2007 really was the perfect season in the NFL
Those of us who watched the final game of the 2007 NFL season Sunday night may have seen the perfect season. What? Did I stutter? How in the world can I say that perfection was reached, when the New England Patriots lost the only game of the season that would have propelled them into history as the Greatest Team ever? To be honest, neither the Giants nor the Patriots are on my short list of favorite football teams. I love football more than I love my favorite teams. This was a perfect season not because of final records. If you choose to minimize the impact of football on our society, then based on New England’s performance, this was not a perfect season. I believe football is much bigger than one teams accomplishments or failures. Based on that, I wish to give you my reasons for 2007 being the perfect football season: The Patriots won every game of the season to be the best team of the 2007 regular season. The Giants showed they were the best team of the post-season. They won every post-season game. It was the winner of the regular season, vs the winner of the post-season in the final game. Perfect. The Superbowl champion Colts played the Patriots during the regular season in Indianapolis. It was the first time in history two teams with perfect records played this late in the season. Even though the Colts lost at home, they were the first team of the season to come within 3 or 4 points of the Patriots. Perfect. The Giants lost to the Patriots in Week 17 by three points. The Patriots did not get the lead in that game until 11:05 left in the forth quarter. The Giants took their lead Sunday night in the forth quarter with 11:06 remaining and won by … 3 points. Perfect. The NY Giants (what’s in a name?) were underdogs in the Superbowl. In a role reversal they became David and the heavily favored New England Patriots became Goliath. The Giant (by name) became David and slew the Goliath Patriot machine. The result was a perfect storybook ending. Last year, Peyton Manning was the quarterback of the winning team. This year his brother was the winner. Their father (Archie Manning) was a quarterback and never won a Superbowl, much less made it to the playoffs. A perfect addition to the rich history of family and football. So many records were broken in the 2007 season that I can’t even keep count. I saw some the greatest hits, touchdowns, kick returns and comebacks ever. This season offered the perfect level of excitement and enjoyment for football enthusiasts. In the final second of the game, the coach of the Patriots walked on to the field as if the season were over. It was agonizing to watch his perfect season go up in flames. He wanted to get off the field as soon as possible and so did his players. But the referees escorted him off the field so that the final second could expire and allow the Giants their just due. How many times this season, had teams wanted to end the Patriot Slaughter early, but the Patriot team kept piling it on and winning by large margins. On Sunday, only 3 points separated the two teams and the Patriots were powerless to even end the game early. Like every other team who loses, they had to wait until that final tick and suffer through the agony of defeat for the only time this season. How perfect is that?Perfection is something that can be measured in tangibles as well as intangibles. The ability of the human spirit to rise up and overcome giant obstacles was played out in perfect fashion during the Superbowl. We were reminded that perfect statistics can carry us just so far. In the end, it is less about what statistics support to our claims to perfection, than what our will, character and desire is able to create as a final outcome. Congratulations to every single player, family and team in the NFL this year for making 2007 the perfect season.
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