Super Bowl Open Thread:
Quite an ending, eh? Leave your thoughts on the game in the comment thread.
Prosecutorial Indiscretion:
That was a richly-deserved loss. Eli played like a champ when he needed to, and he deserves loads of credit, but he never should have been in a position to make that last-minute comeback. Brady looked terrible, even accounting for the Giants' D. I'm sure Assante Samuel will take a lot of the criticism, and he should have caught that damn interception, but in general the blame belongs squarely on Brady's shoulders.
2.3.2008 10:27pm
Dave N (mail):
Most Super Bowls end up being Super Bores.

Not this one.

Congratulations to the Giants on winning a game few expected them to even be competitive in playing.
2.3.2008 10:30pm
George Weiss (mail):
kinda reminds me of law school exams. it doesn't matter how you play all season if you loose the super bowl.

yes im slightly bitter
2.3.2008 10:35pm
Le Messurier (mail):
The Patriots have been "beatable" all year long. They eked out wins in any number of games that could have gone against them. For the second half of the season there was no dominance over opposing teams. They were good; they were tough, and tonights game could have gone the other way, but they didn't have that greatness to truly succeed. And please don't call me biased... I'm a long suffering Lion's fan!
2.3.2008 10:37pm
Dan Schmutter:
Two words:

David Tyree.
2.3.2008 10:38pm
Michael Barclay (mail):
The phrase "a great defense will beat a great offense" was never more true than in this game.
2.3.2008 10:42pm
Steve P. (mail):
As a Steelers fan, I've been generally anti-Patriots for the last decade.

I rooted for the Giants, but I was paradoxically disappointed. It would have been a better story if Brady and the Pats won; not just because of their record, Tedy Bruschi's recovery, or Junior Seau's longevity. Okay, yeah, basically because of that.

So I cheered for the Giants, but I don't think the best team won. What's up with that?
2.3.2008 10:43pm
loki13 (mail):
Wow.... just wow.

The Giants D game plan was amazing. Their D-Line play was unworldly. Brady never found his rhythm. I mentioned to a friend the Giants had a punching chance because of their D-Line, but I *never* thought they could pull it off like they did. Should've given the MVP to Tuck.

(as an aside, since there was never a post-BCS thread.... how about OSU, huh? can we please have a moratorium on OSU playing teams from real conferences in the title game? heh)
2.3.2008 10:44pm
David Chesler (mail) (www):
Michael Barclay is right. Great, exciting game except for the last few minutes. I'm flashing back to the days when Boston had more 2nd-place teams than any other city. :-(
2.3.2008 10:44pm
Wayne Jarvis:
Dan: that was one of the craziest catches I have ever seen. He had the ball pinned against his helmet with one hand. Nuts. And people say that Jesus doesn't affect the outcome of football games. Whatever.
2.3.2008 10:49pm
Matt Caplan (mail):
As a long-suffering Saints fan, I am thrilled - Eli Manning won this year, Peyton Manning won last year. Even if the Saints can't win the Super Bowl (or even win a second-round playoff game), two guys from New Orleans sure can.
2.3.2008 10:52pm
Da Bears
2.3.2008 10:56pm
pgepps (www):
I'm wit Ditka.

But what a finish! I got home after church in time for the 3rd quarter, and fuzzed through it during dinner &c, but the whole family was watching with rapt attention through that 4th.

Great quarter. A well-fought game that had to be won, and no one gave up even a second too soon.

(Except the Patriots coach. :-) )
2.3.2008 11:00pm
God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
2.3.2008 11:05pm
loki13 (mail):
God doesn't care who wins football games. If God did, teams would pray instead of practice.

The Giants were a better team this Sunday. Good for them.
2.3.2008 11:15pm
Fantastic logic, loki13. How could I possibly refute that?
2.3.2008 11:32pm
Prosecutorial Indiscretion:
TDJustice, that would be a more compelling argument if Plaxico Burress hadn't predicted a Giants victory and the Patriots had predicted a win.
2.3.2008 11:36pm
Belichick is classless. He won't shake Mangini's hand and now he leaves the field before the game even ends. Absolutely classless.
2.3.2008 11:39pm
Wondering Willy:
Overconfidence and lack of espionage killed the Patriots. But what mostly did them in was throwing it all in against the Giants in the last game of the year. The Pats should have rested everybody. They'd still be 18-1, but they'd have a Super Bowl championship instead of an embarrassment.
2.3.2008 11:40pm
gcruse (mail) (www):

God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
To the extent there is a God, yes.
In other words, no.
2.3.2008 11:41pm
loki13 (mail):
Sorry TD (great moniker for the day, BTW). I guess I will have to concede that God is truly concerned with who wins football games. And Oscars. And spelling bees.

I prefer to believe that Zeus struck down the Patriots for their hubris, for only the gods can be immortal and go 19-0.

Or maybe the Giants just did an amazing job on the D-Line, disrupting the Pats passing all game long. And since the Pats never developed a running game (other than off the pass), they had no fallback. But I will defer to your irrefutable logic that God fixed the game when he wasn't to busy looking up the godaddy commercial.
2.3.2008 11:45pm
Why do so many people confuse a close game with a good game?

Eli Manning may be the worst QB to win a super bowl (Trent Dilfer and the QB in SB V being his competition). He hit Patriot defenders in the hands on at least 2 plays on the last drive. Sloppy all around.

Really, the only bright spot was the Giants D-line. They truly played to the peak of their potential. As has been said, Brady never got comfortable. Other than that, unimpressive.

Ah well...there is always next year...
2.3.2008 11:48pm
Tim DeRoche:
As a Packer fan, I pledged to boycott the game...but I got caught up in rooting for the Giants. That was a very exciting football game.

I blamed the Packers' offensive ineptitude on the cold weather at Lambeau, but this game sure makes it look like the Giants' defense was vastly underrated. I'm surprised that neither Favre nor Brady were able to take advantage of the banged-up secondary.
2.3.2008 11:53pm
The Dolphins won the Super Bowl!?!?

I don't think either team that was playing today was humble. And they had nothing to be humble about, this was the best superbowl since Titans-Rams.
2.4.2008 12:05am
Ilya Somin:
The Giants played well. The Pats played far below their full potential (at least on offense). When you play poorly against a good opponent, you can usually expect to lose.

It's a painful setback, but Boston sports has recovered from worse ones in the past, and hopefully they'll overcome this one too.
2.4.2008 12:11am
John R. Mayne (mail):
There's a good argument this was better than Titans-Rams, in that I think both teams played better today than the Titans and the Rams did (though that was obviously a great game.)

The Giants D was awesome. I thought either Umenyiora or Tuck should have won the MVP.

On the second to last play, Brady threw the ball, what, 60 yards in the air and came within about five inches of hitting Moss cleanly. Wow.

Great game, great teams, solid officiating (unlike the Steelers-Seahawks officiating debacle.) Terrific for football.

2.4.2008 12:16am
Belichick is classless. He won't shake Mangini's hand and now he leaves the field before the game even ends. Absolutely classless.

Well, considering that he traded for a wide receiver (Moss) who became infamous in 2004 for doing just that...

Anyway, congrats again to the Giants. What is it about them anyway? They have an uncanny knack not just for playing well, but for making the other, heavily-favored team choke.
2.4.2008 12:27am
Oh, and I even forgot to mention the main reason I set out to comment here in the first place: the omen for the presidential campaign.

In February 2004, the Patriots, representing New England, won the Super Bowl, which was played in Texas. The presidential election later that year saw a candidate from Texas (Bush) defeat a candidate from New England (Kerry).

This year the Giants, representing New York (though they are actually based in New Jersey), won the Super Bowl, which was played in Arizona. If form holds, this means John McCain (from Arizona) will end up beating Hillary Clinton (from New York) come November.
2.4.2008 1:10am
andy (mail) (www):
Everyone should read this article

If he's going to lose, Bill Belichick would rather be elsewhere


Sunday, Feb 3, 2008 11:12 pm EST

On more than one occasion this year, Bill Belichick and the Patriots have run up the score on an overmatched opponent, and forced an opposing coach to sit there and watch his beaten team go through the motions while their heineys were being handed to them.

But when the shoe's on the other foot, and Bill Belichick's team has been beaten, he can't sit there and take the pain for a few seconds.

With :01 left on the clock, and his team just having failed on a last chance 4th down effort, Bill Belichick ran onto the field for a quick handshake, and then bolted for the locker room. Belichick's an important guy and everything, but I wasn't aware that the league had given him the authority to decide when games end.

There's time left on the clock, his team's been humbled, outplayed, and lost their chance at history ... and Bill Belichick doesn't have the stomach to sit there and absorb the pain until the clock read 0:00.

That's unsportsmanlike at best, disrespectful at least, and at worst, it makes him a big sissy.

Because Bill Belichick wanted to go hide when he lost, the field ended up being flooded with people, and the officials had to clear the area before the Giants could take their final snap and make it official. When you lose, you take your loss. You don't leave early because it makes you feel sad inside. Your opponent deserves more respect than that.

Anyone remember in 2004 when Randy Moss left the sidelines with two seconds left in a Vikings vs. Redskins game? Moss was selfish, a baby, a quitter, didn't respect his teammates, and didn't respect the game. Belichick just did the same thing, but did it on the biggest possible stage, and did it from the position of a leader of men.

Maybe there's something to be said for the inability to lose well ... most great winners don't lose well, and a sore loser is still a loser.

But still, if you're an adult, you finish out the game, and you give your opponents the stage and the respect they deserve.
2.4.2008 2:06am
andy (mail) (www):
David Chesler wrote:

"Great, exciting game except for the last few minutes."

I don't understand this comment. How is a comeback drive in the last few minutes not "exciting"? Do you bungee jump every morning? Currently employed as a daredevil or stuntman or something?

The end of the Super Bowl was very exciting.
2.4.2008 2:10am
LM (mail):
Great game, which doesn't always have to mean consistently high-level execution. In this case, it just meant that the high pre-game tension generated by two good narratives (the Patriots' far more so) was kept high by a close, sea-saw game which wasn't decided until the last seconds.

As a Giants fan I loved it. But that doesn't mean I feel any of the inter-city rivalry about the Patriots that compels my deep hostility for the Red Sox. In fact, I've loved watching the Pats the last several years, and if they'd been playing anyone but the Giants, I'd have rooted for them, they've been so damn good. At the same time, I think it's fitting that they lost. If they'd won, it would have lent too much force to the "best ever" argument. And I agree with I don't remember which Fox analyst who opined that some of the other greatest ever teams were better (e.g., (my list, not his) the 60's Packers, 70's Steelers, the shorter-lived by incredibly dominating Ditka-Ryan Bears, and maybe even the 49ers, despite having no running game -- no, Roger Craig doesn't count). The point just being that the greatest teams aren't necessarily the ones that never lose a game, so long as they win the last one.
2.4.2008 2:47am
LM (mail):
shorter lived but incredibly dominating....
2.4.2008 5:52am
Daniel Chapman (mail):
As another Packer fan, I was cheering for the Giants, and I'm loving this for ONE reason...

STILL no rings for Randy Moss! HELL yes!
2.4.2008 7:30am
David Chesler (mail) (www):
Andy, it was an exciting game to the finish, it just wasn't great.

Bored2L: It wasn't the closeness that made the game exciting. I thought the two league championship games (cold and colder) were sloppy. As much as I'd like to have seen it go the other way (19-0) watching defense beat offense is more exciting than watching offense beat itself, or attrition, or a close score because nobody can play. (My father-in-law was pacing for most of the game, muttering things like "Why don't you go up in the stands with your girlfriend, you ahhs-hole?" - Brady wasn't up to his usual game, but most of that was the Giants D.)

As for the other show, did the Pepsi Deaf ad run? I was looking for it, I missed it, a correspondent in NY missed it, and I couldn't find it here et seq.
2.4.2008 8:45am
Wondering Willy:
I don't like Belichick, but I don't think it was classless for him to run on the field. The game clock was having difficulties all night and had ticked to zero; as he was running onto the field, the timekeeper added one second.

It's a stupid rule anyway that in that sort of situation, the losing team can't just concede without it being an official forfeit. Belichick is an unsportsmanlike jerk, but the ending of the Super Bowl last night was not an example of it.
2.4.2008 8:50am
Larry K (mail):
Giants' D line beat Pats' O line pretty much straight up. There were other key factors, but that was the most important. People elsewhere have dissed Belichick for not making in-game adjustments to take account of that fact, but if that's what's happening, thee aren't many adustments you can make. The main onew, quick bubble screens and like, were tried, and the Giants linebackers and D backs responded to them well enough. In particular, they were prepared for them.
2.4.2008 9:14am
The officiating was okay, but what about the timekeeping? The play at the end where the timekeeper let the clock run down was only one of several mistakes I noticed. (I was maybe clued in to this because I had to run the scoreboard at my daughter's basketball game on Saturday.) I don't watch enough football games to know: is the timekeeping usually this bad?
2.4.2008 9:52am
Reason #206 to be happy with the outcome of the Super Bowl: before the Super Bowl, the Patriots had applied for trademarks on "19-0" and "19-0 the Perfect Season." (Take it with a grain of salt, as the article comes from New York's newspaper for the barely literate)
2.4.2008 10:10am
Houston Lawyer:
Did anyone else notice that Manning seemed to be enjoying himself as opposed to Brady who looked like he was hating life. I had no plans to watch, but tuned in late in the second half. I saw a lot of exceptional talent. I was pulling for the Giants. I especially enjoyed the camera shots of Peyton cheering for his brother.

Even though I had no dog in this fight, I found myself yelling when Boss caught that long pass and was moving down the field. By far the best superbowl in many years.
2.4.2008 10:20am
Q the Enchanter (mail) (www):
I can only say that it was a flimsy three quarters of football. (I didn't see the fourth because $*%#!in' TiVo didn't record it. Grrrrr...)
2.4.2008 10:37am
Thales (mail) (www):
I predict that Brady gets dumped by his supermodel girlfriend, who then goes on to have six lovely and athletic Brazilian-American superkids with Eli Manning. Seriously, wouldn't those stakes have made the game even more interesting?
2.4.2008 10:48am
Anderson (mail):
Belichick's defense had to line up out there for the final second of play, so he owed it to his men to be there on the sidelines watching them. The man's true lack of character and sportsmanship is now a matter of public record.

(Reminded me of Napoleon's hightailing it back to Paris after the Russian debacle. Except Belichick didn't have any palace coups to worry about (alas).)
2.4.2008 10:49am
Belichick's defense had to line up out there for the final second of play, so he owed it to his men to be there on the sidelines watching them. The man's true lack of character and sportsmanship is now a matter of public record.

This is a bit much, no?
2.4.2008 12:07pm
Vernon R.:
Belichick's defense had to line up out there for the final second of play, so he owed it to his men to be there on the sidelines watching them. The man's true lack of character and sportsmanship is now a matter of public record.

This is a bit much, no?

How do you mean? You think it's OK for a coach to run off the field before the game is over? I think most people would agree that it demonstrates a lack of character and sportsmanship.
2.4.2008 12:40pm
Realist Liberal:
As a struggling Raiders fan (if this goes much longer I may need therapy) I must wholeheartedly agree with Daniel Chapman:

STILL no rings for Randy Moss! HELL yes!
2.4.2008 12:51pm
Zywicki (mail):
Steve P.: I'm glad to know I'm not the only Stillers fan who has built up an irrational animosity toward the Patriots. I didn't realize how the Patriots had gotten under my skin until I found myself jumping up and chanting Eli's name. I was feeling so generous I was even willing to feel happy for Plaxico Burress for getting a ring!
2.4.2008 2:06pm
Duffy Pratt (mail):
The end of the game was so stupid. In a situation like that, they should be able to just walk it off and congratulate each other. Forget whether Belichick was classless or not. The celebration had already started. There was absolutely no way the result of the game could have changed, or even the score. Why force everyone back on the field for nothing?

BTW, it was the best super bowl I've ever seen. I didn't have a dog in the fight, and I probably didn't enjoy it as much as Namath and the Jets back in 69, but it was a better game.
2.4.2008 2:17pm
andy (mail) (www):

"There was absolutely no way the result of the game could have changed, or even the score."

Center could have gotten too excited and botched the snap somehow or something....extremely small chance, but still "possible," so you gotta play it out. If Pats were two scores down then i'd agree that no way the result could change, but the score of course could have changed.
2.4.2008 3:25pm
ras (mail):
If Belichek left because, as noted above by another commenter, the clock had ticked to zero (only to be reset later, after Belichek had shaken hands etc), then his departure is a non-incident, and I say that as someone who doesn't like the guy.

The game was a great one to watch. To the commenter who said that Manning almost got intercepted twice on the final drive: um, it was a desperation drive at that point, no? Kinda like pulling the goalie in hockey, you take more chances cuz what other choice have you got?
2.4.2008 4:06pm
NickM (mail) (www):
I'm in agreement with Realist Liberal and Daniel Chapman.

Moss is the single biggest reason I root against the Patriots, whoever they play.

2.4.2008 5:07pm