Thirteen days of hype, reminders, and bravado from that city west of Stamford.
Revenge Bowl, 2012.
Good grief, what a day for football yesterday was. Baltimore has not one, but a pair of Buckners to add to its illustrious sports history, while the Giants staved off the 49ers in overtime to set up a Patriots-Giants Super Bowl matchup.
There will be no David Tyree, Asante Samuel, Rodney Harrison, or Michael Strahan. The game will be played indoors in Indianapolis, not the desert, and the hope for Patriots fans is that the end result is much different.
It will be.
There's no way the Patriots lose this game is there? There's no way Bill Belichick or Tom Brady will allow it. There's no way that they allow their legacies to be tainted by a pair of gaffes to Big Blue. Right?
The Patriots open as three-point favorites to win their fourth Super Bowl, a game the team has been to seven times now (3-3) in franchise history. You could argue this trip was more gift-wrapped than any other. Doesn't matter. They're there, and 30 other teams are not.
Belichick is seeking his fourth ring as a head coach, sixth overall. Brady is in search of his fourth, his first since beating the Eagles in 2005. Wes Welker is looking for his first. So are Aaron Hernandez, Jerod Mayo, and Rob Gronkowski.
If parallels are anything, Pats fans have to hate waking up to news that the best tight end in football ended yesterday's win over Baltimore in a...boot, of all things. We all remember those infamous tabloid pictures of Brady wandering Manhattan streets the week prior to heading to Arizona. Initial reports say that he'll be ready to play in a fortnight, but still, you have to hate the irony.
Whatever. We'll take it. It's been a long time since we've seen a title game around here. Seven months, to be precise. The Patriots, Celtics, and Bruins have all made their respective postseasons three years in a row now. The Red Sox are doing their best not to join that party. But, hey, it's tough, you know.
New England is finally back on a winning streak. The city has now seen four straight playoffs wins (Bruins, Games 6 and 7, Patriots over the Broncos and Ravens) and things are finally back on top. There's no way that streak ends with a loss in Indy. No way.
History is at stake. And, yes, sure, the last time these two teams faced off in the Super Bowl there was a bit of legacy in line, but there's no way it's going to happen again.
It's the matchup everyone wanted, and the matchup none of us wanted. But really, has there ever been a more compelling showdown in Patriots Super Bowl history?
The Bears, Packers, Rams, Panthers, and Eagles all never had a bitter history with the New Englanders. The Giants? What a storyline that will be driven into the ground.
You know what? We can't wait.
New England-New York. The Northeast rules the sports scene yet again.
This time is going to be different.
We think. Right?