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Tight on the Spiral
February 3, 2008 7:39 PM   Subscribe

Now that Super Bowl XLII is over, all that remains is for NFL Flims to tell the tale. Documenting the greatest moments of the game since 1962, NFL Films is known for its distinctive style, its stirring music, and, until his death in 1983, the "Voice of God" narration of John Facenda.
posted by Horace Rumpole (93 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
All football games should be played in slow-motion, on film stock, and narrated by him.
posted by not_on_display at 7:40 PM on February 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


*gloats*
(I just left my local bar where the assembled throng went through four choruses of that. !* & ONE, YO!
posted by jonmc at 7:41 PM on February 3, 2008


Green Day did a fine homage to NFL Films with the video for Nice Guys Finish Last.
posted by jonp72 at 7:46 PM on February 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Can I pop in to share my utmost pleasure in the "needle dragged across vinyl" sound that just washed across Boston. GIANTS!!!!!
posted by jalexei at 7:58 PM on February 3, 2008 [4 favorites]


I can't figure out what's better, Boston (we all know New England just means Boston) losing, or NY winning? Tough call.
posted by Mach5 at 8:09 PM on February 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


New York winning, dude, although hearing them all cryaan' in theah beeahs is nice.
posted by jonmc at 8:10 PM on February 3, 2008


What kind of camera do they use for the slo-mo shots? I realize it must be some sort of high-speed HD camera, but the colors look much more realistic, how do they accomplish that?
posted by geoff. at 8:16 PM on February 3, 2008


Having been a Giants fan since the Joe Pisarcik days, the '86 victory was thrilling, the '91 victory was surprising, but this one was enormously satisfying.

Great post, btw. I didn't realize that Facenda had died so long ago, what a great voice. His pronouncement of "the Frozen Tundra: Lambeau Field" actually still echoes in the odd football dream I have every now and again.
posted by psmealey at 8:20 PM on February 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


NFL Films uses actual film; 16mm, I think. It looks totally different from the broadcast camera result, which to me is flatter in color and depth-of-view. For watching the game, I prefer the broadcast look. Especially now that there's HD.
posted by dammitjim at 8:22 PM on February 3, 2008


GIANTS!!!!!
GIANTS!!!!!
GIANTS!!!!!
GIANTS!!!!!
GIANTS!!!!!
GIANTS!!!!!
GIANTS!!!!!
posted by caddis at 8:25 PM on February 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


The autumn wind is a pirate . . .
posted by Ironmouth at 8:27 PM on February 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


Boston defeats NYC.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 8:27 PM on February 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


For the first time since I've been at college -- I caught both Red Sox championships -- being a New Yorker in Massachusetts is awesome.
posted by danb at 8:35 PM on February 3, 2008


I own this dvd set, and This dvd set, and if you're even remotely a fan of football, you should check them out. Completely addictive.
posted by billyfleetwood at 8:38 PM on February 3, 2008


You know who else was 18-1? Hitler.
posted by humanfont at 8:44 PM on February 3, 2008


Belichick coming onto the field, and the leaving, before it was over was low, low class.
posted by MNDZ at 8:44 PM on February 3, 2008 [4 favorites]


For everyone congratulating New York, I'd like to remind you all that they might be called the New York Giants, but their home is in New Jersey.

Don't worry, though, New York. You still have the Yankees. I bet they'll win another series real soon, now.
posted by CrayDrygu at 8:57 PM on February 3, 2008


For sale: 19-0 hoodie, never worn.
posted by Ian A.T. at 9:04 PM on February 3, 2008 [9 favorites]


Funny how Belichick defended his "running up the score" during the regular season by saying that "a football game is 60 minutes long", then left when there was 1 second left on the clock in the Super Bowl.
posted by King Bee at 9:18 PM on February 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


For everyone congratulating New York, I'd like to remind you all that they might be called the New York Giants, but their home is in New Jersey.

And they were 3-5 at home this year, so they must not like it much, either.
posted by psmealey at 9:20 PM on February 3, 2008


I'd like to remind you all that they might be called the New York Giants, but their home is in New Jersey.

As a Garden Stater living in CT (which is about 50/50 Boston/NY fans), it will be sweet at work tomorrow.
posted by smackfu at 9:20 PM on February 3, 2008


Belichick coming onto the field, and the leaving, before it was over was low, low class.

Funny how Belichick defended his "running up the score" during the regular season by saying that "a football game is 60 minutes long", then left when there was 1 second left on the clock in the Super Bowl.


Classic Belichick.

living in CT (which is about 50/50 Boston/NY fans), it will be sweet at work tomorrow.

I'm also in CT. Although where I work, everyone was rooting for the Patriots, except for me. A few people now owe me lunch.
posted by JakeEXTREME at 9:40 PM on February 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Uh, king bee (et al)? When you've just given up the ball on downs with 1 second left and a 3 point deficit, the game IS over...
posted by hincandenza at 9:44 PM on February 3, 2008


hincandenza, it appears that Belichick went on the field to say there was 1 second left to play and then as they were getting in place he left the field. That's why it is what it is.
posted by JakeEXTREME at 9:47 PM on February 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


I am Legend gets prediction wrong....
posted by meech at 9:47 PM on February 3, 2008


I'd like to remind you all that they might be called the New York Giants, but their home is in New Jersey.

Well, they don't call it the New Jersey Metro Area now do they?
posted by HTuttle at 9:55 PM on February 3, 2008


Until tonight, NFL football was my absolute favorite sport. The Giants victory has deeply affected me. I don't think I can deal with football for a while. Sports is one of the few things in life that can affect you like that, so I guess I take solace in that. I never, ever wanted New England to win (except to keep the Colts from ever winning a Super Bowl...oops), but I needed them to win tonight for so many reasons, and they didn't. Another Manning has won, the Giants have won, the 10-6 Giants, the Plexiglass Burress Giants, the NEW YORK GIANTS, I mean the NEW.YORK.FOOTBALL.GIANTS, another victory for New York City the city that I loathe, not that BOSTON would have been better but it shouldn't have even been New York City it was supposed to be Brett Favre's miraculous last stand for the scrappy town of Green Bay a town that has nothing else New York City has everything, WHY EAGLES WHY if you traded Donovan I will slit a throat, my wonderful Donovan who used to be a Giant-killer, WHY can't Philadelphia ever have anything we are a major city too, WHY EAGLES WHY PATRIOTS WHY GIANTS WHY???

That's just how I feel.
posted by Danila at 9:59 PM on February 3, 2008


dammitjim - yes, it's 16mm, "more than 25,000 ft of it, making them Kodak's number one 16mm film stock customer"
posted by djb at 10:15 PM on February 3, 2008


Well, the movie should be easy to make, since the Patriots can supply all the film of those stolen plays....
posted by anotherpanacea at 10:50 PM on February 3, 2008


As a Red Sox / Patriots / Gator fan, I've had a good run the last few years. Please remember that the previous two or three decades were not good to New Englanders. (It was nice to have Spurrier, so that sort of made up for it.)

Tonight was just painful, though.

I sat in row ten, section 118 (Patriots end zone) and was surrounded by Giants fans. In fact it seemed like the whole stadium was full of Giants fans. It was brutal. The Tyree catch was insane and Plax caught the winner right in my face.
posted by GatorDavid at 11:40 PM on February 3, 2008


when it was over, I just had to make my own shirt to celebrate

http://www.cafepress.com/almost18and1
posted by eateneye at 11:54 PM on February 3, 2008


The NFL Films music is one of those American male shibboleths. If you're USian, you start thinking of the FROZEN TUNDRA OF GREEN BAY. If you're not, it's just strange elevator music.

WHY can't Philadelphia ever have anything we are a major city too

Last championship for Philadelphia: 1980
Last championship for Seattle: 1979

Stupid terrorists wrecking the 2001 Mariners season. Sigh.
posted by dw at 12:04 AM on February 4, 2008


Oh, and also, stupid refs in Super Bowl XL.
posted by dw at 12:05 AM on February 4, 2008


I'm fascinated by the hatred of Belichick and the Pats dynasty in general. The Aikman / Jimmy Johnson era Cowboys weren't loathed to this degree, and those teams featured some actual loathsome characters.

Rabid attachment to this game is probably enough to explain it (my team was jobbed by the refs / the league / Las Vegas / Bill Belichick's video camera and I will have my pound of flesh). The histrionics being hurled at the Pats this season have really been over the top.
posted by MillMan at 12:26 AM on February 4, 2008


Dick Butkus, which has a little bit of Facenda and a lot of really scary Butkus.
posted by doctor_negative at 12:39 AM on February 4, 2008


In the Obama and Giants loving house where I was watching the game, the post game chant was "Yes We Can!" with an occasional "Si Se Puede!" thrown in for good measure.
posted by booksherpa at 1:03 AM on February 4, 2008


"it will be sweet at work tomorrow."

As a New Yorker living in Boston, even moreso. Too bad I can't pick up a Giants championship shirt until around lunchtime, because it would look frickin sweet on the T tomorrow morning.
posted by Eideteker at 1:32 AM on February 4, 2008


But what about the Puppy Bowl?
posted by cusack at 4:39 AM on February 4, 2008


Hitler wasn't 18-1, he was 13-3.
and not a big fan of Eli, apparently
posted by MtDewd at 5:21 AM on February 4, 2008


"We're only going score seventeen points? Heh, heh, heh. OK, is Plax playing defense."
posted by caddis at 5:23 AM on February 4, 2008


cusack: This year it was in *high def*! It was like I was RIGHT THERE watching that one dog lick that other dogs privates.
posted by absalom at 5:30 AM on February 4, 2008


me: "...their home is in New Jersey."

psmealey: "And they were 3-5 at home this year, so they must not like it much, either."

Heck, who does?
posted by CrayDrygu at 6:03 AM on February 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Buck up, Danila. I know it hurts, but look at it this way: At least they made T.O. cry.
posted by whuppy at 6:35 AM on February 4, 2008


hincandenza: None of the other coaches who were getting beaten beyond all hope by the Patriots left the field with time still on the clock. It's called sportsmanship, and Belichick is a sore loser.

A game may be "over" when you turn the ball over on downs with 1 second left, but it's also "over" when you're down by 45 points at the 2 minute warning (as the Redskins were). Joe Gibbs didn't leave the field, though.
posted by King Bee at 6:53 AM on February 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


The Aikman / Jimmy Johnson era Cowboys weren't loathed to this degree

I loathed them. Does that help?
posted by languagehat at 7:48 AM on February 4, 2008


I watched the Puppy Bowl and enjoyed imagining that my upstairs neighbors' hoots and yells and foot stomping were being prompted by moments of particular adorableness.
posted by yarrow at 7:57 AM on February 4, 2008


I loathed them. Does that help?

Me too. As a life-long Giants fan, I also loathed the classy Landry/Staubach era Cowboys. And when they went 1-15 in 1989 I could not have been happier.

As for the Patsies, I don't hate them, never did. I have always been completely uninterested in them. As for Belichick, well, he seems like a disagreeable sort of fellow, but I don't forget the fact that he was our defensive coordinator in 1986, and played a large role in the team's success that year.
posted by psmealey at 8:07 AM on February 4, 2008


Awesome game. Part of me just wanted to see the Pats go 19-0, the other part just wanted to see a good game. It was much better than the Seahawks game two years ago, that is for sure.

On the downside, one of the guys I was watching the game was set to make $20k that night if the pats beat the 3 point spread. He offered each person in the room $50 if we rooted for the pats and they won. So I am out $50.
posted by mrzarquon at 8:22 AM on February 4, 2008


I know this is doing exactly what they wanted, but man, those F-150 commercials are cool. Especially when you see the making of. They just bought a centrifuge and hooked a truck up to it. Who needs computers?
posted by smackfu at 8:31 AM on February 4, 2008


To legitimate Giants fans, congratulations. Your team had a heck of a run, and beat some serious contenders to get where they are. The Giants defense put on so much pressure that the Patriots put up their worst performance of the year, at the worst possible time.
eateneye: when it was over, I just had to make my own shirt to celebrate

http://www.cafepress.com/almost18and1
That pretty much sums up Metafilter in a single image. Bitter, middle-class soulless mediocrities tapping away at their iPhones and Macbooks, lambasting at any successful person. God forbid anyone famous, or wealthy, or simply earnest, not be raked over the coals. God forbid the Schadenfreude Express not stop at Metafilter Station. Here, let me start a post about Bill Gates and charitable giving as exhibit number 1...

Any non-Giants fan taking pleasure in this because they like to see failure, much less the prevention of an historic win, is pathetic. If you didn't have skin in this game- if you weren't a Giants fan or a Patriots fan- and were rooting for the Patriots to lose just so they wouldn't go 19-0, then you're a bigger fucking loser than anyone in either locker room.
posted by hincandenza at 8:43 AM on February 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


What if I wanted the Patriots to lose because I think they cheated?
posted by box at 8:47 AM on February 4, 2008


Well, box, you can always balance that by believing all the teams cheat as much as the Pats.

Sigh -- at least we still have the Celts!
posted by not_on_display at 9:20 AM on February 4, 2008


Sigh -- at least we still have the Celts!

My goodness, have you guys already forgotten about the Sox? I mean what's it been, like three months?
posted by psmealey at 9:23 AM on February 4, 2008


I'm no fan of football, but man! NFL Films is amazing, beautiful and heroic rolled into one, all on that wonderful film -- makes you see why people love the game. If I remember right, it was one guy who wanted to film the games, and the NFL gave him no support; he did it anyway.
posted by phliar at 9:28 AM on February 4, 2008


I rooted for the Giants because I didn't have a dog in the fight (my poor, pathetic little Ravens. I will always love you! You will be champs again!) and I went for the underdog. And by the end of the first half it was clear they were outplaying the Pats, who came onto the field convinced they were due an easy win. The Giants played their goddamned hearts out. I wanted to see a great game and they gave me one.
posted by LeeJay at 9:38 AM on February 4, 2008


hincandenza: Someone is clearly too close to the subject. Plenty of valid reasons to dislike the Patriots and to want them to lose.

Hell, what if you're a dolphin's fan?

I mean, their handling of "tape-gate" was pretty sad.

What if you can't stand that their coach is a fucking asshole who possesses all the sportsmanship of a bratty little leaguer?

Perhaps some people thought that the idea of trademarking "19-0" and "19-0 perfect season" *before* the AFC championship game was displaying a level of hubris worthy of a Homeric epic.

I could go on and on, but the Patriots have given people plenty of reasons to loathe them.

Personally, all things being equal, I hate all the Boston franchises because, in my experience, their fans are all grade-a douchenozzles. At least the Sox had the advantage of being Auto-Underdogs for about a century, but now they might as well be the Yankees. . . except the Yanks at least understand why everyone despises them.
posted by absalom at 9:39 AM on February 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


ps: Except the Celtics. Poor guys.
posted by absalom at 9:39 AM on February 4, 2008


Most of the people I know were rooting against the Pats because Belichick and his crew acted like villians all year long. What with the cheatings and the runnings up of scores. The consistant unsportsmanlike conduct from Belichick during handshakes. If this is the way you publically behave, you're going to be booed and you're going to be hissed and fans who didn't otherwise have a skin in the game are going to hope you lose. Not just on Metafilter, but everywhere I go.
posted by firemouth at 9:44 AM on February 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


er, like absalom said. (I should've previewed)
posted by firemouth at 9:47 AM on February 4, 2008


Any non-Giants fan taking pleasure in this because they like to see failure, much less the prevention of an historic win, is pathetic.

Oh please. What we got to see was better than seeing a ridiculously stacked team go undefeated. We did get to see a historic win: one of the greatest upsets in the history of the NFL. We got to see a great game, a miracle play, an underdog triumph, and yes, a giant fall. We got to see exactly what is so great about sports. You don't have a to be a Giants fan to appreciate that.
posted by AceRock at 10:16 AM on February 4, 2008


I'm a Dolphins fan living in New Hampshire, so I guess maybe I get a pass from hincandenza. If (when!) my Phins finally win the Superbowl, I can't imagine I'll jump around any more than I did when Eli threw that winning TD. This morning, I drove to work early because I was so looking forward to the lamentations of the callers to WEEI (Boston sports radio station). I was not disappointed. It's like every single pet dog in New England died overnight. Simply delicious.

Oh, and Welcome to Perfectville, population: 1.
posted by schoolgirl report at 10:18 AM on February 4, 2008


I should say, when the Phins finally win again.
posted by schoolgirl report at 10:19 AM on February 4, 2008


I wanted the Patriots to win*, but only because I was tired of hearing from/about the '72 Dolphins team.


* but I bet on the Giants
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:34 AM on February 4, 2008


I had no dog in the fight because I am a Redskins fan. Pity me.
posted by languagehat at 10:44 AM on February 4, 2008



I had no dog in the fight because I am a Redskins fan. Pity me.


Done.

Question: Are NFL films recorded at a ridiculously high frame rate?
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 11:05 AM on February 4, 2008


The game and players have become so different from what they were in '72 that I don't think the Dolphins record is much of a statement anymore about however unmatchably good that team was (I don't know, I wasn't actually on Earth yet). But 19-0 would simply have been great, record-setting, blahblahblah. 18-1 is Homeric.
posted by casarkos at 11:07 AM on February 4, 2008


Personally, all things being equal, I hate all the Boston franchises because, in my experience, their fans are all grade-a douchenozzles. At least the Sox had the advantage of being Auto-Underdogs for about a century, but now they might as well be the Yankees. . . except the Yanks at least understand why everyone despises them.

Yeah, exactly. I actually enjoy going to M's-Yanks games now because I know that no matter how loud, drunk, and obnoxious Yanks fans can get, they have nothing on the Red Sox Nation that descends on Safeco like barbarians on a pub crawl.

Honestly. I actually LIKE Yankees fans now. They know the game, they know why they hate us, and they don't projectile vomit the last three bottles of Jager they drank all over the park. Also, they don't spend the game shouting racial epithets at Ichiro like A's fans do. When did Oakland move to Millwall?
posted by dw at 11:07 AM on February 4, 2008


languagehat: find solace in the fact that Darrell Green and Art Monk are going to the Hall of Fame.

...when the Giants punted with seven minutes left while up by 4 I really thought they'd screwed the pooch.....man, what a good game that was.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:15 AM on February 4, 2008


There's a 10 CD box set of all the NFL Films music. Finally, you too can work in slow motion while a deep voice talks about your job as if it's a war.
posted by dw at 11:16 AM on February 4, 2008


Question: Are NFL films recorded at a ridiculously high frame rate?

"At ground level, there are a handful of super slow-motion cameras shooting film at 120fps."
posted by dw at 11:18 AM on February 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


As someone who descends on Safeco with his Soxian Friends, I can say not all bostonian's are assholes, however it appears most assholes are from boston (hence the phrase "Masshole"). And even my Masshole friends were rooting for the Giants.

As Safeco is the only baseball stadium north of oakland that the Sox will play at, you get the concentrated diehard sox fans, who never having a chance to make it to the big green back 'home,' come from as far as alaska to bring a little piece of what they think is their boston heritage to safeco.

I grew up in southwest CT, so i was more on the yankees / mets / giants / jets side of the spectrum than Pats / Sox. But then I didn't care about those sports so much. Now this is a sport to watch.
posted by mrzarquon at 11:24 AM on February 4, 2008


> The game and players have become so different from what they were in '72 that I don't think the Dolphins record is much of a statement anymore about however unmatchably good that team was

Try telling them that.

Actually, it sounds like they kept it pretty classy in the wake of the Patriots' loss, so good for them.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:26 AM on February 4, 2008


(for the non guinness demonstration of hurling, here.)
posted by mrzarquon at 11:26 AM on February 4, 2008


Comparing the great catches
posted by psmealey at 11:37 AM on February 4, 2008


It's a sad loss for the Patriots, because at 19-0 they would have been inarguably the greatest team of all time. I still say that at 18-0, unmatched in history, and the points/touchdown/winning margin records make them arguably the greatest single season team in history. As in, when a discussion of the best single-season teams comes up the 2007 Patriots can't be ignored, any more than the 2001 Mariners could (whose 116 wins is hard to imagine, despite a sad loss to the Yankees in the ALCS).

People might say that not winning the championship means they can't possibly be considered the greatest team of all time, but if they'd swapped Giants games- gone 15-1 in the regular season, then 3-0 in the playoffs to win the Superbowl- they'd surely be considered. And the only undefeated team, the '72 Dolphins, isn't really considered the best of all time: other teams were far stronger in finishing 14-2 or 15-1 before the playoffs.

What can be said all but inarguably, is that for 18 games, 59 minutes, and 34 seconds, the New England Patriots were the most dominant single-season team in history. Alas, it's a 60 minute game...

There's still next season, and just like last season's loss to the Colts in the AFC Championship caused the Patriots to fix their most glaring weakness, I suspect they'll do the same this off-season: the age and relative weakness of their line was what did them in, when the amped up Giants pounded them mercilessly (I think that had Brady made more attempts to Moss, deep, the Giants would have played it less aggressively on the line and thus opened up more 5-10 yard passes).

Here's to 19-0 in 2009! :)
posted by hincandenza at 11:54 AM on February 4, 2008


but if they'd swapped Giants games- gone 15-1 in the regular season, then 3-0 in the playoffs to win the Superbowl- they'd surely be considered.

But they didn't. God. STFU about the patriots already. The Giants were better when it counted.

Except for Jeremy Shockey. Can someone tell me why he wasn't down on the sidelines being with his team? I've never seen anything like that before.
posted by AceRock at 12:43 PM on February 4, 2008


Here's to 19-0 in 2009! :)

What, do you REALLY think they're going to cheat again?
posted by John of Michigan at 1:28 PM on February 4, 2008


“We got to see exactly what is so great about sports”

Agreed. It was a great game.
I don’t know that the Giants are “better” though. They played a better game. Buddy of mine kept gloating that the Patriots blew it/choked/etc. and as a result the Giants upset them.

So I asked “So the Giants are a better team?”
He said hells yea.
So I asked “Then why is it an upset?”
Whole lotta “...”

I don’t care either way. I’m a Bears fan. And a few seasons ago the Bears were phenomenally lucky to make it to the superbowl. Had they won would I have said they were the best team? No. They just won that night through incredible effort (and a lot of luck).
And really, that’s all it takes. But in no way were the Patriots over rated nor did they choke - whatever.
What makes football great is that any team can win any given night, sometimes with supreme effort.
Watching that kind of effort is what makes it spectacular. Giants had it. The Patriots, good as they are, weren’t at the top of their form.

Plus they made a lot of decisions based on overconfidence. I’d blame Belichick (e.g. going for it on 4th and 13 I/O going for the 3) for counting too much on talent and getting caught up in his own mystique.
One should treat every opponent as though they were dangerous at all times.
Which is what makes his “running up the score” thing such a dick move. If he truly believed that, they wouldn’t have lost this game.

He would have made the moves to adjust to the Giants and recognize them for the threat they are.
He didn’t. So - even if he was for real in thinking of maintainin maximum effort as long as the ball is in play, he certainly lost that in the Superbowl.

But you saw that in the post-game speeches - Brady, everyone, was sort of shamed but grudging. Which sucks because you’re not recognizing the effort the Giants put in. Which means, at that point, they still didn’t get it. They still thought they ‘deserved’ to win.
When all’s been said, the Patriots were - and are - the better team.
The Patriots did deserve to win. And, looking at the post game, they still thought so. But no one wins by deserving it. You win by earning it.

The Giants earned it.
That’s high praise, but damn few people were willing to overlook the talent mystique - on both sides really - and give them that.

If I was Brady I would have been honored that I evoked such a magnificent performance from my opponent. That the Giants gave them such respect. But that’s why the Patriots lost. They didn’t respect the Giants as opponents that could beat them.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:44 PM on February 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm fascinated by the hatred of Belichick and the Pats dynasty in general. The Aikman / Jimmy Johnson era Cowboys weren't loathed to this degree, and those teams featured some actual loathsome characters.

I suspect that is why. The patriots are boring. Brady is like Big Jim. Technically a better, more durable and more realistic toy than GI Joe. GI Joe went bald and had his fingers fall off but you could see GI Joe sparkin a doob and swearing a blue streak. Big Jim probably just combed his hair.
posted by srboisvert at 2:41 PM on February 4, 2008


I want to know what they are going to name the Manning to Tyree play.
posted by skepticallypleased at 5:55 PM on February 4, 2008


The Helmet Catch!

Whatever it is called, it will go down in history as one of the all time great Super Bowl catches.
posted by caddis at 6:12 PM on February 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


I still say that at 18-0, unmatched in history, and the points/touchdown/winning margin records make them arguably the greatest single season team in history

Too bad they're not 18-and-0, they're 18-and-D'oh! The season includes the Super Bowl, and they're not the greatest single-season team in history if they don't win it. They're not even the best 18-1 team in NFL history. The 1984 49ers were 18-1 and won Super Bowl XIX. The 1985 Chicago Bears were 18-1 and won Super Bowl XX. Shoot, there are several 17-2 Super Bowl winners (including the 2004 and 2005 Patriots) who are better.

The 2007 Patriots are closer to the 1998 Vikings, who set all the scoring records the Patriots broke this year, went 15-1, and lost the NFC Championship game.
(At home! To the Falcons! By having the kicker who had made every field goal and extra point attempt all season miss a 38-yard field goal! In a dome! Not that I'm a bitter Vikings fan.)
posted by kirkaracha at 6:47 PM on February 4, 2008


kirkaracha: They're not even the best 18-1 team in NFL history. The 1984 49ers were 18-1 and won Super Bowl XIX.

The season includes the Super Bowl, and they're not the greatest single-season team in history if they don't win it.
People keep saying that, but WHY? What is it about the Superbowl that makes it more of a game than any other? I mean, is the ball heavier? The field longer? Why does a loss in this game mean more than say a loss in Week 17 followed by a Superbowl win? Other than timing, of course. The 1998 Vikings aren't a bad comparison, but they also were an amazingly good team. Of the 5 teams that have 15 or more regular season wins, 3 of them have failed to win the Superbowl- two of which didn't even make the Superbowl. Yet if those teams are so bad, then why did they win 15 of 16 games or even 16 of 16, before the playoffs? Are you arguing that a 10-6 team is "better" than a 16-0 team? No, but on this one day, they were better.

The 2001 Seattle Mariners won 116 regular season games. They lost to the Yankees in the ALCS, after a dogfight with the Cleveland Indians. Those Yankees then lost to the Arizona Diamondbacks in an improbably game 7 last-inning win. Yet... would anyone really argue the 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks were a better team? No, they were the team that won the championship. But the unquestionably "best" team in the major leagues in 2001 was the Seattle Mariners.

If for example Asante Samuel holds on to that one catch in the last minutes, the Patriots kneel four times and win the Superbowl. So you're really saying that 19 games of effort don't matter as much as one play at the wrong time? The question here isn't "Who won the Superbowl"- the Giants did, and they earned it. The question is "Who are the greatest, most dominant teams in history?" and for that, you simply can't avoid discussing a team that set numerous scoring records, went undefeated in the regular season- something done only once before- and just happened to not execute one afternoon. The 1984 49ers didn't execute one afternoon- they just picked the right afternoon to not execute on, losing to the Steelers by a field goal in a game that wasn't a playoff game.
posted by hincandenza at 7:50 PM on February 4, 2008


Dude, they weren't that good. They were hardly invincible this season; they just won a lot. Aside from that jerk Belicheat running up the score against weak teams, they looked quite vulnerable against a lot of teams they played. They just ended up winning in the end. If that makes them great then so be it, but I think the '84 49ers kick their petulant asses. To be a great, not just great this year, but greatest, team you have to win the big game. Sorry, the 18-1 2007 Patriots go down in the record books as mere set-up men to the 2007 New York Giants. By winning 18 games leading up to the Super Bowl they make the Giants look even more Giant, that is all.
posted by caddis at 8:02 PM on February 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Not to add any fuel to the fire (but hell, why not)... hincandenza, your love of the team *THAT JUST LOST THE SUPERBOWL TO THE NEW YORK FOOTBALL GIANTS* comes well before any rational thought about who was the greatest team of all time. One of the best, sure, but they won't be remembered for that.

By no means are the Giants the better team, and the 07-08 Pats were an amazing squad, but they are going down in history as the team that imploded in the biggest game they (anyone?) ever played. Based on the TV coverage thus far, they already have. Queue the tears.

Above all else, I'm so happy for Mike Strahan! If anyone deserved a Superbowl win, it's that gentle giant of a man. 15 years with the same team and he finally gets the nod. The commentators on NFL Live last night were all glowing with admiration for him-- he just loves to play football and always has a smile on his face. He was a Hall of Famer with or without the win.
posted by jstef at 9:25 PM on February 4, 2008


I suspect that is why. The patriots are boring.

I don't think that's necessarily it, though. On first glance, maybe. But then you look at Belichick, and all the bush-league things he does (running up the scores, post-game handshakes, leaving the superbowl early), the video taping stuff, Rodney HGH, Randy "I'm an amazing player, when I feel like it" Moss... There's a lot of reasons to dislike the Pats.
posted by inigo2 at 6:51 AM on February 5, 2008


I would begrudgingly admit that the 1985 Bears were the most dominant team I have ever seen. The 2007 Pats scored a lot of points, but that Bears team, save that one blip in Miami on a Monday Night, used to suffocate and run over teams like no other team I had ever seen before, or since.

but if they'd swapped Giants games- gone 15-1 in the regular season, then 3-0 in the playoffs to win the Superbowl- they'd surely be considered...

And if my aunt had balls, etc. Championship teams win championship games. Period. I don't think you earn a place among the all-time elite unless you win the big game. I think most of the Pats would probably tell you that too.
posted by psmealey at 8:27 AM on February 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Watching that kind of effort is what makes it spectacular. Giants had it. The Patriots, good as they are, weren’t at the top of their form.

I know you weren't making excuses for the Pats, but I'd argue the Pats weren't at the top of their form only because the Giants made their presence felt on them. The Pats looked pretty sharp on their first offensive possession and in the 4th quarter, and defensively, they were outstanding all game long. It was just that the Giants made the adjustments, and performed well enough at key positions to force New England out of its game plan.
posted by psmealey at 8:33 AM on February 5, 2008


WHY? What is it about the Superbowl that makes it more of a game than any other?

Hahahahaha.
posted by box at 9:26 AM on February 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


“I would begrudgingly admit that the 1985 Bears were the most dominant team I have ever seen.”

I’d have to agree. But I’d put them in an ‘exceptional’ pile. That Bears season was an event unlike anything that had happened. It was, in many ways, seemingly supernatural (the fog comes to mind). I know of no other team that has stated “We’re going to dominate the league then win the superbowl” then gone and done exactly that.

Stands with the Babe Ruth “called shot” and other sports legends (‘when the legend becomes fact, print the legend’).
The whole thing -Halas’s dying words to Ditka, McMahon’s go to hell playing style - playing with bruised ribs and a lacerated kidney - pissing blood at halftime, the head first dives, plus his mooning journalists and his beef with Rozelle and the headbands and Darth Vader visor, the supernatural comeback against the Vikings (and in the post-85 season the dreaded Packers and Charley Martin bodyslamming him), Fridge Perry, annihilating the Cowboys, Payton not scoring in the superbowl - it was one of the most dramatic seasons in sports history.

None of this to contest the point of who was the best team of all time in any way. Just that the ‘85 Bears stand in that “unique” pile whether they were the best or not. Couple other teams are there with unique seasons, games, etc.

But I don’t think the Patriots had any of that. Really, they didn’t have much beyond their record. What they did have was bad not in the playful ‘85 Bears playing grab ass way, but in the disrespecting the game sort of way.

Which is why I think there’s so much resistance to identifying them as one of the truly great teams.

I think they played excellent football all year. It’s an astonishing achievement to have an undefeated season. And they play like a well-oiled machine, but not a lot of flavor or drama. I think they’re up there. But I see why there’s resistance to classifying them as ‘great.’ There’s a difference between being highly talented, playing well, winning and true greatness.

The Giants on the other hand, not as good a season, not as good a team overall. Lost to the Patriots earlier, but brought it when it was all on the line.
I mean that last drive was pretty much everything being a NFL quarterback is all about - game on the line, no time left, ball in your hands. It’s not that what happened during the season doesn’t count. The Patriots had a great season. But it’s not what you did that makes you great, it’s what you can do now - right now - can you bring it when it counts for everything. Otherwise it's just comparing stats. Stats don't count when the ball is in your hands.
So yeah, Giants - wow. Greatness.

“I'd argue the Pats weren't at the top of their form only because the Giants made their presence felt on them.”

Absolutely. And you could tell a lot of players were trying to tell themselves it was because they were having an off day - that’s kind of what I’m saying. They weren’t having an off day.
They were pushed off. And they didn’t think they could be.

It’s a common mistake made by people who don’t lose. You think you have something coming to you. Pretty soon you get an opponent that strongly disabuses you of that notion.

Hell, look at Mike Tyson. And I’m not talking Buster Douglas. That was merely a surprise. I’m talking Holyfield -Tyson (the first one, not the bite fight). Tyson had no excuses, plenty of training time and he was in perfect form (and way younger).
But Holyfield looked like he’d been training for the olympics. The guy was chiseled out of stone. He was in absolutely perfect shape and took everything Tyson had to dish out. By the 10th round Holyfield was just a wrecking machine. Completely outclassed Tyson who was near his best and couldn’t believe anyone could take his shots.
Unfortunate that Holyfield fought in the era he fought in, and that he’s such a low profile guy otherwise he’d have been a more highly rated champion.

posted by Smedleyman at 2:46 PM on February 5, 2008


(Re: greatness. My dad used to coach football. He was the defensive coach when I was a kid. He’d always ask me before I’d head onto the field “Why do they have our ball? Go get our ball back.” One time I said “Yes, sir.” First play I dove over center, absolutely nailed the quarterback forcing a fumble, picked up the ball and got chased down the sideline. I got pushed out of bounds near where my dad was and handed the ball to him: “Here you go.” Next defensive set he smiled and said “Go do that again.”
I know I’ll remember that the rest of my life. But I can’t tell you if we won or lost that game. I know we won the championship that season (got to travel out of state too). But the only thing my dad had from that whole time was that ball I handed him.
He took that ball home. Got fined for it too and had to pay to replace it. Still in my mom’s closet.)
posted by Smedleyman at 3:00 PM on February 5, 2008 [5 favorites]


The real question is: will the league strip the Patriots of their other spy-fueled Superbowls?
posted by anotherpanacea at 7:21 PM on February 5, 2008


Sorry, here's the espn link about stripping the 2002 Superbowl.
posted by anotherpanacea at 7:26 PM on February 5, 2008


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