subtitled: the last thought on this from me that i haven't had time to actually finish/post due to illness and business
i mean seriously, look at these two guys, they're the opposite of hateable
it's weird to watch your team, with its qb that you've spent the last several years defending even to other giants fans, and its internal squabbling, and its ridiculous star former-running back bad-mouthing the team like a lady spurned every chance he got, and its jeremy fucking shockey--well, it's weird to watch that team, that seemingly completely hopeless heartbreak of an imitation-2005-vikings team, become a national phenomenon.
but there it was, plain as day. people on television, actively rooting for the giants! the team that suddenly came out of nowhere and was showing supposedly far superior teams who was boss! the team that ruined the fairy tale endings predetermined for both (either?) brett favre and (or?) tony romo! the fever pitch that seemed to be there by the friday prior to the super bowl was kind of mind-blowing to me. people i know who hate football were like, "let's go giants!" ruin the fairy tale for brady and co. too.
the thing is, it's not just about people loving an underdog story. that's part of it, really. honestly. but it became apparent, witnessing the sheer glee every non-boston media outlet and commentator had on sunday morning, tearing into the pats like they were some pulled pork, that it was way more than wanting the underdog to win.
simply put, the patriots have come to stand for every single last thing that is wrong with professional sports. i mean, like all of the sports. performance enhancing drugs? alleged criminal behavior towards women? terrible sportsmanship? over-confident douchebag playboy qb? cheating, for god's sake? check, check, check--there isn't much need to go on, unless you like being vaguely depressed. in a age where every sports illustrated is half-filled with stories about tony romo fucking some "famous" blonde or another, or the various dramas of michael vick or kobe or blah blah blah, and the other half is updates on records with questionable asterisks next to them, you've got to assume that everyone's just exhausted from the douchebaggery.
it certainly isn't that anyone truly believes the giants don't partake in several of the activities named above (and i doubt every accusation leveled against the pats is 100% true). but it's easy to believe. dorky eli manning was the complete antithesis to tom brady, and a lovable lug like strahan was the complete antithesis to 'roid-raging fuckbags like rodney harrison. and, while coughlin might be known around the league as a task-driver and a blowhard, belichick is a man almost universally hated--i've talked to pats fans who refuse to defend him, which is saying a lot, i think. other coaches refuse to shake this man's hand.
no one needed an underdog. we just needed a team that wasn't the definition of why people start giving up on sports. the giants were that. everyone will hate them again in a week or two, but for now, that helmet catch made people feel like kids again. you know, back when sports seemed like it was full of awesome people you wanted to hang out with. back when sports didn't seem like predetermined events, and you really believed anything could happen on any given sunday. i lost this feeling when i was about 12*. i'm thankful the giants gave me it back, even for a few days.
the downside of all of this is, i'm just not looking forward to all those millions of sobbing pats fans that suddenly came into being in 2002 now becoming giants fans and ruining my bars.
* why? because the cowboys.