Idol Chatter

SuperBowl2.jpgIn the growing (and potentially nauseating!) world of reality TV, yesterday’s Super Bowl once again proved that professional sports are still the absolute best reality TV programming on the air. And, occasionally, it’s not only entertaining, but inspiring, as in yesterday’s game, when David beat Goliath! There’s something in all of us that understands and roots for the underdog, perhaps because we all have ways in which we are underdogs in our own worlds. To that end, the Super Bowl went from boring to brilliant in the 4th quarter when David threw his stones and Goliath fell. And they fell hard.
The New England Patriots were playing not only for this year’s title but for the historical ranking as one of the greatest–if not the greatest teams–of all time. They had become just the third team ever to go through the entire season undefeated. The New York Giants didn’t even make it through the first week undefeated, and they didn’t get a win until the third week of the season. Yet it was the Giants who won one for the ages and silenced their critics forever.

Comparing quarterbacks, Tom Brady has been a golden boy, with record-setting stats on the field and an emerging tabloid star off the field. Eli Manning’s stats and ability to win games paled in comparison not only to Brady but also to his more famous and successful brother, who won last year’s Super Bowl, won most of his games this year, and enjoyed new status as an actor in several highly successful television commercials. Brady was the best in the league. Manning wasn’t even the best in his family! Yet in the end, it was Manning who shook off tacklers to make an all-time amazing play while leading the game-ending drive, leading to the win and his celebratory trip to Walt Disney World.
Comparing coaches, New England’s Bill Belichick has been heralded as a master this year,
even overcoming accusations of cheating which seemed to rally his players around him. New York’s Tom Coughlin has often looked angry at his under-performing players while generally carrying a crusty visage and critical winces most of the time. Yet it was Coughlin sharing the hugs and celebrations while Belichick was crushed and nearly speechless.
And while New England’s receiver core put up record statistics this year, it was the Giants’ receivers who became the 4th-quarter heroes, especially David Tyree, who made the 4th quarter circus-act-hand-to-helmet-while-pirouetting-and-surviving-the-back-bending-tackle-with-the-ball-an-inch-off-the-ground catch that will be repeated for years as one of the best of all time. Then, Plaxico Burress caught the winning pass, before giving the victory speech that credited God for giving him the talent and his team the opportunity. It was live, so the networks couldn’t steer away from the spiritual moment, which was as authentic as it was inspiring.
Today’s day-after water cooler chats will focus on this game so much more than what The Donald said on “Apprentice” or something from “Dancing…”, “Bachelor…” or “My Dad is Smarter Than Your Dad.” It was live. It was inspiring. And as the ticker-tape parade rolls tomorrow, we’ll all have our spirits lifted in ways that may spill over into our own lives. Here’s hoping so!

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