A Giant Upset Brings Retributive Justice

Another Super Bowl has come and gone.  But this time, it was actually interesting and entertaining to the last.  The annual anticlimactic conclusion to the NFL season, which is often overshadowed by the new special edition commercials unveiled for the event, was anybody’s game until the end.  This is a refreshing change of pace for a game that’s usually decided by halftime, and sometimes in the first quarter.

It’s fitting that there was a thrilling finish to a game with such a great setup.  This one was a marketer’s dream.  “Come see the realization of perfection.  A perfect season!”  When, in the last minute, the Giants finally got the touchdown that had so far eluded the Patriots’ playoff opponents and went ahead, it was clear that the invincible team could be beaten.

The only thing that could have made a better, piss your pants ending would have been the completion of one of Tom Brady’s desperation passes for a touchdown in the dying seconds.  But there would be no repeat of the ‘hail mary’ finish, just as there would be no repeat of a perfect season.  The Super Bowl may have been worth watching again, and the price of oil may be through the roof, but the 70s are gone.

The outcome is fitting in another way, too.  New England’s perfect season got off to a controversial start, with the staff caught taping their opponent’s practice session.  Should cheating be rewarded with victory and a perfect record?  Maybe there’s a certain justice in their losing.

There’s an even older wrong that may have been righted.  I’m thinking of a certain official’s call in a certain playoff game some years ago that New England was close to losing.  The referee ruled that their quarterback did not fumble the ball when he was sacked, but he did.  It was called an incomplete forward pass so the Patriots kept the ball.  They went on to win that game moments later then went on to win a Super Bowl they shouldn’t even have been in.  Now they’ve lost one that everyone thought was theirs almost by default.

Retributive justice.  Order restored to the universe.

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