Monday, January 23, 2012

Super Bowl XLVI Is NOT a Revenge Game

One thing that keeps getting pointed out is that Super Bowl XLVI is a revenge game for Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Four years ago, the Giants beat the Patriots in a thrilling Super Bowl which ended the Pats shot at an 19-0 season.

They meet again with a championship on the line. However, this is far from an actual revenge game.

People throw "revenge" around too lightly in sports. If the Miami Heat play the Dallas Mavericks in the regular season, they call it "revenge". Um, no. It isn't revenge. It isn't revenge when the first team that won got the higher stakes.

Same thing goes here. Super Bowl XLVI isn't a revenge game. Sure, the Pats would all love to beat the Giants -- I mean a championship is at stake, ya know. Sure, New England would love to beat New York for it all (though beating the San Francisco 49ers would've felt just as good). But exacting revenge? No.

First of all, the Giants win four years ago is much bigger than anything that happens on February 5th. This year, there is no undefeated season. There is no history involved in this game like the last one. I mean, if the Patriots won the last Super Bowl, they would have been only the second undefeated team in NFL history and the first to win 19 games. This time, a win would mean they beat a 9-7 team who needed a win in the final game of the regular season to get into the postseason for the title. Not really the same.

Also, a loss for the Giants wouldn't really destroy them the way the Patriots loss in 2008 did to them. New York wasn't supposed to be there. Eli Manning has won his title and is pretty much a made man in Gotham. A win for the Giants would just cement their legacies with the franchise (Tom Coughlin, a two-time Super Bowl winner?) and Eli would have something on big brother Peyton.

Only 15 players remain for the Giants from Super Bowl XLII. Only 7 Patriots are left. Revenge?

This isn't to belittle the game at all. A title is a title is a title. But "revenge" isn't a term warranted here. Heck, most of the guys on both teams didn't play in Super Bowl XLII. No 1972 Dolphins will be popping champagne after this one.

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