As for most sports fans, my weekend was spent watching the great NFL playoff games. Among the excitement, however, was my New York Giants, the defending Super Bowl champions, being eliminated, with a loss to Philadelphia of all teams.
Normally I would be pretty mad and upset, maybe a couple days until it goes away. I don't deal well with losing. Especially after Carolina lost, the road back to the Super Bowl was looking good. They just had to take care of the Eagles, who despite their win streak, I had not been (nor am I yet) impressed with, and then host the Cardinals, who despite their turnaround in the playoffs, I still could not possibly see them coming to the Meadowlands and winning.
Unfortunately, the Giants came out and played one of their worst games of the season, and all it takes is one in the NFL playoffs to be done. Not only was Eli horrible, but the Giants coaches (mainly Coughlin and Gilbride) seemed to be doing their best to make it more difficult for them to win with bad decisions and worse playcalling. I hate to say something like I would have done a better job, but never can I remember a game where so many times I wanted the Giants to do something, watched them do the exact opposite, and fail seemingly every time.
But enough about that. I had to talk about the Giants, but it all circles back around to the Mets. About one year ago, in the offseason going into the most important and most desparate Mets season ever for me personally, my Giants claimed Super Bowl victory in an amazing defeat of the Patriots. I couldn't help but blog about my joy and excitement.
Well, we know how the story of the 2008 season finished for the Mets, and it was heartbreaking for me. I'm still struggling to embrace the Mets right now going into 2009. My point is, as I said before, normally I would be very mad and upset about the Giants losing, especially to Philadelphia. But strangely, I wasn't. Sure, I punched my desk a couple times and was pretty disappointed after the game ended, but I got over it pretty quickly.
There was only one thing I could attribute this contradiction to my typical reactions as a crazed sports fan, and that was that the Giants were still the Super Bowl XLII champions. That great feeling of a year ago is still there, and going through this entire season as the defending champions was amazing.
As I was going through my period of complete dismissal of the Mets this past October, I thought to myself that all this torment heartbreak cannot possibly be worth a hopefully eventual championship ring. But the Giants, in their playoff loss, proved to me just how sweet it is to hoist the trophy.
I feel like all I need is just one World Series run by the Mets. Just one championship that I can celebrate. From then on, no failures could ever hurt as much as they do now. I'm not going to beg for the Mets to go out and win this year; I did that last year, and that clearly didn't help any. I just have to wait patiently for that day to come. Until then, I just have to take the bad with the good, and hope that one day this will all be worth it.
Bring on the 2009 season.