Will the Patriots win a fourth Super Bowl in ten years?
Is this even a question?
I hate Eli Manning
I think I had a heart attack...
As the field goal sailed left to send the Patriots into their fifth Super Bowl appearance in ten years, my chest began to tighten and throb, like an elephant was sitting on me. Granted, this may have been the result of my hurling myself onto the ground in ecstacy, but just to be safe, I might want to get checked out by a medical professional. And while they monitor my heart and take a sampling of my blood, I was recall the majesty and horror that was the AFC Championship game between the Baltimore Ravens and the New England Patriots.
For starters, Tom Brady sucked. I've only been able to say that three times in my life, and at least four of those times I didn't really mean it. This time, though, I mean it. He was horrible. He didn't throw for a single touchdown, just a week after throwing for six, and finished with a passer rating of 57.5, the lowest score he's received since Pee-Wee League, 1984. He looked absolutely confused, like he couldn't find his car keys and was certain he left the over on.
Fortunately, when it mattered most, with the team down 20-16, Brady did manage to muster just one play of greatness, recalling the brilliance and heroism of games past and diving head first toward the end zone, risking damaging his perfectly formed face, to give the Patriots the lead, and the game it's final score, 23-20. It was his moment of redemption, and it gave him a chance to prove his legendary status in Super Bowl XLVI.
Ultimately, the story of the day was the Patriots defense. This is a squad the looked so utterly awful during the regular season that they managed to lose four of the Patriots 13 wins. Yet somehow (I suspect voodoo to be somehow involved), they have looked pretty damn good during the playoffs. And today, when it mattered most, the defense came up with the big stops. With two consecutive major preventions in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter, the defense looked New England in the face and said, "suck it, haters."
At the end of it all, I have to be fair and admit that the Ravens lost this game with much more ferver than the Patriots won it (thank you, Billy Cundiff!) But, a win is a win, and the Patriots are headed to Indianapolis to square off against the victor of the NFC Championship game in the Super Bowl. As of this writing, I don't know which team that will be, but I will go out on a limb and say that it will be San Francisco, because I hate the Giants and want to see them cry.
Until the Super Bowl arrives, keep yourselves hydrated and well fed, so that you can muster the needed energy to cheer your team to victory from several hundred miles away! I recommend a hearty intake of nachos and ice cream.