So...there's a game on today. As excited as I am for the actual day and all its food and things, I really don't care about the game itself. See, I'm a Dallas Cowboys fan, so, naturally, I hate the Giants.
And, being a New York Yankees fan, I'm not allowed to root for any team located in Massachusetts.
So, yeah, I hate both teams.
Or, at least, I'm supposed to hate both teams. But it's impossible to hate a guy like Tom Brady, the quarterback of the New England Patriots who went through college and his earliest professional days as an underdog.
Yep, the best quarterback of my generation--and one of the greatest in NFL history--started his career as an underdog.
In college, at Michigan, Brady was seen as a run-of-the-mill passer, and everyone from the head coach down wanted to see the QB relegated to second-string so freshman phenom Drew Henson could have more playing time.
It's an interesting story, and one retold in a recent issue of Sports Illustrated.
Brady, as he's done his entire career, sucked it up, figured it out, and won the starting job. He learned to read and anticipate defenses better than anyone else in the college game, and he was able to translate those skills to what has become a legendary pro career.
Tonight he plays in his fifth Super Bowl. He's won three of the four he's previously appeared in, losing to the New York Giants in one of the most memorable games in many years.
That season, the Pats were undefeated going into the Super Bowl; they were clear-cut favorites and a shoo-in to win. Then, the impossible happened and the Giants pulled a win out of--well, you know where.
Maybe Brady just wasn't used to being the favorite. Maybe he wasn't comfortable in the role of Apollo Creed.
That night, Rocky won.
Tonight, though? Well, tonight I don't think I would bet against Brady, even though his Pats are once again (slightly) favored.
It's an interesting matchup, made especially compelling because of the teams' Super Bowl history. But the Giants beat the Pats before, and I just can't imagine Tom Brady allowing that to happen twice.