Today Really Sucks for Patriots Fans

The crappy thing about that game last night was that there’s nothing really to be angry about. It’s not like you can blame it all on Wes Welker — the Patriots wouldn’t have gotten anywhere near the Super Bowl without him. And besides, even if that’s a play Welker usually makes, it wasn’t an easy catch. He made a physical mistake, not some great mental gaffe. Accidents happen. Any mention of Bill Buckner is idiotic.

You can’t really get upset about Mario Manningham’s insane, fourth-quarter sideline catch, either. Unlike David Tyree’s helmet catch in Super Bowl XLII, to which it will be compared for an interminably long time, which is to say forever, there was no luck involved. That was just a perfect throw and a perfect catch. Nothing you can do about it. The worst luck the Patriots had in that game was stripping the Giants of the ball twice and having the damn thing bounce straight into New York hands. Karma seems like it should have pushed at least one of those toward the Patriots, but hey, that’s football. Ditto for Gronk’s injury. What are you going to do?

So yeah, the Patriots lost when they very easily could have won. I can think of about five plays off the top of my head that would have resulted in a Patriots victory if they went the other way. On the other hand, I’m having a hard time coming up with too many of those plays that the Giants needed but the ball just happened to bounce the right way for the Patriots. You could make an argument for that one non-call on pass interference in the second half, but that’s about it. Then again, I’m partisan. In the end, it was a hell of a game and the Patriots lost. There are no real goats and nothing really to complain about. I’d feel much better if there were.

The good news is that, with their young core developing nicely and two first round picks coming in April, the Pats are well positioned to make it back to next year’s Super Bowl in New Orleans. And we know that the Patriots always make it to the Super Bowl in New Orleans (three of the last four times it’s been there, anyway). As great as that would be, the Super Bowl I really want is in two years, when it’s hosted in New York at the Meadowlands. Imaging the Pats notching another championship there — in front of the New York fans — well, at least it makes last night go down a little easier.

Anyway, since this really sucks, here’s a cheer-up video from when the Patriots used to, you know, win Super Bowls. Pitchers and catchers report February 19.