After reflecting on the loss for a week it is clear that this is the worst, most demoralizing defeat in franchise history. It is a loss that as a fan I’ll never truly get over, mostly because of what was at stake. And more so because of the way we lost it, on a crazy, miraculous, last two minute plus drive that saw the Giants convert a 4th and 1, Asante Samuel miss an interception, and the crazy play that will go down in the annuals of pro football history – the scramble out of a sack by Eli Manning and truly unbelievable catch by David Tyree securing the ball on his helmet. I will see that last Giants drive in my nightmares for the rest of my life. And poor Rodney Harrison will be in highlight reels for eternity, unable to knock the ball out of Tyree’s hands.
It is so hard to get to the Super Bowl so every opportunity a team has, especially a team that played the best in the regular season and is favored to win, needs to be seized. It may be the last for many, many years to come. You just never know. This could be the last time we ever see Tom Brady in a Super Bowl. I hope not, but you just never know.
Being a die hard New England Patriots fan who suffered through a good team in the late 1970s but never quite making it, the debacle of Super Bowl XX and the team’s implosion within a few years thereafter, the 1-15 team, the unfulfilled promise of Drew Bledsoe and Bill Parcels, and the big step backward under Pete Carroll, the recent run of success has been very fulfilling and exciting. This loss certainly won’t dim that. Not in the least. It’s been a great run and one I’ll cherish. But the lost opportunity to make history will sting forever.
Now some facts that make me feel better about this team but a little sorry for others.
Tom Brady has won three Super Bowls. Only Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana have won more, at four. And only one other quarterback has won three, Troy Aikman of the 1990 Dallas Cowboys, a wildly talented team.
Dan Marino was in one Super Bowl and lost it to the Redskins. He never played in another.
Other than this loss, the most heartbreaking Super Bowl for a fan had to be the missed field goal that cost the Buffalo Bills a win in Super Bowl XXV that they lost 20-19 to the New York Giants (and Bill Parcels with Bill Belichick as defensive coordinator). They lost three more in a row in blow outs.
Maybe the greatest team of all time, the 1985 Chicago Bears, were one and done.
Brett Farve has won only one Super Bowl.
John Elway only won two, even though he was in five.
Given this, the Patriots of the 2000s stack up rather well.