Around water coolers, inside lunchrooms, and contained in texts from one phone to the next across this country, The New England Patriots perfect 16-0 campaign has surely captured America’s attention- sparking a large number of conversations centering on both the NFL and perfection. Since they’re everyone’s favorite subjects everywhere, interest is peaking as football fans remain transfixed on this weekend’s Divisional playoffs to see if the Pats will keep it rolling. As elite teams go, when success builds the team ‘bus’ begins swelling at the seams due to an ever-increasing number of supporters; conversely, the murky undercurrent of detractors (haters) also steps up and creates even more buzz about the game(s), making the teams appear larger than life and more than filling any vacuum left by the wake of fans getting on and off the bandwagon. The pressure against them continues to grow as they re-write history in the form of new records met and at the same time continue succeeding in the playoffs.
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While watching these same Patriots play for an undefeated regular season against the New York Giants in the last week of the season a lifelong friend of mine who, like me is a diehard Dallas Cowboy’s fan, sent me a text declaring how badly he was pulling for the Giants to win. After watching the game go back and forth for a bit, it dawned on me that my friend had to have been mistaken. Not only should any real, knowledgeable, and self-respecting Cowboy fan not ever back the Giants in a game (that’s a given), but this reason to root against them was among the best reasons ever. Anyhow, as the last of the letters clicked off of my phone and the message was sent successfully, it was hard not to smile at the all too unlikely scenario of events that was proposed to him on that text.
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It would be hard to imagine a more storybook ‘Hollywood type’ Super Bowl ending than the Cowboys- the NFC’s number one seeded team in the playoffs- not only facing but defeating a previously unbeaten and historically epic Patriots team. Such a script pitting Golden Boy QB Tom Brady against up and coming gunslinger Tony Romo is what movie makers have in mind when producing most classic football movies- only this wouldn’t be a movie! As a Cowboy fan, what could be more giant, more enormous, and/or more super than a SUPER ending to the most SUPER of SUPER BOWLS? Beating the Pats in Arizona, site of the Cardinals sparkling new stadium and coincidentally the last state the Cowboys actually won the Super Bowl in against Pittsburgh in 1995, isn’t all that improbable after all.
Considering that the ‘Boys ruled the Great Southwest for many very successful seasons long before the Cardinals decided to roost there in 1988, this should/could practically seem like a home game for them. Add to that the fact that the Pats will begin their post-season by hosting the Jacksonville Jaguars before hoping to see the Indianapolis Colts at home the following week in the AFC championship game. Last year it was the Colts who won in Foxboro and knocked the Pats out of the post-season. In the regular season meeting the two slugged it out toe to toe before the Pats pulled the game out at the end. The Colts were missing key players in that game which was in Indy at the RCA dome.
Not only will the Patriots be tested by the first two AFC opponents at home, they’ll most likely view the NFC winner and representative in the Super Bowl as a step down from the Jags or Colts. One more small detail,this will be the first ‘road game’ for the Pats in over a month and if both the Cowboys and Pats make it to the ‘BIG GAME’ in Glendale Az, this will be the longest Patriots road trip of the year by far. Next longest was against the Cowboys in Dallas in what was a very competitive game. Also worth mentioning, the Patriots will have played six of their last eight games at home with the last road wins being struggles again the Ravens, Giants, and Colts.
That being said, my friend responded to my text immediately, “Cowboys knock off undefeated Pats in the Super Bowl to win their record setting sixth title in the MOST unlikely and dramatic game EVER..” I can see it now in the paper! Then he added, “I like the way you think!”
How could any REAL Dallas Cowboy fan see things differently?