By Jason Keidel
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No doubt NFL and network execs were facing their own Mecca, grateful to the gods that the right teams squeaked by, setting up a most unusual – but quite marketable – rematch.

Indeed, would anyone west of Baltimore or east of San Francisco have cared about a Ravens-49ers Super Bowl?

And while the reputations of the two towns (Boston and New York) reflect a clash in classes, from blue-collar grit of Boston’s underclass to the marble and money of Madison Avenue, the teams themselves contradict their native mores.

It’s Tom Brady, New England’s captain and caretaker of the throne, who has the pretty boy prerogative: his visage splashed across myriad magazine covers and the requisite, supermodel wife and blessed life. Whereas the Giants are the lunch-pail crew just crunching their way, almost anonymously, to victory, an army of ants that doesn’t care who gets the credit.

To use an analogy from The Wire, the Giants were Marlo Stanfield four years ago, snatching up New England’s presumed, Barksdale territory. In essence, the Giants usurped the Patriots’ immortality. And it took these four years for the Patriots to regroup.

This isn’t an official prediction, particularly since the average length of an NFL career is smaller than the four-year bottleneck since the 2008 Super Bowl. But I won more than a few bets from friends on Tyson-Holyfield II. Despite the fact that Tyson was favored in the rematch, I had an unbendable belief in Holyfield. Why not? Holyfield whipped Tyson the first time, giving him all the mandatory mojo to win again, which he did.

And while I don’t expect Tom Brady to flash his dental work on a Giants defender’s ear, the principle is the same.

But don’t discount New England’s need for revenge. The Giants won more than a football game four years ago; they gelded perfection, stole New England’s manhood in front of a few hundred million stunned viewers. And Brady and Belichick surely haven’t forgotten. But it says here the Giants can do it again.

And beyond pedigree, with all due respect to Tom Brady’s bona fides as a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer, it was the Giants who whacked their way through a much thicker playoff jungle to get here this year. Could the Patriots have marched through Green Bay and San Francisco instead of baking the relative cupcakes of Denver and Baltimore, at home, with a missed, chip shot field goal laminating their ticket to Indianapolis? Probably not. And lets not forget that Big Blue has big-game QB of their own. Eli Manning simply plies his trade with a fraction of the public traction that Brady garners.

With so many subplots to this Super Bowl, it’s the rare time the airtime will be filled with authentic premises and predictions. Normally, the two-week gap between conference title games and the Big Game is a cold, interminable wasteland of Super Bowl Trivia and media blather.

In the end it’s bow ties versus overalls, New England and New York. No matter what you hear over the next ten days, this game will be decided in the trenches. Will Brady’s quick eyes and regal arm sling arrows into the Giants’ suspect secondary, or will Big Blue’s rabid pass rush keep Pretty Boy Brady on his back?

We have ten days to decide, to put our metaphorical money were our mouths are.

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What’s your early prediction for Giants-Pats? Let Keidel know in the comments below…

Comments (8)
  1. Kurt Spitzner says:

    By all rights the Giants should win but in this town there’s no guarantee of anything.

  2. chess says:

    The Baltimore Ravens are cupcakes? Their defense is better than the Giants. And the Giants got lucky in San Fran, just like the Pats got lucky against Baltimore. Eli threw at least one throw that should have been intercepted except the two dbs knocked each other over to get at the ball. And then two fumbles by the punt returner in his own territory.

  3. Patty Rogers says:

    Fot those of us who are rabid fans of the “GMen” or “evil Doctor Hoody” it certainly feels like a heavyweight fight.In one corner you have Tom Brady 6th round 199th pick in 2000 draft, really brought on the Pats roster for no other reason than Bellicheck couldn’t quite put a finger on him, and Eli Manning born of football royalty with Archie and Peyton leading the charge. You have to give respect to both of these guys (and their respective teams) because they both have proven unequivicaably they deserve to be where they are. I want to see Tom pull down a 4th ring and match his boyhood idol and though I am not a Giants fan to say the least, I respect Eli for stepping out of big brother Peyton’s shadow and coming into his own. May Myra Kraft smile down upon her team as they (hopefully) pull of a win for her honor, which I think is far more admirable than the silly quest for perfection (though it would have been nice!!). May they both pla clean and no one get seriously hurt 🙂

  4. mike says:

    blue collar grit of the Boston underclass? like Mitt Romney and the Kennedys for example? have you ever been anywhere in NY other than midtown Manhattan?

    1. Joey B says:


  5. Moe says:

    Does the Super Bowl really need to be “marketable”? Doesn’t everyone watch anyway regardless of who plays? Don’t the advertising slots sell out well in advance of the time that we know who is playing in the game? Go Giants!

  6. Jonas Altman-Kurosaki says:

    I wish I knew enough about football to add any sort of analysis beyond what you’ve offered, but I don’t. I definitely agree that this is as marketable a Super Bowl as there could’ve been; selling the Ravens-49ers game would’ve relied heavily on the whole “brothers Harbaugh” thing, which is cute at best. I think the Giants can win – maybe because I’m biased, maybe because they’ve looked unstoppable of late, but most likely because it seems like the Giants have more fight and cohesion in them. You worded it perfectly when you said the Giants are like an army of ants. We’ll see if Tom Brady can squash them.

    1. Patty Rogers says:

      Remember, the Pats looked “unstoppable” too in 2007/2008 and we all know how that ended. It will all come down to clean play, 0 fumbles 0 INTs by either team. Sure to be an interesting one to watch – for those of us in the NY/Boston areas at least!

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