Congratulations New York Giants.
You don't need my "atta boy" to validate your victory; you deserve every kudo that comes your way. Not since the "pre-Brady Pats" have we seen a team so thoroughly manhandle the Patriots and smack them in the mouth as the Giants did in the desert last night. That said, I am disappointed and angry. I am disappointed that the Patriots couldn't finish the job. It’s like having a perfectly fine pregnancy for nine months and giving birth to a still born. All that work, all those hopes and dreams, for nothing. I am angry for reasons that have nothing to do with the game last night and the result of the game just makes my anger all the more bitter.
I started watching the pre-game shows around 10 AM yesterday. Of course the usual cast of characters on ESPN were weighing in on the game and doing their fair share of Patriots hating. Assumptions of guilt were being discussed, as fact, concerning "Spygate", taping by the Patriots of the Rams walk through before Super Bowl IIIVI and congressional inquiries by Senator Arlen Spector concerning the NFL's destruction of the spygate tapes. It appeared that no one was concerned about the game at hand and that many just wanted to put as much doubt in the public's mind about the legitimacy of the Patriots run, as to diminish their accomplishment when they ultimately won that evening. This Patriot hating went on into the Fox pre-game with a little less venom, as not to alienate viewers, but enough veiled references to the nation's distain for the Patriots, that I had to stop watching.
I was feeling good about the media coverage of the Patriots until Friday's press conference with Roger Goodell, the NFL commissioner. He got barraged with spygate questions and did a poor job of deflecting them. Then disgruntled Eagles fan, Arlen Spector, senator from Pennsylvania, came out saying he wanted to meet with Goodell, Brady or anyone who could clarify just what was on those "spygate" tapes. As Saturday rolled on the media frenzy over the Patriots intensified. A former employee supposedly told someone at the Herald that the Pats taped the Rams walkthrough before Super Bowl 36 and the Patriots haters started trying to equate that alleged act with the rationale for the Pats beating the Rams. Hate, Hate, Hate right up until kick off.
The Patriots are in shock, but they will be back. When the shock wears off they are going to be pissed off. Family and friends will be giving them bits and pieces of what was being said and what the media's response was from Friday until kick off, while they were in their "bubble" of protection preparing for the game. The respect that was deserved and the deference usually given to a team in their position was non-existent.
The country hates the Patriots. Their coach appears conceited, their quarterback appears flawless, their organization appears monolithic. Fans will always hate on the team that has dominated for a long period of time because they want their team to be there, on top. Fans can hate and that’s OK because that’s the nature of the beast. The media is not supposed to hate. Never before has the media vilified a team that has accomplished so much with as much class and dignity. The other dynasty's have all received their coronation and kudos. The Patriots have received nothing but scrutiny and disrespect.
Randy will be back. So won't Brushci, Seau, Samuel. Maybe not Stallworth. Coaching staff will be intact. Remember in the movie "Stripes" the dude called "Psycho" (Don't call me Francis!) and his list. Guaranteed that when the smoke clears and the confetti is swept up the Patriots will start compiling their list and start knocking them off one by one.
Nobody circles the wagons like the New England Patriots. If you thought they were arrogant, aloof and unlikable this year, what until next year. 18-1, with a bigger chip on their shoulder and the seventh pick in the draft adds up to a lot of pain for the rest of the NFL.
Arlen Spector, Merril Hodge, Don Shula, Steve Young, Peyton Manning, Mercury Morris, Tom Jackson, Kurt Warner, Ladainian Tomlinson, Eric Mangini, Roger Goodell and all of the rest of the haters watch out, you're on the list. Who is number one on the list? We'll see next September.