Apparently, it’s bad form when you’ve got a rooting interest in a conference championship game and lose, to point out that the winner is going to get their ass handed to them in the Super Bowl. Apparently, it’s bad sportsmanship to, with one hand, congratulate for the Conference Championship, but with the other take it away by stating the obvious – that the game was about who was going to get their hat handed to them by the vastly superior team.
We will see what the football gods decide what the outcome of Super Bowl 50 will be, but after the absolute thrashing the Panthers laid down on the Cardinals, it’s hard to see how either AFC finalists would fare any better than the very talented Cardinals did.
The Patriots missed PAT hurt – there’s always a voice in the back of your head that says, “that’s going to come back and hurt,” Often times, it does not. On this day, however, it did. Or the Field Goal not attempted. Or the failed two point conversion. It doesn’t matter, really – and what makes it hurt less from a Patriots fan perspective is this: the outcome of the NFC game presents convincing evidence that the Carolina Panthers will be the first 15-1 team to win the championship since the 1985 Bears. AND, they’ll likely win big.
I also heard the familiar laments from Cardinals fans – “why’d they go for the 2-point conversion?” “Running up the score is so shitty!” Look, it’s not their job to stop scoring; its your job to stop them from scoring. They did you a favor by going for 2 – we’re going to take the harder route to scoring, we’re giving you the opportunity to stop us; succeed and you keep 2 off the board, fail and we get an extra point for our effort.
No, two weeks from Sunday, the Carolina Panthers will be the 50th Champion of the combined AFL/NFL. And that would be the case whether or not it was Tom Brady or Peyton Manning representing the AFC. Whether or not yours truly is wearing a Patriots logo.
The Patriots had every opportunity to steal the game from Denver. EVERY OPPORTUNITY. It doesn’t matter. Frankly,I’m just as happy they didn’t. The only way I would have been more okay, would have been if the game had ended 20-12. That would have hurt less. And frankly, it’s always better to win than not, and I hope this isn’t coming across as sour grapes, but I’d rather lose the Conference Championship game than lose the Super Bowl. In over 30 years of watching this team, I’ve had the great fortune to have seen it all: Conference wins and loses; Super Bowl wins and loses. Winning seasons and VERY Losing seasons. Losing sucks. Losing the Super Bowl sucks worse than 1-15. Losing the Super Bowl sucks worse than losing the Conference Championship.
For all but one, the best teams end the season with a loss. On Sunday, the Patriots and Cardinals both learned that. Two weeks from today, we’ll be talking about the game the Broncos just lost.
Call me butthurt. Call me a sore loser. Call me whatever you want. I’ll tell you that I’m 100% a realist. Good luck with that trip to Levi’s Stadium, Peyton. 1-3 in the Super Bowl doesn’t do anything for your legacy…and in losing TB12 gets the best of you yet again.