2008 Super Bowl XLII: Geography Trumps History
February 2, 2008
Thank you for your response to my Super Bowl letter.
I especially liked your memories of the Yankee Stadium area:
“I remember the "Stadium Bar" at 161 Street just a block up from The EL. I remember a few Giants playing the pinball machine. They were "huge" relatively speaking. Go Giants!
(Konrad, I guess you are a couple of years older than me. You remember the bar. I remember Nedicks.)
Konrad, I thought you would be interested to read several other responses to my Super Bowl letter. Here they are:
From my enthusiatic friend Peter in Missouri :
Just root for the game. It is the greatest sport spectacle on earth.
From my sharp-pencil friend Allen in New York :
The Giants are the one and only team. Jan, not only are you ignoring your roots, but you always were a little different, a guy from The Bronx rooting for the Dodgers. If the truth be known, I was born a Giants fan (football and baseball) and will always root for them, even when the Giants home field is in San Francisco.
I am finding it difficult to make the Giants a winner in this one, but am seriously thinking of making the largest wager I ever made on the Giants. Ironically, I can't lose anything but could make some money or a lot of money depending on a series of wagers and layoffs. It is a bit like arbitrage.
I took 15.5 to 1 at the beginning of the playoffs for the Giants to win the SB. This was before the playoffs began and no one thought the Giants would get to the SB, much less win it. Are you with me so far? Therefore going into tomorrow’s game I am sitting with a wager that, if the Giants win, will pay $1550 for every $100 wager.
Now, if someone does not want to gamble you look for the money line on NE to win and lay off the bet. Also, you could take the Giants with the points and have a saver against the possibility that they will lose, but cover the "spread".
As you can see there is a lot of trigonometry, calculus and algebra involved. I still have not decided as I am waiting to see if there is a shift in the prices. It is getting wild.
From my verbose friend Art in Boston :
Sorry, Jan. This one's no problem, nostalgia or not. This game is historic and anyone who could root for the Giants in this situation is simply missing the point. I understand all the nostalgia, etc., and don't for one minute blame you for being at least a little torn. But in the end, there's really only one champion, and this year the Pats have proven 18 times (so far) that they are the worthy bearers of that title.
If, and I say IF, the Giants should be fortunate enough to upset the Pats, it would make them historically LUCKY, not Champions. They have not played a distinguished season until the very end. No one can take that away from them. But Champions? Not yet.
I will expect to hear you cheering loud and long, even from across the seas, and with distinct flat "a" and only "ah's" in words with "r's" in them. For WHOM should you root? I think you know the real answer, my friend....
PS: I think the line on the game has been somewhere around 2 touchdowns. Who cares? How can anyone not want to see this benchmark of a perfect season set? If the Giants were to win, despite being Super Bowl Champs, they'd go down in history as the biggest spoilers of all time, even outdistancing Bucky Dent, Buckner, et al. Who wants that title? I think they should discreetly get back on the bus and return north... GO PATS!
I HAVE TO RESPOND TO THIS ONE MYSELF:
Dear Art: "For WHOM should I root?" You dare to correct the grammar of a retired English Teacher? Maybe the Blue-bloods from Beacon Hill, sipping their tea in the Copley Plaza Hotel would say “For whom should I root?” but as for us Bronxites, if we ever uttered that ridiculous sentence we would we would be laughed out of the neighborhood. Or worse.
From my gentle friend Tom in Florida :
I'm still a Yankee fan but I've rooted for the Pats for years....when they were nowhere. It's been fun the past 6-7 years seeing them soar!
I watched the Giants-Pats game a month ago with our son-in-law … and it was a great game. I'm looking forward to this one....with the same results! GO PATS! Take care Jan. Good to know that you haven't gotten so far away from the trivialities of American life!
From my sympathetic friend Elaine in Boston:
Ah, the problems of wandering ex-pats. (No pun intended)
From our cool and artsy friend Bobby V in NYC:
Hey Jan, this is Van the man - that was my other boy Konrad . BUT I don't watch any sports, so there! I'd rather fish, paint, drum, take pictures and drink beer. Otherwise I'm a good patriot!!
From my clueless muscian friend Mike on Long Island :
Enjoy the game. I have no hesitancy re rooting. Go Giants. I had no idea that anyone played for both the Knicks and the Rangers.
From my smart-ass friend Bob in Boston :
And my question to you, Jan, is who played for the Celtics and the Bruins?
Konrad, as you can see, “geography” trumps “history” for most people.
Also, did you notice that not one person answered my question about the “bald” QB? I guess everyone figured I would finally remember his name: Y.A. Tittle, known as Yalberton Abraham to his friends.
And as for the talented player at The Garden and also Ebbets Field? ... here is the link.
Enjoy the game,
380 reads as of 12 April 2010