OK, I was wrong.
In a simply stunning and amazing game, the New York Giants, a 12-point underdog, won Super Bowl XLII by upsetting the previously unbeaten New England Patriots, 17-14, at Glendale, Arizona.
Eli Manning etched his name in the NFL record books by leading the Giants on a long drive that ended with a TD pass to Plaxico Burress with 35 seconds left to give the Giants an incredible victory. The drive reminded me very much of Joe Montana's historic drive in the final minutes to beat the Cincinnati Bengals nearly 20 years ago. Manning was voted the game's MVP.
Tom Brady was definitely not on his game, and especially, the Patriots offensive line was haggard all night by a swarming Giants defense, who might be the real MVPs of this game. The Patriots made many mistakes that came back to bite them, and were clearly outplayed by the Giants on Sunday night. Now, the 16-0 regular season will be overshadowed, and even forgotten, because the Patriots lost their only, and most important, game of the year. (They join the Chicago Bears of both 1934 and 1942 as the only NFL teams to go undefeated in the regular season and lose the title game.)
It is the third Super Bowl championship in Giants' history, going along with the 1986 and 1990 titles. The Giants also became the fifth Wild Card team to win the Super Bowl since the merger in 1970, joining the 1980 Oakland Raiders, 1997 Denver Broncos, 2000 Baltimore Ravens and 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers. The title is a clear validation for coach Tom Coughlin, and especially Eli Manning, who's had some very loud and vociferous critics. It was an historic run for the Giants, who won their first three games on the road in the postseason. My congratulations to Giants fans everywhere.
I watched the game at Professor Thom's, which was about 75% Patriots fans and 25% Giants fans. The Giants fans went into a frenzy at the final whistle, and a deep depression overcame my Pats fan friends. After the game, some guy began chanting "18-1" at the down Pats fans, which really wasn't a smart thing to do. Then we discovered that this guy wasn't even a Giants fan at all, just a Jets fan who despises the Patriots. That is the dictionary definition of a douchebag.
I feel very badly for my Patriot fan brethren. Many will have a very difficult day tomorrow facing their Giant fan friends and co-workers. I did my best before I left the bar to remind them I have been a Minnesota Vikings fan for 35 years and have yet to see my team win a Super Bowl. (I hope to see it happen before I die.) And I also recommended they do something before turning in tonight: have a stiff drink and put on either the 2004 or 2007 World Series videos (or both).
And, of course, keep a couple of things in mind:
10 days until pitchers and catchers report.
64 days before the World Series championship flag goes up the pole at Fenway.