wavered as a Pats fan. I just had to hide it from others.
That seems laughable now. Kids growing up around here have never seen anything but success. My son’s surprised when someone other than the Pats is in the Super Bowl. I tell him to enjoy it while it lasts, but youth is wasted on the young. He doesn’t get it. To him this is just the way things are, to those of us a little more wiser because of years, and the pain of losing, we know better.
That’s why I’m having fun with this run. I don’t for a second believe that the Patriots are the best team in the NFL this year. Heck, neither of these teams are. The best team this year is back in Wisconsin watching, and in my eyes the second best is buying up all the beads they can find for Mardi Gras. The fourthbest is wondering why its punt returner called in sick two Sundays ago.
I thought that the Pats were the third best team in the league, and when the playoffs started I had the Giants somewhere around six or seven. That’s the beauty of the tournament, though. You just have to get there. Both teams survived and advanced. They each got lucky in a lot of ways, but that’s the way it is and here we are
Where we are is a funny place because somehow the Patriots are favored by Las Vegas by 3 points, yet everywhere you look the media’s talking heads are blabbering like the Giants are a 7 point favorite. The Giants have been acting like they’re huge favorites. I’m all for a little swagger, but someone needs to tell Jason Pierre-Paul and Antrelle Rolle to take it down a few notches.
So the G-Men are confident and the “experts” are confident in the G-Men. Is any of this starting to sound familiar? Remember Super Bowl 36, New England v. St. Louis? The Patriots were the lost cause, the Rams were unbeatable. Pats by 3.
I hate to bring it up, but how about Super Bowl 42? David Tyree? Asante Samuel? Anyone? I know, it’s painful, but the roles were reversed. The Pats were the juggernaut uber-team without a chance of losing and the Giants were the to-be whipping boys. But it didn’t work out that way, unfortunately.
Not only have the Giants seemed a bit too pleased with themselves this week, but the Patriots are back to doing Patriots things. They’ve been lying low — well except for Rob Gronkowski’s family — and keeping their mouths shut. They haven’t said a disparaging word about New York, they’ve had fun with one another (Wes Welker’s breakdown of Tom Brady’s hair was outstanding) and they’ve focused on football. Even Gronk, who is just a 6-7 teenager with freakish talent, has kept things quiet and never boasted. He could have easily said “Of course I’m going to play, and I’m going to be awesome,” but instead he just towed the company line.
They haven’t grabbed for headlines. They haven’t been flamboyant. They’ve just been a football team.
More than any X’s and O’s, this is what I’m hanging my hat on for Sunday at 6:29. The Patriots have gone about their business and seem focused on winning this game. They are relaxed (have you ever seen Coach Belichick look so at ease during Super Bowl week?) and excited to play football. The Giants have been acting like they’re trying to prove to themselves that they belong on this stage and can be the top dogs again. The Pats know they belong here.
Listen, if the Giants win the Super Bowl I won’t be that surprised. Both teams are good. Both teams are flawed. It really is going to come down to which one plays better on Sunday, one game for all the marbles.
I just feel pretty good about casting my lot with the team that is acting like they know how to handle the moment.
The views and opinions in the Enterprise blogs are those of the author and are not neccessarily shared by Falmouth Publishing.