Ryan Chartrand

What a game!

While most sports columns and talk shows this week have predictably concerned themselves with the dynamics of this past Sunday’s “super upset,” I’m looking to analyze this incredible defeat in a context which is rarely touched on by the mainstream sports networks: how it impacts the fans.

Being a San Diego fan, I was put in a bit of an awkward position regarding Super Bowl XLII in terms of which team to root for. Suffice it to say, it was a choice of the lesser of two evils.

On one hand, we had the “perfect Patriots,” a team that has beaten the Chargers the past three times the teams played, and whose classlessness and arrogant demeanor made them the bane of my existence.

On the other, we had the Giants and Eli Manning, the quarterback who had given the Chargers the biggest “F*ck you!” in the history of the franchise, and whose conduct with regard to my team I find utterly revolting.

As sadistic as it sounds, several of my friends and I were hoping for a blimp to crash into the stadium or some other such catastrophe, so that ultimately neither team would win.

However, realizing that this was unlikely to happen, I opted to pull for the Giants, but not purely out of spite for the Patriots.

Anyone who’s an NFL fan and frequents the league’s channel or ESPN could relate to my disgust at the saturation of face time the Patriots got on the networks throughout the duration of the season.

TV specials on the Patriots’ “path to perfection,” commentators swearing the Patriots are a “team of destiny,” even the Patriots having their own slot on the ESPNEWS ticker – it all added up to such an excessively high degree of pervasiveness in the media that most NFL fans came to root for whoever was playing the Patriots, simply so that we all wouldn’t have to hear about them anymore.

Ironically, ESPN the Magazine, which polls all 30 neutral teams’ fans to see which Super Bowl contestant they’re rooting for, found that, for the first time upon conducting the survey, all 30 teams’ fans were rooting in unison for one team: the Giants. Such is the level at which the Patriots came to be so widely loathed.

And even after the Super Bowl, talk shows and sports columns still refer to the team as the “less-than-perfect Patriots,” almost implying the football community as a whole had been robbed by their defeat.

Not to worry, though, as they will soon enough be forgotten as just another team that lost the Super Bowl, the one game they needed to cement their status in history.

Never has it felt so good for the NFL to be deprived of its most cherished marketing gimmick.

But disdain for the Patriots did have something to do with it as well, I will concede. This disdain is wholly evidenced by the conduct of their coach, Bill Belichick, who felt he didn’t need to stick around for the end of the game, even though his team had to. I had no idea someone could be such a bully and a baby at the same time. But then again, he’s shown in the past that he doesn’t believe the rules apply to him.

This loss is so satisfying because it deprives one of the most classless teams, and their entirely classless coach, of a win on the biggest stage of all.

Lastly, this loss is gratifying because it spares Don Shula and the 1972 Dolphins from having to spin in their eventual graves for all eternity, and it even gave them a commercial. Go figure!

Let’s just hope next year’s Super Bowl won’t consist entirely of East Coast teams.

Aaron Gaudette is a journalism senior and a Mustang Daily sports columnist.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *