Take a knee, New York Giants fans. We need to have a little talk.
I know this isn’t an ideal Super Bowl matchup for you. In a little over a week in Minneapolis, we’ll see the evil empire that is the New England Patriots take on one of your most-hated division rivals, the Philadelphia Eagles.
No, I don’t think you’ll get your wish of the game being canceled due to a shortage of beer (or something else that won’t cause harm to anyone). Instead, you’ll have one of four options come Super Bowl Sunday:
1) Watch the game without bias and enjoy the final football game of the year.
2) Root for the Eagles
3) Root for the Patriots
4) Don’t watch the game at all.
We all know option No. 4 is out of the running. There’s no way you’re not watching the Super Bowl unless you’re one of those people that shows up to your friend’s party just to be obnoxious during the game by saying things like “I’m only watching this for the halftime show and/or commercials.” If that’s the case, then the host of the party has every right to kick you out of the house.
Let’s be honest, No. 1 is out of the question, too. Since when do fans of any New York team not formulate some kind of allegiance (even if it’s out of hatred) during a sporting event?
So that leaves you with the second or third option, which shouldn’t be that difficult of a decision.
You should root for the Patriots.
Before you light those torches and sharpen those pitchforks, hear me out. I realize the Patriots are the NFL’s version of the Evil Empire with their all-time legend of a quarterback and head coach. Some football fans, even Giants fans, don’t want to stomach seeing Tom Brady lift another Lombardi Trophy over his head while screaming out “LET’S GO” like a frat boy psyching himself up for a keg stand.
Other Giants fans, who are most likely Yankees fans too, just can’t stomach the thought of seeing Bostonians celebrating yet another title.
Then there are some of the more philanthropic fans out there who are probably at the point where they just want someone else to have a turn at winning a championship. After all, the Eagles have never won one.
At the end of the day though, the Eagles are your divisional rival who have brought so much more pain than what the Patriots have ever provided.
Take a moment and think back to Joe Pisarcik’s inability to hand off a football and seeing Herm Edwards scoop up that loose ball. Think of DeSean Jackson taunting the Giants as he ran perpendicular to the end zone on the one-yard line as time expired while returning Matt Dodge’s punt. Think of Donovan McNabb’s pompous grin after a game-clinching touchdown or how nobody could get a hand on Randall Cunningham.
Giants fans can’t tell me that they have more hatred for the Patriots than you do for the Eagles. All-time, New York has played the Patriots just 12 times since 1970. They’ve played the Eagles 172 times since 1933.
There’s vitriol, there are fan fights, there’s trash talking. There is utter disdain between the two organizations.
That can’t be said between the Giants and Patriots. In fact, when you think about it, the Patriots have brought the Giants nothing but joy over the past decade.
Big Blue has two Super Bowl rings thanks to improbable, classic wins over New England that will rank atop the best days of Giants fans lives until the day they die. Had the Patriots beat the Giants in one of them, I could understand why some would want to see them lose next Sunday.
Plus, Eli Manning is the only quarterback to have ever beaten Tom Brady and Bill Belichick in the Super Bowl. Why would you want to see the Eagles and Nick Foles join that club?
It’s one thing if it were the Vikings preparing for Super Bowl LII. Had Minnesota actually showed up for the NFC Championship Game, New York would be draped in purple and gold right now. It would have been amazing to see a team competing for an NFL championship at their home venue in front of starved fans that have never won a title.
But this scenario? There aren’t many reasons I can think of as to why Giants fans would rather see the Eagles celebrating a Super Bowl title on Feb. 4.