The Patriots’ path to perfection ended up with a detour, which led to a cul-de-sac. And at the dead end that was the end of the Patriots’ season, the whole world came crashing down on the undefeated club. It hadn’t even been 48 hours since the Patriots devastating loss and already members of the 1980 Soviet Union hockey team were calling Robert Kraft to thank him and the rest of the macaroni and cheese makers for finally ending their 27-year reign as sports’ biggest embarrassment.
And the Patriots are getting a run for their money for that title as well, but not by the New York Giants, but by the hosts of the FOX pre-game show. While Terry Bradshaw was too busy riding Tom Brady’s jock, hoping he might get asked to accompany Brady and Gisele on an off-season getaway vacation, and Howie Long and Jimmy Johnson were too tied up collecting ring sizes from the New England players, comedian, Frank Caliendo was doing their job for them as he was the only member of the pre-game to choose the G-Men to win.
Prior to the Giants removal of the “perfection” tag the Patriots had been deemed, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino already had the floats or duck boats or whatever ridiculous motorized vehicle the Patriots were going to ride in this time lined up on the street. Boston’s biggest sports blog, Bar Stool Sports had championship t-shirts for sale with the pictures of four Lombardi Trophies on them. Everyone from Gillette Stadium to Faneuil Hall was pre-ordering undefeated merchandise, whether they knew if Tom Brady was the quarterback of the Patriots or the defensive coordinator. And, The Boston Globe had been selling copies of their book about the 19-0 Patriots, the world’s greatest team, with special features including Jackie MacMullen running her mouth the same way her team’s star QB was running his.
The cocky and confident Brady, who if you take away his age, looks, and girlfriend is just a younger version of Bill Belichick, just a snob with a smug attitude, made comments about how his team doesn’t throw out predictions and guarantees. In Tom’s words “they let their play on the field do the talking.” I would like to interview their play on the field and see what it is had to say about the game. Probably something along the lines of “How the hell were we 18-0?”
Brady took his NFL MVP title and left it at his Back Bay apartment in Boston for the Super Bowl, playing as though he was entitled to the Lombardi Trophy, as if he were the heir to the Lombardi Trophy trust fund. But, if you take away Wes Welker’s numbers off the stat sheet, you might think you were looking at Rex Grossman’s production for Super Bowl XLI. Welker took Brady’s four-yard passes and turned them into monstrous 15-yard plays time and time again, while Randy Moss hoped that if he ran straight long enough he would have a 80-yard touchdown reception paid for, gift wrapped, and delivered free of charge to his hands.
Tom looked nothing like a MVP in Super Bowl XLII. He looked more like a 6th round draft pick, formerly employed as a water boy for Brian Griese and Drew Bledsoe. I can think of multiple three-letter acronyms to describe Tom’s performance on Super Sunday, but for some reason “Most Valuable Player” just doesn’t fit. Tom failed under pressure, couldn’t move around the pocket, and his passes looked to be intended for souvenirs rather than first downs.
Giants 17. Patriots 14. The difference in the game was a field goal. A field goal that was never attempted because Bill Belichick coached the Super Bowl as if he was playing the video game Madden. Please someone tell me another coach who has the balls to go for it on 4th and 13 in field goal range so early in the game where a touchdown at the time is not needed to win.How about that quickly emerging running game Bill Belichick magically created before the Patriots played Jacksonville three weeks ago. Where was superman Lawrence Maroney who was supposed to do his best Corey Dillon impression in the biggest game of the year? Maroney settled for his best L.T. impression instead, picking up as many yards as the back who sat out all but one drive in the AFC Championship.
I couldn’t help but laugh when Giants players talked about Richard Seymour chirping them on the last drive as he prematurely made post game party plans. I am not sure why Seymour was thinking about partying after suffering the biggest disappointment in Super Bowl history. Maybe he should have been talking to Asante Samuel about making plans to come down with a pick rather than talking to the Giants, rather than asking Rodney Harrison if he was bringing HGH and a bottle of Grey Goose to the festivities or just a bottle of Grey Goose.
Tom Brady always talks about “team” and “team this” and “team that.” But had Tom Brady not been so selfish and used all the tape in the locker room for his own ankles, he could have shared some with Ellis Hobbs, so that Plaxico Burress wouldn’t have broken his so badly on the move he used to catch the game-winning touchdown.Remember the critics who said give Bill Belichick two weeks to prepare for any game and he will not lose. Where do people come off making remarks like that? The guy is not some football god, he is not some hero, and he is anything but a genius. The man took his 18-0 team into a game where they were favored by nearly two touchdowns and looked as if the game film he studied was from Rick Moranis’ playbook in the movie The Little Giants.
Belichick looked lost as time expired, panning the stadium for the nearest tunnel to the locker room, the same way the Cleveland Browns searched for another city after his coaching placed Browns’ fans at the top of the endangered species list ahead of the bald eagle and manatee. He tried to evade reporters and camera crews though he stuck out like a sore thumb in his red hooded sweatshirt, cut up as if he had pulled it from the back of a John Deere.
Belichick met his former coaching mate, Tom Coughlin, at midfield and took part in his 19th handshake of the season. But unlike the other 18, this time Belichick took the walk of shame off the field.