As a Jets fan, I obviously had no love for either team, but the Giants were clearly the lesser of two evils for me, so I was rooting for them enthusiastically, and it was an amazing night.
What defined it more than anything was that it was an incredible team performance by the Giants. For the first three quarters of the game, their defense was stellar and the pass rush unstoppable. Tom Brady was kept off balance for most of the game and really never gained his rythm. But the Patriots were kept in the game because the Giants offense was never able to capitalize off of its opportunities. But then, just as the defense began to show signs of wearing down, relenting a touchdown in what looked like it was going to be yet another Brady comeback story, the dormant Giants offense awoke, and just put together a miraculous drive. That circus play, in which Manning somehow managed to evade a sack, back out of traffic and toss what seemed like a hail mary to David Tyree, who held onto the ball in midair by pressing the ball to his helmet with one hand, will rank right up there with Franco Harris’s Immaculate Reception among legendary NFL plays. The Giants, like they have throughout the postseason, played like a team with nothing to lose that worked their hearts out and had faith in themselves. For Manning, this has to be a huge personal triumph, as he finally overcame the skeptics and got out of his brother’s shadow. Even though he may not have the talent or statistics of his brother, he now has this victory, which nobody can take away from him.
So that brings me back to the title of this post, was it the best Super Bowl ever? Well, let me just say that the first one I remember was Super Bowl XX between the Patriots and the Bears, and of the 23 games I watched, this was the best. Not only did it have back and forth touchdowns in the final moments of the game, a stunning drive for the win, but it was a great underdog story with the Giants beating a team that had a shot to go perfect. Absolutely unbelievable.