There I was, torn.
I had been sort of half-heartedly rooting for the Giants in last night’s fantastic Super Bowl game. At the end of the 3rd quarter, the Patriots led 7-3 in what had been an entertaining defensive struggle.
I was happy for the Giants – they were working hard, their defense keeping the presumptive champs off their game. They’d only managed a field goal though and you just sort of figured that the Pats would score, ice the game, breathe a sigh of relief, and go on to immortality.
After the Giants took the lead at the start of the fourth quarter, the Patriots pulled out their A-game, marched down the field and re-took the lead with less than 3 minutes left. A classic drive by a deserving champion – I was begrudgingly giving them their due praise. (Note: Does anyone else think they should have run the ball when they got within the 10 yard line once or twice, just to eat up some clock – we were all screaming it at the TV, so my guess is yes.)
And then Eli Manning lead one of the most riveting final drives I ever watched, complete with 4th-down conversions, pinpoint passing and the craziest get-out-of-an-obvious-sack-and-heave-the-ball-to-David-Tyree-who-catches-it-with-one-hand-and-his-head plays that will live for generations. After that, the TD to Burress seemed almost inevitable. Destiny, one might say.
So, as Tom Brady’s last pass fell harmlessly incomplete, I was a bit torn. The Giants had EARNED that game and that victory, but I felt a little sorry for the Patriots who played hard and fought tooth-and-nail against a defense that was ready for them — thinking of how sapping it must be to be that close, and lose.
Until the moment when Patriot’s coach Bill Belichick WALKED OFF THE FIELD BEFORE THE GAME WAS OVER!!
Now, we all know that Coach Hoodie isn’t the nicest and most congenial of guys. But you know what? Let the other team rejoice. Show some grace and some class. I know there was confusion about the last couple of seconds, but finish the job and stand there and get your picture taken in defeat. Maybe even shake a couple of Giant’s hands. Is it that hard to show some class and respect for your opponent and the game itself?
After that, it was easy to sit back and enjoy the Giant’s win.
PS But I guarantee I’ll find it in me to despise them again come August. Go EAGLES!!