As I sat down to watch Super Bowl 42, I took notes with the intention of taking away some entertaining snippets from a game that appeared, at least on paper, to have the potential to spiral into a blowout win for the New England Patriots. What ended up happening was that I got to soak in one of the greatest upsets in the history of the NFL. Here are a few of my entries from the game:
p. 5:55 — I’ve just tuned into FOX and am now treated to a recitation of the Declaration of Independence by leading figures in football. The segment also features some historical re-enactments of the signing that look like they should be in an instructioinal video for middle school government classes. I fail to see the connection between this and the Super Bowl. Please start the game already.
p. 6:44 — Game on. The Giants cap an impressive opening drive with a Lawrence Tynes field goal. They really needed a touchdown. They’re going to have to match every one of the Patriots’ scores if they want to have a prayer.
p. 6:46 — The first pretty funny commercial of the night, featuring a series of shots of people nodding off to sleep, until drinking Pepsi Max causes them to perk up. The song from “A Night at the Roxbury” plays, and people start doing the sideways head bob from the SNL skit. Not even an appearance by Chris Kattan can ruin it for me.
p. 7:01 — Touchdown Patriots. The Pats’ offense looks impressive as usual. The Giants are going to need to answer quickly.
7:10 — For the love of God, Kevin Gilbride, please give Ahmad Bradshaw more carries. He’s about 250 times quicker through the hole than Brandon Jacobs is, and he never goes down on the first hit. The Giants need every yard they can get.
p. 7:42 — Justin Timberlake appears in an ad in which a girl sipping on a drink causes him to be thrown around against his will. He gets his crotch slammed repeatedly into a mailbox post. Somewhat ironic given that the ad runs four years after the infamous “wardrobe malfunction.”
p. 8:05 — Tom Petty performs for the halftime show. As he begins, wild cheering fans come running onto the field up to the stage. My question: who are these people? At one point, I’m almost positive that I see Tara Reid. I can only hope that this is the caliber of individual they employ for such a task.
p. 8:43 — Bill Belichick makes the decision to go for it on fourth and 13, rather than kicking a 49-yard field goal. They don’t convert. It’s starting to feel like there’s an upset in the making.
9:13 — Coke has a relatively funny ad with James Carville and Bill Frist becoming friends, racing around on Segway scooters in D.C. Overall, the commercials have been disappointing.
p. 9:33 — It’s becoming increasingly obvious that the refs are subconsciously throwing every call the Giants’ way. I can’t remember the last time a call went against the Giants. Not that I’m complaining.
p. 9:51 — Down 14-10, after being caught in the grasp of nearly four New England defenders, Manning escapes the pocket and fires a pass into quadruple coverage. David Tyree leaps and makes a one-handed grab, pinning the ball to his helmet as he falls to the turf. Clearly, the football gods are on New York’s side tonight.
p. 9:55 — Manning throws a TD pass to a wide-open Plaxico Burress in the end zone. The Giants are leading the Patriots 17-14. In the Super Bowl. With 30 seconds left. This can’t be real.
10:05 — After Brady’s last-gasp pass attempt falls incomplete, the Giants run the last second off the clock. They have won the Super Bowl. Belichick looks pissed.
p. 10:19 — At the podium, FOX announcer Terry Bradshaw hands Giants’ coach Tom Coughlin the Lombardi Trophy, telling him “Go ahead. Touch it, kiss it, do whatever you want to do.” The nation lets out a collective cry of “That’s what she said!”
p. 10:30 — More postgame festivities. It begins to sink in. That the Patriots have actually lost, and that the Giants have actually won. The Manning to Tyree pass will now have its place among the greatest plays in the history of the game. This has to be the best Super Bowl I’ve ever seen. I already can’t wait for next season. Something tells me it’s going to be the Buffalo Bills’ year.
p. __E-mail Jeff Dooley at [email protected]__