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Super Bowl XLII (that's 42 for you non-Romans)

I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, for the "real" New England Patriots, or the "real" Eli Manning to show-up, but they never did!

If I was going to predict who would win, I would have said Patriots, 34-17. But then you've got to look at how both teams were playing before entering the game. The Giants were playing pretty much on the top of their game, winning three playoff games on the road and without making costly mistakes. The Patriots, who were dominating (some would say mercilous) during most of the regular season, had not performed well over the last several games. They were winning, but not as impressively as they had earlier in the year. The Patriots were making mistakes, but surviving, so the consensus was that they could win even when they played bad, so how could anybody beat them?

I'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure the best way to beat another team is to make sure you score more points than they do, and that's exactly what the Giants did. They didn't make costly mistakes, and when it looked like they did, their defense stepped up and stopped the Patriot's offensive juggernaut; smashing Tom Brady with their rush, playing Randy Moss tight, containing Wes Welker (as best they could for a record performance), and stopping the running game cold.

And which Manning was playing quarterback for the Giants? Was that really Eli or his big brother Payton keeping his cool and finding his receivers? Which number 10 for the Giants was that: Eli Manning or the legendary Fran Tarkenton slipping out of the defender's grasp? Was that John Elway or Joe Montana driving his team 80+ yards for the winning touchdown with seconds left in the game?

Was that really Tom Brady on the field for the Pats? Mister GQ? Was there really nothing wrong with his ankle? Was there really something wrong with his shoulder?

Congratulations to the New York Giants on playing the game of their lives and beating the toughest opponent you could ask for.
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