In 1987, the New York Giants defeated the Denver Broncos 39-20 in Super Bowl XXI. I was a nine-year-old Redskins fan disappointed to see one of the teams I hated the most winning the world championship. That disappointment was lifted a year later when the Redskins beat the same then-pathetic Broncos 42-10 in Super Bowl XXII.
In 1991, the Giants beat the Buffalo Bills 20-19 (Scott Norwood, everybody!) in Super Bowl XXV. I was a 13-year-old Redskins fan slightly enraged to see one of the teams I hated the most winning another world championship. That slight enragement was abated a year later when the Redskins beat the same eternally pathetic Bills 37-24 in Super Bowl XXVI.
Tonight, I was a 30-year-old Redskins fan watching mildly disappointingly as the Giants beat the Patriots 17-14 in Super Bowl XLII. The disappointment/enragement is only mild this time around as I have no love for the Patriots either. While this was not a Super Bowl rooting conundrum such as that of Giants vs. Ravens a few years back, it did leave me severely conflicted and half-wishing the game never existed so I wouldn’t have to watch one of these two teams win (if it ever becomes Cowboys vs. Ravens, I will indeed fully wish the game never existed).
Looking back, did I have it all wrong? Should I have been rooting for the Giants all along, knowing that it will inevitably bring about a Redskins Super Bowl win next year? A win over these same dynastically fading and apparently completely beatable Patriots? The pattern is there, too obvious to miss: Giants win, next year the Redskins win over the same opponent. It has to happen. It will happen. This slight head-coach-hiring chaos is just the storm before the calm sense of peace brought on by a title.
So we can take solace in that even as our NFC East rivals and their never-fair-weather, demanding-a-coach-firing-in-week-2 fans celebrate their victory. Ours is coming. And it could have been much worse. It could have been king doofus Tony Romo parading out there under a rain of confetti, defiling the Lombardi trophy with his non-field-goal-place holding hands. We at least owe the Giants a debt of thanks for preventing that.
We do NOT owe the Fox network or Pepsi a debt of thanks for keeping the Super Bowl Romo-free. It was subtle, it was brief, but that was Mr. Jessica Simpson in that Pepsi commercial. Night ruined. Brief aside: back in high school I engaged my good friend Joe in a months-long debate over the merits of Coke vs. Pepsi, I being of the opinion that Pepsi was far more meritous, and better tasting. The competition culminated in an experiment of sorts (really, I won’t go into it here; that experiment deserves its own blog), in which I was ultimately proven correct. For years I have held on to those experimental results as definitively proving the superiority of Pepsi over Coke. I can no longer hold that view. The Phillips/Romo/Jones Pepsi Max commercials have been bad enough to endure over the last several months, but this backhanded insertion of Romo into the Super Bowl is unacceptable. Pepsi, you are dead to me.
That aside was not quite brief. Anyway, as we welcome (if grudgingly) the Giants to the three-Super-Bowl-title club, let’s look forward to the Redskins joining the four-time winners next year. It will be over the destined-not-to-be-four-timer Patriots. It’s undeniable historical fate. We'll even give you a score, based on actual statistical analysis of the scores of the previous Giants and Redskins Super Bowls (seriously): Washington 23, New England 20.
Also, let’s not forget the weekend victory that far eclipses that of the Giants: the victory of Art Monk over curmudgeonly Hall of Fame voters. They came around. We knew they would. Darrell Green was an equal no-brainer. Russ Grimm is next.