Monday, February 6, 2012

Deja Blue

That's not mine . . . I read it somewhere and I liked it; so kudos to whoever came up with it (though I am pretty sure it wasn't this guy).

In the two weeks leading up to Superbowl 46 (I am not doing the Roman numeral thing), I was pretty content with the distinct possibility that the Giants would lose to the Patriots this time round. The 2011 Pats were a very good team. Don't listen to people who say otherwise; bad teams don't go 13-3. The New England defense had improved drastically in the second half of the season (though, admittedly, it could only go in one direction) and Tom Brady is one of the best quarterbacks in the history of football. Throw in some intangibles like some cockiness out of the Giants, the supposed emotional heft to this game for the Pats because of the death of Mrs. Kraft, the revenge factor, the Brady-played-shitty-against-the-Ravens-and-now-he's-pissed factor, and it all seemed to point to a Patriots' win. In fact, Open Bar and I were out before the game and I confided in him that, gun to my head, I would pick the Pats to win the game. (To his credit, he picked the Giants).

I was really not bothered by the idea of losing, though, because the win in Superbowl 42 was so amazing, so exciting, so gut-wrenching, and so unbelievable, that I didn't think anything could ever come close to that again - not even another win. Nothing could take that last one away. And even if the Patriots' won and gave their fans a chance to say that 42 was a fluke, I just didn't care. That night in February of 2008 was just so much fun and so perfect that I figured there was no possible way to recapture it.

But I think that maybe last night did recapture it - or at least came closer than I thought was possible. They did it all over again. This group of Giants (football players all!) -- nearly a quarter of them veterans of what was probably the most unlikely Superbowl win of all time -- somehow managed to rip our stomachs out through our throats again and reward us with a win that was every bit as exciting, improbable and impossible as the last one. If the David Tyree "Helmet Catch" was one of the most exciting plays in the history of the Superbowl, the Manning-to-Manningham throw and catch might have been one of the best.

And while that play tops the list of similarities between 46 and 42, it was hardly the only one. This game was practically a repeat of the last win. The fumbles that didn't go the Patriots' way, the halftime lead for New England, that creeping, sinking feeling in the second half that maybe the impossible run was going to come up one game short, the late scoring drive, the devastating sack of Brady on the final drive, and a hail mary that came up short for the Pats.

For all of us, too, the setting was uncannily similar. Just a few blocks north of the apartment we watched the last one in, we got to do it all over again. Same crowd, same too many beers, same chili (sofuckinggood, dude), same post-game celebration on the Upper West Side (hat tip to New York's finest for not writing us a ticket for open containers. Not making this up: we were drinking beers and high-fiving strangers on 110th and Amsterdam. OB was drinking right out of a champagne bottle. And, when a police car drove up, they stared us, we stared back sort of awkwardly, and one of the officers gets on the speaker and says "just take it inside, guys." So we did).

When the Giants won Superbowl 42, I wrote that "last night was one of the most exciting nights of my life, and one I really do not think I will ever forget. In fact, other than the night I got engaged, and the day I got married, it may have been the very best." Since then, I've welcomed two amazing kids into the world, so 42 has been notched down a peg or two on my list. But now it's got some company.

Deja vu.

1 comment:

Open Bar said...