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What might have been


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More and more fascinating the more you think about it was Belichick's decision to concede the winning touchdown and allow Ahmad Bradshaw to cakewalk into the end zone in order to give Brady a faint chance to perform a miracle. It was a tough call and one admits second-guessing it is a trifle unfair. He had only split-seconds to consider it. The situation was genuinely desperate. That he was willing and able to take such a wild gamble further testifies to his wisdom as a coach. And yet was it the right call? Since it didn't work, we're free to second guess it to our heart's content.

Sure, it was first and goal from the six with less than a minute left. But have gallant goal-line stands never happened? Have crazy things like penalties and fumbles never happened? Obviously the Giants were angling to end it with a field goal from extra point distance; a veritable "chip-shot." But have "gimme" field-goals never been blocked, or botched by a bad snap, or somehow sailed "wide-left" as if breathed upon by the football gods themselves. Think carefully, fans.

But the key question is this. Were any of those crazy things more improbable than Brady being able to take them all the way the other way under the preposterous circumstances of the moment? And yet -- as previously noted -- they missed in the end by only inches. It's Great Stuff! Happily, we can never know thus allowing us to quibble about it. Forever!

The play's the thing -- as The Bard reminds us -- and this was as great as it gets in the Soupey. It's always a blessing when you have a game that even makes tolerable the idiocy of the half-time show -- this year taken to new depths of vulgar burlesque by the supremely untalented Madonna and her ill-mannered buddies. Would that the lady might disappear forever in that puff of smoke that ended her act. Only A-Rod might weep.

Look at it this way. Your team was lucky to even be there at the end. For they actually lost that semi-final brawl in Foxborough against the Ravens, or should have. The pass Baltimore's Lee Evans caught in the waning seconds was surely a touchdown and nine times out of ten would have been so-ruled. His feet were down and his control of the ball was firm for the nano-second that's usually all that's required, before Sterling Moore chopped it from his grasp.

So weep not, Patriot legions. You know how they used to say in more gallant and noble times that it is better to have loved and lost than never to have strived at all? Well let me tell you it is better to have had your precious hopes dashed on the shoals of a thousand super ironies than to have your season end in December. You may ponder all of that, old Sport, while you wait until next year!

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