Well, the parallels between Super Bowls 42 and 46 were many: Low score. Defenses that stepped up. Long, sustained scoring drives. Eli Manning leading the Giants down the field in the final minutes. A pass for the ages to keep the winning drive going. A last-minute touchdown by New York. And a desperation heave by Tom Brady that was broken up.
And Bill Belichick being a sore loser. While this time he actually stayed around to effusively hug his old friend Tom Coughlin after the game, he blew off the NBC crew, rather than give the network the two-minute losing-coach interview.
Some things were different. An early brainfart by Brady. A Madonna halftime show where Madge wasn’t the center of controversy, but a rapper who quickly flashed the bird (which I didn’t see until later on, on YouTube, because the screen was so small). The Patriots’ most reliable receiver, Wes Welker, making a huge drop when it counted most. The most reluctant winning touchdown in the history of football. Watching the game from the office, a funeral home-quiet place most days, where my reactions were, well, a lot more muted than they would have been had I been at a party, my original game plan.
And Coughlin hugging Flavor Flav. An image for the ages. (Had the coach said “Yeeeeah, boyeee!” I would’ve fallen out of my chair.)
But for all intents, we have, indeed, been there before. Giants over the Patriots in the big one, by less than a TD in the final minute. And Eli winning the MVP trophy again, only this time in the house his brother built.