While the Super Bowl is always the biggest sporting event of the year, it’s also the one game where you can be sure that people will look back and wonder if it was really worth watching. Some years it sadly isn’t (remember the Giants-Ravens suckfest? I don’t either), and some years it definitely is (remember Janet Jackson’s breasts?!) So after yesterday’s shocking upset, what’s the final verdict? Well, it’s early, and I’m not fully recovered yet from a day of pizza and “soda,” but I think enough time has passed to pass judgment on Giants-Patriots II.
Pro: Eli Manning giving us a great ending. Say what you want about Eli, but the goofy-looking cat came up big at the biggest time and in the process completely redeemed an otherwise lackluster game.
Con: Eli Manning disproving my theory from a few weeks ago that he has a learning disorder. Sorry Eli, I’ll send my venom elsewhere. Anyone know any good Cooper Manning jokes?
Pro: I’m 99 percent sure that the guy who hooked his nipples up to a car in one of those commercials was Donkeylips from “Salute Your Shorts.” That’s right, I just dropped a Camp Anawanna reference. Let’s see John Clayton pull that off.
Con: Speaking of fat guys, how about the gratuitous extra-slow-mo replay shots of d-linemen making tackles. No one wants to see their kegs jiggling in high def. Get some undershirts, guys.
Pro: Tom Brady losing. This is by far the best thing that happened yesterday. BY FAR. My friend Kevin believes that Brady sold his soul to the devil-not a far-fetched theory when you consider the miraculous turnaround that occurred in his life right about the time Drew Bledsoe went down for the count. Personally, I think Brady is the most fake athlete we’ve seen in years, so I was thrilled to watch him head for the showers while Eli headed for his brand new Escalade. Let’s add it all up. Brady set the NFL touchdown record because the Pats ran up the score on pretty much everyone, allowing Tommy Boy to throw meaningless TDs in four quarters of blowouts. Brady also pulled the greatest “look at me” Super Bowl act since Broadway Joe, wearing a walking boot for a couple of minutes on a New York street, making him the talk of the sports world for a whole week. These are the NFL playoffs, Tom. You’ve been playing football for almost half a year; by this time everyone’s freaking hurt. Suck it up, soldier. On top of that, Brady broke character for a brief second and called out Plaxico Burress – who’s been playing with a real ankle injury all season – for predicting the Pats would only score 17 points. Plax had the coconuts to speak his mind, something the P.C. Brady would never do, and guess what: he was right. The Pats put only 14 on the board, mostly because Brady missed a handful of wide-open throws and spent most of the day on his back.
Con: Michael Strahan winning. Can someone explain to me what Gaptooth was doing on the podium after the game? Sure, the Giants defense was ridiculous, but it was Justin Tuck, not Strahan, who led the way. Tuck manhandled the Pats mangy-haired O-line and spent most of the game in Brady’s face, yet Strahan somehow managed to steal the spotlight and sneak onto the podium to grab Vince Lombardi’s trophy. Can’t wait for Strahan to show off his subway tunnel all week on any show that will have him.

Pro: Karma winning out. The Pats cheated at the beginning of the season, there are signs that they cheated during previous Super Bowls, they ran up the score on opponents, they messed with the media all season long, they employed Randy Moss (who decided to care again after tanking it in Oakland), Bill Belichick was pretty much an a-hole every day, Brady played the walking boot card and, on top of it all, they walked off the field yesterday before the game was even over. On the other hand, the Giants manned-up in a meaningless week 17 game and ended up getting hot at just the right time. Looks like the football Gods finally got it right this time.
Con: The 1972 Dolphins get to keep celebrating. The only benefit from a 19-0 season would have been the fact that the Dolphins would finally have to shut up, allowing them to fade away from our lives until their rapidly approaching deaths.
Pro: The commercial where the baby rents a clown. Who doesn’t love a good baby commercial? Seriously, you’d have to be heartless to not think that that commercial was kind of cute.
Con: Every other commercial. Admit it, they really, really sucked this year. To think, I waited the entire game to go the bathroom just because I didn’t want to miss a play or a commercial. What a shame.
Pro: Tom Petty actually giving a pretty good performance.
Con: Tom Petty refraining from singing “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” undoubtedly at the request of the straight-laced NFL.
Pro: Woodstock’s running out of ground beef-ruining the dream of a pepperoni/beef meat-lovers heartburn orgy.
Con: Woodstock’s replacing said ground beef with BBQ chicken, a pleasant-tasting surprise and a definite upgrade.
Pro: Bostonians have to shut up! Patriot/Red Sox fans have replaced Yankees fans as the most hated group in fandom. Nobody should be upset that they now have nothing to brag about until pitchers and catchers report.
Con: The inevitable Boston Backlash. You know it’s coming. Bill Simmons is definitely scouring the tape of yesterday’s game to find some call or play to prove that the Patriots got screwed. Personally, I can’t wait for him to write 5,000 words about how Eli Manning somehow cheated.
Pro: Eli Manning to David Tyree with under a minute to go. Twenty years from now when you think about this game, you’ll remember the fact that the Patriots dropped the ball on perfection, and you’ll also remember Eli somehow escaping a sure sack and firing a bomb downfield, where Tyree made one of the best catches you’ll ever see under pressure. That play alone redeemed the Super Bowl, and assures that yesterday’s game was definitely worth tuning in for.