A couple of days ago I finally for the first time willingly watched some of Super Bowl XVI. It was the Sound EFX episode, and though I turned it off as soon as Welker didn’t make that catch and watched a lot of it on mute, I once and for all put the 2011 Pats to rest.
Going into the Super Bowl I really saw no way the Pats would lose. Up to that point every game seemed to have its own poetic justice (except that first Giants loss). Brady beat the Jets in New York for the first time since the Spygate, and ended the seasons of both the other teams that had ended his in 2005 and 2009.
Peyton as a Colt vs. Brady was over. And hey, we even let the Steelers finally win one! I knew you had it in you guys!
Add all that with Myra Kraft’s magical presence over the team and I just didn’t see how we would possibly lose that game. It was just too perfectly all lined up. The Pats would cap off the season by beating who else but the Giants, and avenge the biggest and worst defeat of the Belichick era.
Forget about the Perfect Season, that’s the Perfect Decade.
To be honest it even scared me a little bit in the week leading up to the game. Half the fun of the NFL season is avenging past losses and trying to right wrongs. There would be no one left to beat.
And had the Pats won the Super Bowl my ultimate nightmare could’ve possibly come true. It would seem as good a time as any for Belichick call it a career. And that is something I don’t want.
Well it must’ve been too perfect for the football gods because they decided to tear our heart out on a grand stage yet again, and here I am, left really hating Eli and the Giants a good deal more than I hated them starting in February 2008, and general apathy towards everyone else.
The Jets will always be the Jets of course, and I’ll always respect and enjoy the games against the Ravens and Steelers, but outside the Giants it’s all just slightly less meaningful.
Still, there should be some great games this season. Getting a shot at the Texans and 49ers should be interesting, and going into Baltimore should be a dog fight. But new rivals must emerge.
Perhaps Buffalo or Houston are ready to give us a run in the AFC, but as things are lining up right now the Pats should be favorites to secure homefield advantage for the third straight year.
Being a Pats fan has been quite a ride for the past decade. It all seemed easy early on, but lately no professional sports team has fallen just short of championships more than BB and TFB. Yet again the pieces are in place to make a run at another Lombardi which would definitely cement the Brady/Belichick combo as the best of all time.
Another win would tie Brady for most Super Bowl wins with Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana, not to mention that he’d stand alone having gone to six. Another MVP would also tie him with Montana with three.
For Belichick another Lombardi would give him a tie for most Super Bowl appearances with Don Shula (who only won two of six), and would tie him with Chuck Knoll for most as a head coach. Overall another win would give Belichick six total Super Bowl rings, putting him second all-time, pretty much undeniably the greatest coach of all time.
And one more shiny silver football for The Hall at Patriots Place would certainly put a different gleam on the two Super Bowl losses to the Giants. I just doubt we’ll ever get another shot at them in the big one.
No matter how it ended, 2011 was a fun ride and there’s plenty of reason to believe the 2012 Patriots can be even better. There might not be a lot of teams who we still owe a pounding to, but there’s still a lot to play for.
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