Hollywood could not have scripted one much better than this.
Sure, a screen writer probably could’ve ensured a little more scoring to take some of the starch out of what was a 7-3 game for the bulk of the clock.
But the idea of the Giants, who were anything but in the eyes of most football fans, taking down the big, bad Patriots in the one game that mattered in the final seconds is the sort of thing usually reserved for those who can imagine anything happening, without the obvious complication of having it play out on the field.
From the moments that unfolded (Peyton Manning’s reactions to the successes of younger brother, Eli, David Tyree’s stunning catch signalling the turnaround, Tom Brady’s reactions, finally looking fazed at the end of an untouchable season), this year’s Super Bowl not only bucked the odds by playing out as super as advertised, but surpassed even optimistic expectations.
It was history in the making playing out in front of a live crowd of thousands and a televised crowd of millions. This will be remembered not as the football game of the decade, but of the generation.
It will be a long, long time before another team takes a perfect season into the final game—25 years or so if the current pattern holds out—and the chances of another shocking upset like this one will be slim.
The chances of it ever happening again with a wild-card team that stumbled out of the gate and lost to the overdog in the regular season? Statistically impossible.
No, this one will stand forever. This will be one of the hallowed few single games that are held as an untouchable yardstick for those great ones to come and those that came before.
This will be one of those few moments where people remember where they were when they saw the game—a cultural touchtone to live on for the pigskin diehards and those who just so happened to take in the game.
The Patriots’ dynasty, already heralded as the best in football in decades, is the true casualty. Their three Super Bowls already in the can in the new century and all their other achievements are for nought.
The Patriots of the 2000s will never be truly remembered as one of the strongest teams in football, just one that wasn’t quite strong enough.
What was being referred to as the greatest NFL team of all time just days ago will forever be known as just another very good team to only lose one game in a season.
It’ll be a long time before something like this happens again. Hold on to the memory of where you were while it lasts.
Fair or Foul logo