If you’re a Patriots fan , you’re either celebrating yet another comeback win or attacking online haters and trolls. If you’re an Eagles fan, you’re either bragging about your team’s underdog mentality, or hanging off a Crisco-greased lamppost. But if you’re a fan of the New York Giants, among others, this past Sunday was a nightmare. You had a rooting interest in the Vikings, that would’ve been a nice story to win a Super Bowl at home. You had a rooting interest in the Jaguars to see Tom Coughlin win one more time and send the front office a message. These two teams though are a worst nightmare scenario for Giants fans, especially those living the New England states (I grew up in Connecticut) or in New Jersey. So who do you root for? How do you survive? Can you cheer for anything? Is the Super Bowl still going to have that same Super Bowl feel? Well, even if you are a Giants fan, you’re likely still going to watch in some way. So here is a survival guide for those that will endure, as I like to call it, Suffer Bowl 52, conveying the very few positive things fans can fall back on.
1. It’s not Carson Wentz
Eagles fans on social media constantly are saying they are going to create a dynasty in the division with this great new quarterback that is far better than any other teams. As a Giants fan, I just roll my eyes to those comments, because I know that they are delusional. Even if it isn’t the Giants, the NFC East has always had a different champion every season since 2004. Regardless, if the Eagles win this Super Bowl, as painful as it will be, it wouldn’t have been with the help of Wentz, their MVP candidate quarterback. But rather, it would be with Nick Foles, who had to survive backup roles in St. Louis and Kansas City before finally getting to play with real wide receivers. Even though the Eagles as a team are hated, it’s tough to hate the story completely.
2. The Patriots will at least have more Super Bowl wins than the Cowboys
Cowboys fans love to brag about their five rings that they won in the 20th Century. Well in case they didn’t realize, we are 18 years officially into the 21st, where the Cowboys have won the same amount of playoff games as Blake Bortles, with one being tainted due to the “face-guarding” call that nullified an obvious pass interference against the Lions in 2014-15. However, they will be overconfident and sometimes delusional and think their team is still the greatest. Meanwhile, the Patriots have a chance to go for their sixth ring on Sunday. As much as you could argue those rings are tainted by spygate and the tuck rule among other things, they still beat some of the best offensive teams in the Super Bowl. With that said, everybody knows that the Patriots are the Death Star of the NFL. They are the most hated team among American professional teams according to a recent poll, and with good reason. However, the Dallas Cowboys are not far behind. And any mechanism that attacks the Cowboys on social media or in the mind of a Giants fan is always a good thing. So if the Patriots do win and the Brady fanboys are making you sick on social media, at least the Cowboys fans will be disappointed at the same time, as their five rings now falls to a tie for third place on the all time list if New England wins. And even though the Patriots winning a sixth ring is not a desirable sight for Giants fans, at least there’s that to fall back on.
3. There will still be food and alcohol at Super Bowl parties
Despite the game being sickening, there will still be tasty foods and great liquor varieties at any Super Bowl party that one hosts or go to. Unless you’re on a diet, a vegetarian, or feeling sick on game day, it’s tough to go wrong with a great assortment of bar foods and beers. And what that food and alcohol can do is distract yourself from the pain of the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots playing in the Super Bowl by just enjoying all the great food & drinks around you. And if you want another negative distraction, you can fill up on anything or have a lot of beer to keep yourself away from the victory ceremony or the play that defines the Super Bowl for one team. That way, mockingly, you can be like “what happened?” or “I didn’t see the play” to any Patriots or Eagles fan at your party. You can shy it out like it didn’t happen, essentially making you feel a little better rather than watching the glory of a loathed team. Also, like any other watch party, drinking games are always a possibility too. So, like instances in real life when people stress-eat or stress-drink, the same can be applied here in this Suffer Bowl for Giants fans, except in a slightly more fun setting of a Super Bowl party.
4. The AFC is predictable and stupid
From 2004-2011, every single AFC Super Bowl Representative were the Patriots, Steelers, or Colts, before the Ravens broke that trend in the 2012-13 season. Meanwhile, the NFC, in that time, had only one team to make it to the Super Bowl twice, which was the New York Giants in 2007 and 2011. Otherwise, you’re looking at a great variety of teams that have made it that always seems like a surprise at the beginning of the season. For that reason, besides Super Bowl 47 with the Ravens and Super Bowl 41 with the Colts, I have never rooted for an AFC team in the Super Bowl, simply because those same teams and quarterbacks are always in it. When the Giants aren’t in the playoffs, I still root for teams in my conference because they are new and unpredictable, and often times fun teams, like the Panthers and Falcons the last two years. As much as I hate the Eagles as an organization, it would be wrong to say that they don’t fall into that NFC breakthrough category. They are a fun team with their crazy celebrations and their youth and playing style. They had that underdog mentality as the 1 seed that nobody was giving any credit, similarly to the Broncos two years ago. Obviously, the Vikings would have been a much better story in addition to being a new team. But once again, the more competitive and talented conference brought another new team as their champion, where the no-parity AFC once again landed Tom Brady and the Patriots. Boring. Predictable. Lame. As much as I hate the Eagles, them winning would at least give the conference a little bit of pride as the high-parity conference that never fails to bring in new teams.
5. Hopefully Brady & Belichick will just retire after this one
Tom Brady’s supermodel wife, Gisele Bundchen, wanted him to retire after last year’s comeback win over the Atlanta Falcons. And after the season, she also came out to announce that Brady was playing through a concussion at times last year. Well, as of right now, scientific evolution has not found any way for players to get younger, and Tom Brady is one of the oldest quarterbacks in the league, and Bill Belichick is one of the oldest coaches in the league. And going out on top is not uncommon for even the best players. Jerome Bettis went out on top after defeating the Seahawks in Super Bowl 40. Michael Strahan did it after upsetting the 18-0 Patriots in 2008. Ray Lewis did it after the Ravens won the Super Bowl as a 4 seed in 2013. And most recently, Peyton Manning did it after defeating the Carolina Panthers in 2016. So why not Brady and Belichick? Brady claims he can play 2-3 more years. But with more low hits and with the cut on his hand, how much does he really mean it? With Belichick, there was tension between him and Kraft because he wanted to hang onto a more developed Jimmy Garropolo. He didn’t get his way, and now is thinking about leaving. As much as I would’ve liked him on the Giants, I knew that wouldn’t happen, and I don’t believe he would coach another NFL organization other than the New England Patriots. So if they do win one more time, why wouldn’t the two want to go out together? I’m not saying it will be their last chance, but if that is the plan with the two, why wouldn’t now be the time? And even though the Patriots winning the Super Bowl is a sickening feeling, if that does happen, that will be the last time having to deal with it.
6. Maybe the Eagles will blow a big lead and it will phase them for the future
The Eagles, as I mentioned, are the surprise team in this Super Bowl. No players on their last Super Bowl team remain on this roster. There is a good amount of youth on this team that never has been in this position. This isn’t to say the Eagles are a completely young team, as their average age on their roster as a whole ranked 23rd. However, players like Jason Peters, Brent Celek, and Donnie Jones may rig that number a little more. Regardless, they have a lot of young players that have been extremely confident throughout this underdog run. If they continue this run and keep winning, that may lead to confidence for years to come. But if they do something to the likes of the Jaguars, Falcons, or Seahawks did against the Patriots, it may hurt them mentally. The Seahawks only playoff wins after that collapse in Super Bowl 49 came due to Blair Walsh’s famous chip-shot miss and against the Lions, a team with one playoff win in the entire Super Bowl era. The Falcons took a step back offensively, and even though they made the playoffs, still underperformed with an easy schedule. So if the Eagles have a double-digit lead in the 4th quarter and blow it in similar fashion, maybe it will rattle these players mentally for years to come. And when the Giants do finally have a good team again likely with a young quarterback, they may be able to attack the mental weaknesses of this Eagles team in close games. I thought that with the Phillies/Yankees World Series in 2009, and I rooted for the Yankees, as much as I hate them, because I thought it may mentally phase the Phillies. The Phillies dynasty fell apart after that pretty quickly, losing in the playoffs twice as one seeds and then falling off when the Nationals got good. Hopefully, the Eagles can do the same thing, and it will help the Giants in the regular season and maybe in the playoffs in the future.
7. Zero Rings
The biggest thing Giants fans can fall back on after enduring this Super Bowl goes back to the zero rings joke. Cowboys fans, Steelers fans, Giants fans, and NFL fans in general love to make fun of the notion that the Eagles have no Super Bowl rings, and their last title was an NFL Championship game in 1960. If the Eagles were to win this year, that joke would be dead forever. Especially in a social-media driven era of digital technology today, the memes and the trolls will be in full force either way. So if the Eagles win, that joke that has been a running meme for quite a while will be dead and out of context. But if New England wins, as much as that would pain me too, that joke would live on another year at least, and Eagles fans and the Eagles can still be laughed at as one of the few professional sports franchises that have never won a title. As a Giants fan, despite me hating to watch them in the Super Bowl, the disappointment on Eagles fans faces and Eagles players faces that they once again choked in the playoffs will be a satisfying notion.
Personally, I do think it will be a close game, and it will be painful to watch two teams I absolutely loathe play good, mistake-free football. But in a perfect world, some of these scenarios happen in what I’m calling Suffer Bowl 52, and I hope it is the ugliest game of the year. I hope Stephen Gostkowski leads the Patriots to a 3-0 win as quarterback to be honest. That is how much I hate both teams. But I know that likely won’t happen, so for those Giants fans (and others who hate both teams) that may need some sense of survival during this Suffer Bowl, these are some small positives about Super Bowl Sunday that I am hoping fans can fall back on.