Now that the Super Bowl is over, the sports talk shows have been abuzz with the happenings contained within those sixty minutes and most specifically, the pounding the Broncos received.
Of course you know the mastermind behind this beating was Pete Carroll, who has New England Patriot's ties, as he was their head coach in the late 90's. He was fired after 3 seasons as head coach, and was replaced by Bill Belichick in early 2000.
I really didn't want to the Broncos to win, because I didn't want to see Wes Welker win a championship. I know, that's a lame reason, but I was watching the game on and off and the only time I saw Manning throw to him, he dropped it. Imagine that.
But after the game was over I thought that it was probably good that the Patriots lost to the Broncos, or else it would have been them getting their butts handed to them by the Seahawks. And as I was listening to sports talk radio this week, other people were expressing the same sentiment. Many talked about the "legacy" of Peyton Manning. Is he a choker? What if the Patriots had made the Super Bowl and Brady had laid an egg on the field? What about his "legacy"? He's won 3 Super Bowls. Would he be labeled a choker? So the discussion turned to this question.
Which is better, losing the AFC or NFC Championship Game badly or the Super Bowl?
You would think losing the Championship Game would be worse, because you failed to reach the ultimate goal. But let's use my Patriots as an example.
Many, many years ago before the Patriots were almost a lock to make the playoffs every year, they sucked. They sucked really bad. They were even 1- 15 for a season. But on January 26, 1986 they were playing in the Super Bowl. I was ecstatic. I remember watching it at my Dad's and just being depressed the entire time. The Patriots never had a chance. The Bears beat them every way possible. The Bears would have destroyed anybody the AFC trotted out that day.
Tony Eason was the quarterback for the Patriots that season. Do I remember him as a field general who led the Patriots to their first Super Bowl?
No, this is how I remember him.
He was so bad, they took him out in the second quarter. He never even completed a pass.
So who did the Patriots beat in the AFC Championship game that year (and probably saved from a serious beating)?
You don't know, do you.
They beat the Miami Dolphins, and it wasn't that close either.
So the person who according to ESPN in 2008, that had the worst performance of any quarterback in a Super Bowl beat the Dolphins and Dan Marino 31 - 14 just 2 weeks earlier.
So what do you think? Since it's a pretty safe bet to assume that they would have lost too, do you think Marino's "legacy" would have been hurt by making the Super Bowl that year?
Personally I think as fans we are tougher on someone who made the Super Bowl and got creamed, than on someone who never made it at all.
Just ask Jim Kelly.