By the Bray of Fundie
Paradoxically in Super bowl 42 the “Giants” played the role of David to the Patriot’s Goliath-giants. But to me what was most satisfying of their mother-of-all-upsets victory was not the near miraculous plays, the ferocity and subterfuge of the Blitz packages or even the feel-good story of nursing-home old vets like Strahan and Feagles finally getting that long coveted ring. No, the very best part of this morality-
play-disguised-as-a-sporting-event was the fact that the New York Football Giants were the iceberg that sunk the New England “Team Titanic”.
Let’s not forget that the Patriots led with less than five minutes to go. This lead held despite the Giants playing their guts out (and their finest game of the season by far). More significantly, even
after the Giants had spent their miracle the Patriots trailed by a mere 3 points and the two-headed monster of Brady and Belichek had 34 seconds and three time outs to move into field goal range. Had the monster opted to try and tie the game and live to play a sudden “death” they would, little doubt, have gained football life-everlasting.
Why did they heave impossibly long Hail Mary’s? Why not do two-step drops and complete three to four 12-17 yard strikes? Why… with their full compliment of time outs they could even have thrown these over the middle! Where was Brady’s unflappable steely nerves and surgical precision? Where did the genius of X’s and O’s flee? Where was the ghost of Adam Vinatieri who got this whole dynasty rolling in the first place? Why didn’t they play for the tie, live and play another quarter and finish 19-0?
There is only one answer. An unspeakable arrogance and hubris gripped Belichek, Brady, Moss and company. They were in denial that their ship of perfection was about to capsize, break up and sink. Brady, playing the role of Mrs. Sylvia Caldwell, no doubt expressed concerns to Belichek before taking the field for what would be, but didn’t have to be, his team’s final series of 2008 and the hooded savant expectorated
That graduate of the New Orleans JCC, Elisha Nelson "Eli" Manning, gained universal acclaim for exhibiting cool-as-a-cucumber calm under fire. But what really won the day was neither the ice-water in his veins nor his team’s role as an iceberg. What won the day for the Giants was the Patriots stubborn adherence to Titanic hubris. As the wisest of Kings wrote; (Mishlei 16:18) writes לִפְנֵי-שֶׁבֶר גָּאוֹן;
וְלִפְנֵי כִשָּׁלוֹן, גֹּבַהּ רוּחַ= = “Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” [DB: Mishlei, was not, in fact, written by a King]
This is a great moshol for the setbacks that await the hyper-rationalists. Those who delude themselves into thinking that technology, empiricism and reason hold ALL the answers sail the seas of their lives on a weltanschauung vessel they imagine to be unsinkable. But the David-like giants of faith rise above the waters lurking to break their pride. My advice: try a little humility now. You’ll avoid loads of humiliation later.