Monday, February 04, 2008

SB XLII Postmortem: Pats dreams killed by instant karma

Yeah, this was enjoyable to wake up to this morning.

"Instant karma's gonna get you
Gonna knock you right on the head
You better get yourself together
Pretty soon you're gonna be dead

As is the case with most things in life, last night's staggering choke job by the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII can best be summed up by the lyrics of John Lennon.

Many people have ascribed to the karma theory in describing what happened to this supposed dynasty, this alleged "greatest team ever", this suddenly slow group of tired and aging playoff warriors. And what's a once-cocky Patriot fan to say other than karma came back on 'em in a big way?

Well that and the Giants treated them like a urinal at a Sturgis bar during bike week.

But me being a liberal democrat and all I believe in shit like karma, and I have to agree that there is something to be said for how badly the whole "flaunt it in everyone's face that this team was the greatest of all time and would have no trouble capping off their record-setting season with an annihilation of the Giants en route to an historic title" slant blew up in our faces.

Looking back, I now realize how arrogant and smug I sounded before the game whenever the subject of the Pats chances of making history came up.

When my next door neighbor, Philly fan Robin, asked me if I was nervous about the Big Game, my response was a non-plussed "why should I be, they haven't lost in over a year?"

And I practically made my co-workers throw up with my weekly '___(fill in the win total here)-0 with ___(fill in the amount of games left)more to go' signs. When my boss so slyly inquired this morning, "what happened to 18-0 and one more to go, Jeff?", it was all I could do to keep from bursting out in a hysterical scream of ashamed madness.

So when Tom Brady responded to NY WR Plaxico Burress' mid-week prediction that the Giants would win 23-17 with a condescending "(we're only gonna score) 17 points?", complete with a Madison Ave melting grin and actual bemusement, I could only agree with his reaction instead of noticing what a foolhardy, cocky, and utterly idiotic thing that was to say.

In the end it turns out we were right to be incredulous at Plexico's promise: the Pats didn't even get 17 points.

The hints of bad karma potentially coming back to bite us in the ass came early--illegitimate kids, spying--and often--running up the score, postgame handshakes--so it was fitting that when the ultimate upset had been completed, karma came full circle as Bill Belichick left the field before the game was officially over, sealing his fate as one of the most miserable, unlikeable classless faux-geniuses to ever put on a hoodie.

Speaking of, it was another co-worker of mine who asked the $64,000 question when the gloom had subsided a bit this morning: why was Belichick wearing that god-awful bright & shiny new red hooded sweatshirt for the game? League mandate, I guessed, what with those NFL brass types wanting to put on as glossy a front as possible for the NFL Films folks.

But I think Doni tapped into something there; when Belichick shedded that tattered, nasty old hoodie, the one that had been through the countless battles, that had been privy to confidential tapes, that had been an arm's length away from refusing to shake another coach's hand, he lost his mojo, his security blanket, his irascible prick cloak.

After that fashion faux pas (one in a long line of blunders made by the coach on the day) Eli Manning turned into Peyton, David Tyree turned into Franco Harris, Tom Coughlin turned into a coaching genius in his own right, and the curtain fell on what was supposed to be a team for the ages and exposed the mierable little man underneath.

"Instant karma's gonna get you
Gonna look you right in the face
Better get yourself together darlin'
Join the human race
How in the world you gonna see
Laughin' at fools like me
Who in the hell'd you think you are
A super star?

Payback's a bitch.


Sunday, February 03, 2008

The Dark Night: Pats' dreams of perfection gone in less than 2:00

Super Bowl XLI:
NY Giants 17, New England 14
: Eli Manning

Ding dong the dynasty is dead.

With history on the line and immortality within reach, the New England Patriots fell short in its quest for a fourth title in 7 years tonight in Glenadale, Arizona.

Eli Manning led the Giants on a miraculous last-minute drive, highlighted by an epic escape from pressure that resulted in a huge 3rd down completion, and when Tom Brady's heave on 4th & 20 from the Pats 16 fell short with :02 seconds left, the world came crashing down on a legion of fans up to its earholes in cockiness and condescention for the last 12 months.

Let the onslaught begin.

No escuses, either, the Pats just got whipped. It was a perfect shitstormn of poor play calling, bad passes, stupid penalties, a piss-poor offensive line and a zillion missed opportunities on defense.

Was it just me or did New England's D look to be an average of 105 years older than New York's D, save for that last drive when Adelius Thomas finally showed up and played like a man possessed for about three plays.

Right now I can't even write a comprehensive sentence, so I'm gonna go drown my sorrows, sleep it off, and come back tomorrow with plenty of insightful commentary regarding the next titanic collapse chapter written in the log of New Engldand sports lore.

Should be a fun day at work tomorrow.



Quickie Pick:

Pats 35, Giants 24

Welcome to History, New England!