The Super Bowl is anybody’s game

Andy McDonough

This Sunday the New York Giants will face off against the heavily favored New England Patriots in sports’ biggest event, the Super Bowl.

The Super Bowl always draws substantial interest, but it will do so even more this year at Quinnipiac because Hamden is smack in between the Patriots’ New England fan base, and the Giants’ home of the tri-state area.

Everyone, me included, expects New England to win. However, history tells us that sports are absolutely full of the unexpected.

The Patriots are a complete team. Their offense is incredibly powerful, having set multiple records. Quarterback Tom Brady is a three-time Super Bowl champion, and is already destined to the Hall of Fame at age 30.

While the Patriots’ defense is not as flashy, it is still strong. The hordes of Quinnipiac students hailing from New England might also mention that their Pats are the first NFL team in history to reach an 18-0 record.

They would probably also point out that the Patriots are this decade’s NFL dynasty, already having won Super Bowls in the 2002, 2004 and 2005 seasons.

Those students from the New York area who grew up Giants fans might mention that the Patriots toughest game came last month against their Giants. In the season finale, the Giants had nothing to gain, but brought everything they had in an effort to destroy the Patriots perfect season.

The Patriots escaped with a narrow 38-35 victory, but just challenging the Patriots propelled the Giants to a miraculous playoff run. Seeded fifth out of six teams, the Giants won three consecutive road games to win the NFC championship.

Despite this, no one expects the Giants to beat a Patriots team recognized as one of the best in NFL history.

But this is sports. Anything can happen.

The Patriots reign as the premier NFL team began in 2002 with a surprise victory over the St. Louis Rams. As a high school freshman, I remember every single NFL expert swearing that the Patriots could never beat the heavily favored Rams.

After one of the greatest games in NFL history, Patriot fans, including 7th through 10th graders that would later attend Quinnipiac, were jumping with joy.

The examples don’t stop there.

As of the 2004 American League Championship series no baseball team had ever overcome a 3-0 to win a post-season series. For decades, the Boston Red Sox had always faltered against the New York Yankees.

So, no one in their right minds expected the Red Sox to win four straight games en route to beating the Yankees, and later earning their first World Series title since 1918.

I was still in high school at the time, but I’d guess that life was rather difficult on campus for Yankees fans during that particular October.

The unpredictable nature of sports has not always worked in favor of Boston fans.

In 1986, Red Sox Nation probably thought that they had my Mets beat. All the Red Sox had to do was get one more out in game six to secure a victory.

For those who are not baseball fans, mention the name Bill Buckner to a lifelong Red Sox fans see what reaction you get.

So, sure the Patriots will probably win on Sunday. But there are no certainties in sports. So whether you’re from New England or North Jersey it should be a game worth watching.