Although I fully supported the dismantling of the Patriot’s perfect record in 2008, this year I’m rooting for New England.
More to the point, as an Eagles fan, I’m rooting for the New York Giants to fail in Super Bowl XLVI. Having just moved to NYC, I’m especially sure of this decision. I can’t imagine putting up with an entire year of Giants fans, proudly donning Super Bowl apparel in the subway, on the streets of Brooklyn, and in the bars, parks, and restaurants of the city. If the Giants win, my gray and green Eagles cap would designate me as a target for heavy doses of scorn. My DeSean Jackson jersey would be outright lambasted. My only hope may be an ironic rendering of my old McNabb jersey. Surely it won’t come to that.
As an Eagles fan, there are universal truths that point directly to the benefit of a Patriots win. For starters, there’s no doubt that most of us hate the Pats and/or the Boston Industrial Sports Complex (this is a term I’ve coined to refer to the city of Boston, it’s sports teams, and their fans, who have all been spoiled by an embarrassment of championship riches of late, which has diluted their ability to appreciate winning and appropriately react to losing). How can any true Eagles fan, in spite of our general disgust for Boston, embrace a hated divisional rival that only finished one game ahead of the birds in the standings this year?
In 2008, it was a whole lot easier to pull for the Giants, because the Patriots were on the verge of making a mockery of every other NFL team. The perfect 19-0 season would have been something that Boston fans could hold over the rest of our heads forever. Fortunately, we were gifted a gloriously unexpected Super Bowl and the Giants temporarily won our affection for preventing an unprecedented amount of New England-area hubris (the temporary nature of this cannot be stressed enough).
This year, there are no perfect records, so I’m thinking about how the big game will affect the Eagles in 2012 and beyond. First, we won’t want the Giants to have a Super Bowl swagger about them in 2012-2013. Sure, it may motivate us to play up each time we see them, but we already do that (Eagles have won 7 of the past 8). Sure, it might take some pressure and attention off of us, but the media will still favor and expect us to make the playoffs. Either way, the Giants will have a lot more confidence coming into the season as Super Bowl champs. I’d rather they continue to be a mentally fragile team, always in danger of a 3 or 4 game slump, and without that boost in confidence of knowing that they made it all the way last year.
Second, there’s always a jealousy factor. If the Giants win, there will inevitably be talk of them chasing a dynasty. Eagles fans really don’t want that. I’d rather hand off another championship to the city of Boston. It won’t change our perception of them. Tom Brady is already one of the greatest QBs of all time, Bill Belichik is already one of the greatest coaches of all time. Just give them another SB ring and let’s all move on. Plus, they’re already so spoiled with championships that the covetous, evil side of me will take great solace in knowing that they’ve lost the ability to truly appreciate victory. If it can’t be Eagles fans, and I have to decide between New England and New York, I want there to be as little joy as possible resulting from whoever wins this Super Bowl.
So I’m going with the Pats, because I personally can’t bear it in New York if the Giants win and because Boston has become the boring, default location for championships. Wait, wasn’t this article supposed to be about how the Super Bowl will affect Eagles fans? Well, let’s put it this way: we had a terrible, awful, under-achieving season…so it’s fitting that we get a terrible, awful Super Bowl matchup. There’s really no good choice here. At the end of it all, the only thing we should root for is a good game and a productive offseason.