So the day is now well and truly upon us. The world’s greatest single sporting event is just a few hours away.
Nothing quite compares to the Super Bowl.
It’s one of those special events that compels each and every sports fan around the world, regardless of their interest in the sport. Few other events can honestly say the same.
Super Bowl XLVI promises to add something a little different with a little more meaning. It is round 2 of the fiercely growing rivalry between the New England Patriots and the New York Giants.
It was four years ago today that the Giants shocked the world. The undefeated and heavily favoured Patriots headed into Arizona without too much cause for concern. Brady and Moss had set the league alight, breaking a series of stunning records, and few believed the Giants could stop them. How they were wrong.
But this isn’t about Super Bowl XLII, this is much more.
Both teams will play it down, but there is no doubting this game has revenge written all over it.
Few argue that Brady is the best quarterback in the game, and few argue he is one of the greatest of all time. Should he win today he may go down as the single greatest. The master in command, Bill Belichick, who few argue is the greatest coach in the game and few argue is one of the greatest of all time, is too in search for further justification as to why he is considered to be these things. Both have their eyes on their fourth championship.
On the other side, the man better known as ‘Peyton’s little brother’ is quickly earning the reputation as ‘maybe better than his brother?’. Whilst I do not buy into it, what he has done throughout the course of the past month and a half has been nothing short of phenomenal. You can say the same for the most part of the season. He has, at times, single handedly brought back the Giants from the abyss, never more evident than their most recent clash against their rival Patriots in Foxborough.
Tom Coughlin, the much maligned and often disliked coach of the Giants, was having his head called for throughout the course of last season and at times during this current competition. He has stuck to his hard nosed, old school approach, which as unappealing as it may seem, has worked wonders for the Giants when they needed it most. Their front four is as good as any in the game, their pass rush is unmatched and their receivers are quickly becoming the most talented group in the league.
In my opinion, it largely comes down to this.
The best always find a way. We saw this in the National Championship game earlier this year. Both teams had something close to a month, if not more, between the end of their seasons and the biggest game of their collegiate careers. LSU were undefeated, but Alabama were the favourites. LSU were in better form, but Alabama had the coach. LSU had a better all round team, but Alabama had the better players where they are most important.
When you give someone like Nick Saban that long to prepare, bad things are going to happen to the opponent. When you beat Nick Saban, he does not let you beat him again without the greatest fight of your life.
Can you see the point I am trying to make? As I write this the parallels become even more apparent even to myself.
Brady and Belichick were truly humbled by the Giants 4 years ago. But you do not keep the great ones down. I have no doubt that both these warriors have been waiting for an opportunity to avenge the most unbelievable loss in Super Bowl history.
I am a betting man, and I am surprised the hype surrounding the Giants has not pushed the Patriots to higher odds. I will offer a tip though.
The best always come out on top, and whilst the Giants have peaked at the right time and certainly offer the more balanced team, I cannot ignore greatness. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick will hit New York with everything they have. They will have their revenge.
New England Patriots 24 – 14 New York Giants