We’re 24 hours removed from what seems to be unanimously regarded as the dullest Super Bowl in history. Often when we use hyperbole like that to describe sporting events, you can blame recency bias for letting our historical perspective be jaded. But let’s face it, from an entertainment standpoint, that game absolutely blew.
Yes, you can point to the 16 combined points scored by the two teams – the lowest total in Super Bowl history. Sure, you can chalk it up to the fact that just one year after we saw a Super Bowl that only featured one drive that ended with a punt, we were “treated” to a combined 14 (!) in this year’s Big Game. Hell, you can even throw in the mostly lifeless halftime show that will be best remembered for featuring Adam Levine’s nips.
But perhaps the dullest ingredient of the shit goulash that was this football game was the fact that the dullest franchise in the sport won yet another ring – because of course they did.
It’s not even the Patriots’ fault at this point. They aren’t dull because they don’t play good football. Their ridiculous six championships over the course of the Brady-Belichick era are enough to prove that’s obviously not the case. They’re dull because winning is just their default setting. And even though we’ve been beaten over the head with that fact over the course of the last two decades, somehow a lot of us allowed ourselves to forget it this season.
If you’re like me, you saw an 11-5 Patriots team that somehow didn’t feel like they were THAT good. They stumbled out of the gate, losing two of their first three games in uncharacteristic fashion. I mean, they gave up a combined 57 points to the Jaguars and Lions for fuck’s sake. After rebounding and stringing some wins together, we watched them get smoked by the Titans in Week 10. Back-to-back losses to the Dolphins and Steelers late in the year didn’t exactly inspire a ton of confidence either. And yet, they cakewalked to another AFC East title and found themselves in the playoffs again.
But whoop-dee-doo, right? That division sucks, we said. The Chargers are good enough to take them out in Foxboro, we rationalized. No way they’ll beat MVP Patrick Mahomes and the 12-4 Chiefs in KC, we proclaimed. Except here’s the thing. We forgot that regardless of how they get there, once the Patriots play in big games that they have to win…they win. In fact, the only times they haven’t are in the games that we all took for granted that they would. But this year, we introduced at least an inch of doubt. Maybe these unrelenting bastards had finally reached the end of the line. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me six times, what kind of an unbelievable dumbass am I?
So shame on me and all of you like me who thought that this young and extremely talented Rams team would be the exception to the rule. It’s not that we didn’t have our reasons. But damn it, we should have known better.