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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Soap opera storylines and changing sides

Published: February 8, 2008
Section: Sports

It hurts, but that’s the reality of it. Many have already anointed the New York Giants’ victory as history’s greatest Super Bowl upset. Their win over the previously unbeaten and heavily favored New England Patriots, 17-14, in Super Bowl XLII left fans either excited or stunned.

People had all kinds of reasons to cheer: for the Patriots, against the Patriots, for the team that knocked out the Packers (Giants), against the Patriots’ perfect season, for shutting up Mercury Morris and his unbeaten 1972 Miami Dolphins, and against Boston-area sports.

The battle between the Giants and Patriots was the best one I’ve ever seen. It was a war, the way it should be. Perhaps what impressed me most about the game was the fact that after it was over, I wasn’t annoyed at the refs for making bad calls, or the coaches for making poor play calls (although Belichick electing not to kick the field goal was not a smart decision).

Near the end of the game, when I was pacing back and forth with disappointment while watching the losing Patriots, I was reminded of what my high school friend said, who does not watch any football; “sports is sometimes more like a soap opera,” and in this case, she was right.

It’s like when you watch a television series, and halfway through season one, a good character does something that completely changes your mind about them, and you end up hating that person. That’s how I felt about the Patriots Sunday night.

By the end of the third quarter, I wanted to see the Giants pull it off. I was not let down, because the fourth quarter, in what I thought had already been a great football game, was the best period of play I’ve seen in any sport during my short life.

I will always remember how I felt when David Tyree made the catch of the century and me and my friend, who cares nothing about the Giants or the Patriots, gasped over the phone for having seen it together.

When Plaxico Burress sealed the deal, burning Ellis Hobbs to make the winning catch in the end zone, all I could do was bow my head and cry. This was a game that movies are made about. Then again, movies are fake, and this was real.

Congratulations to the Giants, and thanks for reminding us what this game is really all about. However, as posted today, yes, the Pats will have a tough time forgetting Super Bowl XLII.