Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The Fall of the Prophet

This is the start of my (belated) look back at 2008. I have plans for a number of posts to make an appearance here in the coming days, so please, continue to check back as I reflect on a number of things that made 2008 worthwhile.

Without further ado, here is the first installment in the "Adventures of 2008".

Date: February 3, 2008

Prologue: The unstoppable forces of evil go against the plucky underdog. Despite having a vastly superior force to anyone else in the world, they still resort to underhanded tactics to overcome their foes. Victory appeared so imminent that a group of giants seemed unable to keep these forces at bay. All seems lost for truth and justice, as the sinister brigade looks to cement their place in history, however, as is often the case, things do not go quite as they seem...

The New England Patriots finished the 2007 regular season in historic fashion. They defeated the New York Giants in a nail biter and ended the regular season at 16-0, something that no team had ever done before. During the first two rounds of the playoffs they steamrolled the competition, and prepared for a Superbowl showdown against the very same Giants that they had vanquished once before.

Despite their absolutely historic run (the Miami Dolphins had completed a perfect regular season in 1972, however, their regular season was only 14 games long, thus making this one arguably more impressive), the New England Patriots were not without their detractors. The most notorious of which was the infamous "Spygate" scandal. The New England Patriots were accused of filming a practice held by the New York Jets prior to their September 9th match-up, a game which the Patriots easily won.

After a series of investigations, the Patriots were fined and lost their first round draft pick due to breaking the NFL's rules. After this, a series of other accusations surfaced about Bill Bilichick taping a variety of other games, including the 2002 Superbowl, which the Patriots scored an unlikely upset over the vaunted St. Louis Rams.

Regardless of wether the Patriots cheated in any other game, it did not matter, doubt was cast upon their legacy and their quest for perfection. Even if they were to win the Superbowl, there would be a number of questions as to how many victories that they actually earned, and how many were gathered illegally. This caused a great deal of resentment against the New England Patriots, as even non-football fans were hoping for them to lose. Normally this kind of sporting animosity is only reserved for the New York Yankees, the Toronto Maple Leafs, the LA Lakers, and the US Olympic team. However, on this day, the Patriots entered the infamous club.

The game itself was a rather slow affair for the first three quarters. It looked like the Patriots offense was having a slow day, and their defense had to take over. The score was 7-3 for New England, heading into the fourth. The Giants scored an unlikey touchdown at the start of the quarter to make it 10-7, and then things got interesting.

Tom Brady, arguably one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time, turned it up a notch, and lead to the Patriots getting another touchdown, to make it 14-10 with 2:42 left to play. It seemed like the inevitable was going to occur, and there would be 19-0 posters everywhere the next morning.

Then, this happened.

Watch that again if you have to, because it is simply one of the most amazing (and downright lucky) catches you will ever see.

A few drives later and the Giants scored another touchdown, making the score 17-14 with 35 seconds left. The Patriots attempted to move the ball down the field, and the unthinkable happened.

The clock ran out. The Patriots lost.

The Giants completed one of the greatest upsets in sporting history as they humbled the unbeatable juggernaut. Sports fans and casual viewers alike celebrated as the bad guys lost, and evil was vanquished for yet another day.

Epilogue: The New England Patriots, perhaps more motivated than ever, looked to start the 2008 season with a bang, and perhaps claim the Championship that they felt they deserved the year before. However, in an act that can only be described as karmic, star quarterback Tom Brady, suffered a knee injury during the first quarter of the first game. It would be both his first game of the season, and his last. As a result of losing their star, the Patriots failed to make the playoffs this past season, and will have to wait at least another season to win the one game that truly matters.

Until next time,


Achieved Year in Review Posts:

The Fall of the Prophet - January 6th
The Rise of the Ice Queen -January 7th
An Unlikely Fruition - January 7th
Attack of the Three-Headed Terror - January 9th
A Most Sincere Inquiry - January 10th
The Golden League - January 14th
The Fall from Grace - January 16th
The Eighth Layer of Injustice - January 16th
The Transmuter of Nations - January 22nd

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