Now that was a Super Bowl.
Normally I don't follow any sport, and I never watch the big games that seem to capture everyone's attention. The Final Four, the World Series, the World Cup: couldn't care less. But every year I dedicate one Sunday to the Super Bowl. Ostensibly I watch it for the commercials and the grandiosity of the whole thing, a spectacle that manages to conflate our nation's obsessions with gastronomic excess, militaristic nationalism, nostalgic patriotism, and consumer identity.
But I also enjoy the game.
Oh yes, four 15-minute quarters that, to Jenny's chagrin, manage to last all afternoon and into the evening.
Since I don't follow the teams throughout the year, I usually face a last minute decision: for whom do I cheer? A sense of honor compels me to pick a team before kick-off so that I can ride its fortunes up or down. Yet I cannot help but grow excited for both teams as they advance down the gridiron.
Yesterday I chose the Giants, if only because they were so destined to lose. I mean the Patriots were coming into the season with a perfect record, ready to join the ranks of immortals like the '72 Dolphins. Compare to those beleaguered Giants who lost their first two games and came into the post-season as Wildcard players. It would be a slaughter.
But I was drawn to the underdog and - wow - did they come through.
Of all my favorite plays, and there were several, was a moment when Eli Manning looked sure to be sacked before miraculously breaking free of jersey-grabbing linemen. Creating a momentary pocket, Manning floated a 32-yard pass to David Tyree, who made a catch that could only be envisioned by a Hollywood screenwriter, wrenching from a determined opponent and slapping the ball to his helmet. Tyree later explained, "My opportunities are too far and few to let that one go. It was supernatural, you know? Some things just don't make sense, and that catch is a good example."
After a slow and ungainly start, this Super Bowl (and its winning team) offered up a vivid example of persistence in the face of long odds. An incredible game.
Read more about the catch at ESPN.