Going out on your back

by Bryan

In wrestling, the aging superstars go out their backs. It’s the sports corollary of, ‘Things don’t end well. That’s why they end.’ The Patriots went out on their backs last night, ending their chances for a fourth Super Bowl title in seven years when Tom Brady’s second 60+ yard heave to Randy Moss hit the Arizona turf. There will be no joy in Mudville, er, Boston, today.

Losing is a part of sports. In fact, it’s half of it, and before Brady and Belichick showed up, it was status quo for the Patriots. Then they shocked the Rams in 2001, and a new ethos of winning was adopted. I wrote about this after the game yesterday: last night’s game could hardly have resembled the 2001 Super Bowl any more, when the Patriots beat the monolithic Rams by outhitting them and mounting a drive as time expired to take the win. I remember my feelings when they won. I was bewildered, ecstatic, and not quite sure if it was real.

Now the Giants have that feeling. And you know what? I’m okay with that. If there weren’t games like this, the other ones wouldn’t be worth playing. This should make us appreciate the three that we won instead of making us rue the fourth that we didn’t win. Some day, the Patriots will be the underdog again, and will run up against a team that there’s almost no way they can beat, and it will be close for three quarters, and all of a sudden they’ll have a chance, and then it’ll look like it’s going to slip, and then they’ll push themselves over the top, again, through nothing but grit and hard work. And it will be your team.

That’s the greatest feeling in the world. And today, that’s what Giants fans are feeling.