By Richard Dawson |Staff Writer|
If your team is not in this year’s Super Bowl, chances are you’re not going to be happy watching the game.
Student reaction around campus has been mixed to say the least. Of 50 students who were asked for their opinion on the game, a whopping 45 percent responded that they didn’t care who won.
“If the Chargers are not playing, then I don’t pay attention,” said student Ronnie Dawson.
Others still view the Superbowl as a social gathering and make the best of it.
“The Cowboys didn’t make it so I don’t really care who wins, but it’s still a good excuse to have friends over and barbecue,” said student Bri Stilwell.
Those who did choose a team had various reasons for who they picked. Of the 35 percent of students who picked the Giants, most of them share the same sentiment; they’re tired of seeing the Patriots holding the trophy.
“I would rather see Eli come up, the Patriots have won too many times before,” said student Suki Singh.
Some decisions had to do with their differing team affiliation.
“I’m a Cowboys fan so I can never root for the Giants. I pick the Patriots by default, and I look forward to seeing an angry ‘Manning Face’ at the end of the game,” said student Drew Adame.
Thanh Hoang had a similar response, “The Giants beat my 49ers, so I am rooting for the Pats.”
One thing that cannot be disputed, this Super Bowl is not without its share of storylines.
New York vs. New England part two, Manning vs. Brady and Belichick vs. Coughlin.
What’s at stake for the Patriots is the legacies of quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick. It’s been over four years since they lost to the Giants in Super Bowl XLI, but that day is still seen by many critics as the end of the Patriots dynasty.
That 17-14 loss to the Giants ruined what could have been a perfect season and claim as the “best team of all time.”
Another Super Bowl victory can redeem that loss to an extent. A victory can also put to rest the controversy of “Spygate” and lend credence to the Patriots for their ability to win a championship without “cheating.”
Just making it to a Superbowl, let alone a fifth appearance in 10 years, would be more than suitable for most teams in the NFL.
In New England however, the expectations have escalated to achievements most franchises only dream of. With those expectations comes a heavy burden to succeed.
What’s at stake for the Giants is appeasing a hungry, feisty sports town. Any team that plays in New York has huge expectations. Winning is the only thing that matters, just ask the Yankees or the Knicks.
Eli Manning knows all about expectations. Manning came into the league with instant comparisons to his older brother Peyton, and that set the bar pretty high.
Many critics have contemplated whether Eli could ever step out of the shadow of his older brother and establish his own legacy. His second appearance on the game’s biggest stage matches Peyton.
A victory would put him ahead of his bigger brother who only won once, and establish himself as a top tier quarterback.
The Giants are heading into Sunday as the media favorites due to how well they have been playing of late, defeating the Atlanta Falcons, the league’s number one offensive team in the Green Bay Packers and the number one defensive team in the San Francisco 49ers.
Combine that with the fact that they beat the Patriots earlier this season 24-20, and its easy to see results reminiscent of 2007.
A second Super Bowl title in four years with most of the same core players would put a stamp on them being considered an elite team of their era.
With much at stake, Super Bowl XLVI will be one for the ages.