The New York Giants have beaten the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.
The New England Patriots were the better regular season team. They dominated teams with their prolific offense, only to be held to under 20 points in the season's biggest game.
The Pats held a lead late in the fourth quarter and seemed to have the game wrapped up, only to watch Eli Manning lead a heroic game-winning drive.
There was just enough time for Brady to pull off a miracle of Tim Tebow proportions, and despite coming tantalizingly close (nearly connected on Hail Marys to Randy Moss in '08 and Gronk last night) he couldn't make it happen.
Eli has twice as many Super Bowl rings as big brother Peyton Manning.
I'm still recovering, and don't really want to talk about this, so I will be brief.
Super Bowl XVLI played out much like the big game did four years ago, when a star-crossed 18-0 Patriots squad was on the brink of victory, only to watch it slip through their fingers. New York held a limping Rob Gronkowski (high ankle sprain) to just two catches, but then again ill-timed injuries are nothing new to Boston sports teams. There was Ted Williams and Jim Rice getting hit by pitches before eventual World Series defeats. There was Kevin McHale playing through a broken foot against the Lakers in '87, Kevin Garnett blowing out his knee in 2009 and Kendrick Perkins going down in Game 6 of the Finals the following year. Brady himself was lost for the entire 2008 season, and although backup Matt Cassel did his best that year, New England missed the playoffs by one win. Surely if you replace Cassel with Brady, the Pats win one more game, right?
Granted, we all knew this Patriots team was flawed. The defense was shoddy, the O line inconsistent, and the team lacked a true deep threat that could stretch opposing defenses and allow Wes Welker, Aaron Hernandez, Branch and Gronk to punch holes through the secondary. But this 9-7 Giants squad was a team of destiny. By all rights they shouldn't have been a playoff team in the first place, then they reel off four straight postseason victories. They caught all the right breaks at the right times. Three times they fumbled and the only time New England recovered one, they had twelve men on the field. The unflappable Brady got slapped with an intentional grounding (after an incredibly fortunate bounce off the punt) while standing inside the end zone, and down the stretch his normally reliable receivers played like their hands were slathered in butter. They coughed up an early 9-0 lead and nearly let New England run away with the game in the second half. Mario Manningham, not quite David Tyree on this night, but in the same zip code, hauled in a 38 yard bomb and barely got both feet in before Patrick Chung laid him out, and then when the Pats were trying to pull off the ultimate comeback Deion Branch just missed making a similar play.
In games as close as these, the final outcome almost always decided by a handful of big plays and the team that makes them. In 2008, and again in 2012, the Giants made them, and the Patriots didn't.
That's it. That's all there is.
Oh, and the Patriots might be cursed. These losses could be karma for SpyGate and the Brady/Moynihan child out of wedlock. I seem to remember that Boston's baseball team opened the previous century with a dynasty, only to suffer through decades of unimaginable torment and suffering after letting the team fall into the wrong hands (Frazee and Yawkey) and giving away some guy named Ruth. And didn't those guys lose a lot of games to New York, too?
I think I'm gonna be sick. When do pitchers and catchers report to spring training, again?