That’s why they play the game

by Bryan

Let’s comport ourselves with dignity after this one, guys.

I can’t say it was a great game, because no Patriots fan can see the beauty in that one, because it’s too painful. I can only see the historical comparison between this year’s Giants and the 2001 Patriots. As such, I can’t get all that angry. That Tyree play reminds me of Troy Brown, flying across the middle of the field with 17 seconds left, making a 20-something yard catch, it was over. You just knew that the Patriots were going to pull it out. When Tyree caught the ball up against his head, I knew. I had the same feeling watching the 2005 Steelers against the Colts in the Divisional Round: this team is winning the Super Bowl. At halftime, I figured the Patriots weren’t likely to pull this one out. Even the last drive left too much time on the clock for the Giants, who played as if it never occurred to them that they might lose. It’s those types of teams that win, and the type that won tonight.

In the end, the 18-0 record was too much. It was as if, when things started to go south, some players started to act as if it was long overdue. The Giants defensive line played like one for the ages, and some day, when Osi and Strahan are both in the Hall of Fame, we’ll see exactly what we were up against. In 2001, no one would have told you that Tedy Bruschi, Richard Seymour and Tom Brady were going to be legends, and in time we’ll see the same things out of some of this Giants team. But, like the 2001 Pats, they’ll be remembered for their scrappiness, in joining together to beat a team that was otherwise more talented.

Once, that was us. That was more relatable than today’s team: the football behemoth. And it was better, because it won us the big one. I love the Patriots that are easy to love, not just the ones that win all the time. I don’t love the Patriots because they win, either. Which is good. I also know how good I felt in 2001, and how good Giants fans feel now. It’s the best feeling in the world. They’ll buy all the newspapers tomorrow, all the DVDs and Sports Illustrated sets they can get their hands on, and then they’ll come back for more. That’s what it’s all about.