it was a great day for the NFL, sports, and my morale as a whole. i'll be the first to admit that my perception of the patriots has changed over the years quite dramatically... i was initially indifferent, then i hated them more than anything for some time, and then came this season, when i got caught up with the "PURSUIT OF PERFECTION" hype, and i pretty much got on their bandwagon. i gotta be human and admit that ESPfreakinN helped me buy into the whole "19-0" BS... the patriots are the best team i've ever seen. they'd wreck the '72 dolphins. i wanna see history. those are quotes of mine throughout the course of this 2007 season. i was confident as all hell that i was not only seeing the best team in the NFL this year by far, but maybe the baddest team ever. they had it all: a celebrity quarterback, the most talented receiver in nfl history resurrecting his career, a tough coach that barely showed any emotion at any point... and most importantly, the most insignificant case of "cheating" ever became the "story" around them. seriously, taping a team's practice? or getting another point of view in the stadium? game film alone should be enough, and you also got arguably the most talented roster in the history of this league backing you up... since talent is so important, right? no need to cheat, who cares? but yeah, the pats wrecked people early and often, and then showed some signs of humanity towards the end of the season, almost losing to the giants, who they also faced in the last game in the preseason (meaningless, but interesting nonetheless)... and lost NO games along the way. the ravens beat them but the scoreboard ruled otherwise, and the giants pushed them to the limit. the giants? the team i said was the WORST IN THE NFC before the season? yeah right. i had a feeling they'd keep it close, but in the end the resiliency of the patriots would reign. tom brady losing a superbowl? naw. eli manning winning one? right. up until late in the 4th quarter, this was my mindset. it had pretty much been my stupid, selfish mindset the entire season: "oh man, they're not gonna lose! they're so good! they're the best team i've ever seen!" eli manning (i was told he looked like he had "semi-downs" and laughed like crazy a few hours before) got the snap and then was instantly bombarded by what seemed like 20 patriot d-linemen... he had no chance. i thought, "just go down eli, don't fumble the ball." eli then somehow got out of the mess that his life was gonna become and ran to his right, gunning an overthrown ball that somehow stuck to david tyree long enough to become not only a clutch first down, but also a legendary moment. and just like that, it hit me. wait, why am i rooting for the patriots? ELISHA FREAKING MANNING just hulked it when it mattered the most and delivered when it seemed impossible, even though it was a trend in the playoffs this season. why did i root for the patriots when they were getting their booties handed to them pretty much the entire game, the only game that mattered for them? how can you win 18 games and lose the last one? there's not a chance of that stuff happening. i had always doubted the giants because i had a series of misjudgments. i had bought into hype once again and believed they were a broken team to start the season, lacking their former star running back and making themselves out to be a wreck. i knew they had talent, but i was dead wrong all season in questioning their heart. after what i'm going to refer to as "the play", there was lots of cheers and a feeling that the patriots... forget the patriots. the giants wanted it more, they were showing us on every snap. ...how did i get this way? how did i underestimate the fragility of a team? why was i rooting for a team that was only going to remembered for the asterisk? i had failed to think about it before... the pats, had they won this game, would have STILL been looked at questionably. as much as i'm convinced spygate is irrelevant, i'm sure future generations (and us, in retrospect) would have found that the '72 dolphins are the only team to go undefeated with no real major controversies that were even mentioned in the same breath as "cheating". there was no "asterisk potential". still, my hatred for mercury morris's boldness got the best of me (through ESPN, of course), and i dogged them for criticizing the 2007 pats, disregarding how special their feat truly was. they're washed up. they're old and bitter, and the patriots are far more talented. sure. the giants pretty much didn't give a *******. they were accused of talking smack just because they knew they could win the game. what else is a team gonna do, concede? the stupid freaking media is powerful, more powerful than people realize. obviously a less talented team can't beat the juggernauts. right? right? ...especially a team with ELI "i'll never be peyton" MANNING at the helm. fast foward to about 30 seconds left in the game and the patriots throw incomplete on 4th down, securing the giants victory. i was cheering hard as the clock struck down, getting chills from the irony of my "change of heart"... all due to that one play. the play. it reminded me that nobody can deny heart. goliath was no better or worse than david, he was just put in his place after meeting him. that's exactly what i think sports needs, and society as a whole needs. you may not be the prettiest, cockiest or smoothest, but if you get your goals accomplished, you're relentless as hell, and you handle your business respectfully, you should be golden. and oh yeah, the nfl wins BIGTIME after this one. the mighty 2007 18-1 new england patriots just got whooped like craig did deebo, and we now have 31 other teams as a result! it also made thousands care less about "SPYGATE", and hopefully realize what sports are REALLY about. and two QB brothers winning back to back superbowl MVPs? THAT'S HISTORY. enjoy.