The World According to AdamLee
This wasn't supposed to happen. I have played out the scenarios so many different times in my head, and try as I might, could not come to this ending. The New York Giants were not supposed to beat the New England Patriots. This is shocking. The ending to "The Sixth Sense" shocking. Vader telling Luke "I am your father" shocking. That's not to say I didn't have a small idea that the Giants' victory would occur. As a big brother in my family, there is always a point in your life when you start to wonder if you may underestimate your younger sibling, allowing them to sneak up and beat you. But there are so many reasons that this feels wrong to me. Tom Brady and his team had written the script down to the last act, the stage was set, and we were all going to be spectators to the poetic precision of the Patriots' offense, the modern day NFL Shakespeare and University Wits to the Globe Theatre that was Phoenix Stadium. Of course, if I had truly been studying history I would have known the ending before it blindsided me. We can look to the Old Testament, where the book of Samuel tells the story of David and Goliath. By now many of you know the story of the Goliath, the champion of the Philistines, who is defeated by David and his sling. On Sunday we saw a sports equivalent of that. There is irony in the fact that the Patriots were defeated by a team named the Giants, their quarterback Eli Manning playing the role of the hero with the slingshot for an arm. It's also an appropriate comparison considering that the NFL Gods were smiling down on Eli as he continuously and carelessly threw the ball into triple coverage, only to have Asante Samuel and his friends do their best version of hot potato. Make no mistake, this game should have belonged to the Patriots. There are plenty of people who are thrilled to see the Patriots' run at perfection end, and I can't understand why. What they had achieved leading up to the Super Bowl was unprecedented. No team in the NFL had ever gone 18-0. It had been 35 years since the last team, the grumpy old men 1972 Miami Dolphins, had gone undefeated. This was supposed to be a season that we could tell our grandchildren about. Who doesn't want to be a part of something bigger than them? And yet, New England came up just short in its attempt to be known as the greatest team of all time. But instead we were witnesses to another historical act. Eli Manning, a little brother himself (and far less popular than his big brother, NFL poster boy and commercial ****, Peyton Manning), finally shook off the label of underachiever. This will perhaps go down as the biggest upset in NFL history, if only for what it prevented the Patriots from accomplishing. And it all feels wrong. In an age of storybook endings, this is worse than if the ending of Citizen Kane left us with an explanation that Rosebud was a pet name he had for his wife. It's like Humphrey Bogart staying with Ingrid Bergman at the end of Casablanca. It's like George W. Bush beating Al Gore for...well, you get the idea. Maybe it's the big brother in me who says that little brothers shouldn't get the better of us, or maybe it's my huge American ego that tells me the little guy shouldn't win. The golden boy, Tom Brady, was supposed to ride off into the sunset, Lombardi Trophy in one hand, and supermodel Gisele in the other. But that's not what happened. We weren't witness to perfection on Sunday, and who knows how long, or if we will ever see a run at 19-0 the way the Patriots did. Instead, we are left feeling normal. Like Icarus when he flew to close to the Sun, we are reminded that maybe we aren't meant to be perfect, and the reminder stings far worse the closer you get to the goal.


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