Smith: Miss Me With Those Super Bowl Upset Dreams

I’m 75 percent sure I won’t watch Super Bowl LII.

In two weeks, I’m not going to trick myself into thinking the Philadelphia Eagles can erase decades of frustration and hoist a Lombardi Trophy against the Evil Empire, also known as the New England Patriots. It would be literally painful to see Tom Brady and Bill Belichick pick up another championship, adding on to one of the greatest dynasties of the 21st century. I dislike New England almost as much as Duke (feelings which only intensified when Zion Williamson, the greatest high school prospect since LeBron James, committed to the Blue Devils one day after the Patriots’ 24-20 come-from-behind win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.)

I nearly skipped last year’s Super Bowl, but the Atlanta Falcons sold me a dream, similar to a shady jeweler providing you an authentic-looking chain for a low price. Right after Atlanta went up 28-3, the gold started flaking, my neck turned green and Brady was labeled as the GOAT. ¬†Two years before that, the Seattle Seahawks were more worried about a public relations nightmare than giving Marshawn Lynch the ball on the 1-yard line to win a title. In Super Bowl XXXIX against the Eagles, Donovan McNabb was supposed to make me a believer. One year prior, I actually quit hating the Carolina Panthers for the first time in my life (they were my brother’s team and they knocked out mine the same season) with hopes the Patriots would take a loss then. Nope.

Speaking of my team, the then-St. Louis Rams, a dynasty was in the making heading into Super Bowl XXXVI. One 17-14 loss to New England later, the Rams haven’t been the same since and just made the postseason this year for the first time in 12. Years later, Marshall Faulk still claims the Patriots videotaped the Rams’ walkthroughs, which preceded Spygate, Deflategate and Refgate (only one penalty called in the match against the Jaguars, the fewest in an AFC championship game since the Patriots in 2011) and happened right after the infamous Tuck Rule game.

Whoever made the phrase “cheaters never prosper” never had a bowl of clam chowder in their life I’m guessing.

I thought I would be less upset about this than Kevin Durant joining the Golden State Warriors last year (also, take the phrase “quitters never win” out of the sports lexicon). I’m not, mainly because in the NBA you can play for the better team to win. Even upsets like the No. 8-seed Warriors over the top-seeded Dallas Mavericks back in 2007 (name five players and the coach off that Dubs team without Google and I’ll believe you’re not a bandwagoner) wasn’t too surprising after the first few games. In the NFL, anything can happen at any given time. Add the growing list of coincidences with New England involved, and it’s probably best I stay away.

It does sound extremely hypocritical, especially after the Eagles obliterated Minnesota. In the same breath, I wonder how the Vikings blew a 17-0 lead and needed an all-time great play as time expired to even advance to the NFC championship game. Yes, Nick Foles played sensational, but even Blake Bortles was efficient enough to make me sit through the whole game thinking of a possible upset. The only reason I bought the New York Giants’ story was because they proved themselves in 2007, losing 38-35 in the 2007 regular-season finale and nearly spoiling the Patriots’ perfect regular season. Five weeks later, New England was 18-1 with its first Super Bowl defeat in the Brady era. Four years later in Super Bowl XLVI, the Giants did it again and the optimism was there well before kickoff.

As kids, you hear about good always triumphing over evil and the wicked being cast asunder. Then you get older and realize what a crock of fiction you were fed throughout the years. I’m better off filling my time with something else over what will more than likely be another Patriots championship.

Or maybe the commercials will force me to a television. And hey, Philadelphia could win. You never know.

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