The future Mrs. Devo. Aka: Kate Mara, the one thing that everyone on this site can give props to. Even MissMet.
What a difference a year makes in the Tri-State Area. While 3/7 of this site are more pumped than White Boy or myself going on a date with Kate Mara, I've found that most of my non-Steelers people in the area aren't looking forward to the game. Sure, they'll go out if something's happening, but they'd go out if anything is even thinking of happening, sports-related or not. By this time last year, most of my people had their plans. (Mostly due to having them promise me that they would go exactly where they went the last 3 playoff games to watch the SB. I'd be shocked if less than 90% lied to me about sticking with the same locale.)
This year? Not at all. Even my dad's crew, which usually runs at least 4 or 5 couples deep on Super Sunday has just been delegated to him and a buddy of his. And I think his buddy is only coming over because he has two daughters and doesn't want to go through the shame of trying to beg to flip to the game during Gossip Girl commercials. So these are some theories why no one in the area cares about Super Bowl XLIII
1. No Giants. The simple answer is that there is no local team playing in the Super Bowl, so why should New York care with such alternatives as the Knicks and Islanders to occupy our time? But last year was the 5th time a New York team was in the Super Bowl in its 43 year history. I'm 26, vaguely remember doing the Ickey shuffle, and I've only seen 3 Giants appearances in a 21 year span.
But this answer is two-fold:
a) Last year was a great story. The Giants are not the only team to rise from regular season punching bags to Super Bowl Champions. (Looking your way, Cowher.) But let's remember last year's run one more time. (TO AVOID A POTENTIALLY BORING RECAP OF THE LAST 4 GAMES OF THE '07-'08 GIANTS' SEASON SKIP THE NEXT 3 PARAGRAPHS)
First, you had the Giants, doing everything in their power to derail the Patriots juggernaut in week 17. Despite the valiant effort, the Patriots held on thanks to Randy Moss serving James Butler, the play that put Moss and Brady specifically, and the Patriots team as a whole, in the record books at 16-0. Everyone thought that it was the best the Giants could do. Then, the Tampa game, where they played efficiently enough to win, much to my chagrin. I was hoping they could lose so that the front office could burn this village down in order to save it. But then you had the Dallas game, which was probably better than the following week because the Giants ended the 'inevitable' Dallas/Patriots matchup, and sent T.O. crying to the media. That game was the only time I saw the Cowboys lose with Jerry Jones on the sidelines.
And at this point, it was a successful season. I was ready to fold it up and call it a night. But what the hell, might as well see if they could beat the Packers in the bitter cold, right? And a strange thing happened: the Giants dominated the Packers. Oh, it took an OT field goal to win, but consider the following: 7 of the Packers 17 points came on one short pass where Butler and Webster tackled each other; the Giants had two opportunities to win the game on field goals and failed; Ahmad Bradshaw had a roughly 40 yard td run late in the 4th that was called back because of a phantom hold call; Favre had a few chances to rock a game winning drive and much to Madden and Peter King's shock, he failed. And just like that the Giants, Eli Manning and the whole crew, were going to the Super Bowl. We all knew they wouldn't beat the Patriots, but it was a good run by all, and if nothing else, I was fully prepared for another 2-3 years of Coughlin and Eli. Pretty much every NFC East fan said they would root for the Giants in the Super Bowl, no small feat.
And then a weird thing happened: the Giants not only had a helluva opening drive against the vaunted Pats D, they stopped Brady during the final two minutes of the half. And they didn't just stop him, Tuck and Osi forced a fumble with a hit that practically cracked my own ribs. As I texted to BH and roughly all 3 of my other friends, 'The Russian's been cut!' The Giants were down, but they hadn't led at the half of any of their playoff games, so no big deal. The Super Bowl was New York's to lose. And then the second half happened: Tyree, Plax, Alford's sack, and the Giants, were Champions. I always knew I'd eventually see a Giants Super Bowl win in my lifetime. But my dad's? I couldn't believe it. People were calling congratulations and I let it go. I didn't want to take my eyes off the TV, knowing how rare it could be.
Still with me? All of this is to say that last year was unbelievable. The Giants were America's Team and New York loved it. It was an unbelievable story, and everyone south and west of Hartford was buying what Eli was selling. People who never followed football suddenly became diehard Giants fans. Hell, even my mom watched. Even Jets fans were thrilled that Brady was proven human. But no one's kidding themselves. Nothing that exciting can possibly happen again this year. So they'll flip on the game during Simpsons commercial breaks.
b) Giant fans feel that the Eagles robbed them of a repeat. Most Giant fans, deep down, are smart enough to know that more than the Eagles stood in the way of a Giants repeat. Giant fans will acknowledge that the team was lousy for all of December. But this team was so great for the first three months that there's no way most fans accept that the same team that manhandled the Ravens, and went on the road to beat both Super Bowl teams. Winning the Super Bowl last year was fun. But repeating would've been real nice too. After all, where's Kenny Phillips' ring?
2. No Patriots. There's not even any team for New Yorkers to rally against. As touched upon above, most fans across the country did not rally around the Giants because they got lost in Eli's Manning crossed eyes. No, they loved it because the Drago-esque Patriots were shown to possess flaws. And this year, there just aren't any asshole teams to root against. Sure Giant fans don't want to see Ben with more hardware than Eli. And those of us who like to separate church and football don't want to hear about how god took time off from his Africa business trip to help Warner complete a post pattern to Fitzgerald. But other than the Patriots, Cowboys, and Eagles, I'm relatively indifferent to the rest of the league winning a Super Bowl.
3. Obama. Look, America has room for exactly one late January/early February celebration, and Barack beat the NFL to the punch. Obama was wrong, there are precisely two Americas. One America is lazily enjoying change by keeping pace of every activity that Obama does, while the other America is too busy protecting their property with their six newly-acquired automatic weapons. Whether you're drunk on change and tequila or keeping a close lookout for a roving band of Rev. Wrights, you really don't care about a stupid game. You have life to worry about.
4. Are you kidding me? It's hockey season! (Or maybe it's the economy.)
Next up: the most in depth prediction of Springsteen's halftime setlist allowed by the Koran.