A funny thing happened on the way to the
forum perfect season.
Just when mad NFL scientist Bill Belichick and the sublime-to-the-point-of-nausea Patriots were poised to become the single greatest phenomenon to ever grace the sporting landscape, this happens.
Just as the Perfect Patriots were about to eclipse all challengers – all of them, everyone from Socrates and his brilliant conquest of young Plato in Athens’ man-boy wrestling championships of 410 B.C. through the 1927 Yankees, the ’72 Miami Dolphins, the 1996 Chicago Bulls and every individual, team and conglomerate in between – disaster hits them right in their collective testicles like a thunderbolt from the clear blue sky of a Shakesperean tragedy.
All that stood in their way was the unimposing Eli Manning and the New York Fucking Giants. New England, prohibitive, 12-point favorites, on the brink of 19-0. Immortality. Media Coronation. ESPN Wet Dream. Everything that ever was, they were gonna be better.
Ruth, Chamberlain, Jordan, Spitz, Woods, Mays, Brown, Montana, Gretzky, Bonds. Aristotle, Confucius, Shakespeare, Mozart, Tolstoy, Joyce, Beethoven, Nietzsche, Eliot, Affleck – no one would compare once the Patriots finished off the Giants on Sunday.
And than came two kindred spirits, two sui generis geniuses, Placido Domingo and Bill O’Reilly. Really, I’m not much into linguistics, etymology or anything that approximates respectable writing, so don’t expect me to explain how two separate but equal masters of the human experience could at the same time be sui generis.
They are unique in their own separate, wondrous ways. But both of them, one the singular operatic tenor of the modern era, the other the pre-eminent rhetorical colossus of his time, go their maverick ways and pick the underdog Giants to foil the Patriots’ quest for perfection in Scripps Howard’s annual celebrity poll.
It’s as if God himself (or herself, let’s not get all patriarchal and shit) is picking the Giants. A veritable NFL Gotterdammerung, for God’s sake.
Plaxico Burress is one thing. The twin towers of Placido and Bill are another altogether. It was an unmistakable omen, and sure enough, a day later, the football cognoscenti at ESP-FUCKING-N got in line with these twin gods.
Here’s just a sample of the roll of Giants backers; Mike Ditka (Giants 27, Patriots 21); Michael Wilbon (Giants 31, Patriots 30); Merrill Hoge (Giants 31, Patriots 29); Jeffri Chadiha (Giants, 24-23); Gregg Easterbrook (Giants 20, Patriots 19); Wright Thompson (Giants 35, Patriots 3). There’s more, but you get the idea. It’s sweeping the nation.
The Giants bandwagon overfloweth.
The Patriots are dead.
Dead. Dead. Dead.