Why I Want the Patriots to Dismantle the Rams in Super Bowl 53

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - JANUARY 20: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots gestures in the first half against the Kansas City Chiefs during the AFC Championship Game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 20, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – JANUARY 20: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots gestures in the first half against the Kansas City Chiefs during the AFC Championship Game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 20, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

When the Patriots take on the Cleveland… St. Louis… Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl 53, I’d like the Pats to completely obliterate the Rams. Here’s why.

I really don’t want to watch this Super Bowl. I’m not saying I won’t. And I’m not saying it won’t be a great Super Bowl. All Super Bowls in which the Pats play are legendary.

I’m just sayin’ I would’ve preferred Chiefs-Saints. Chiefs because they haven’t been to a Super Bowl in forever and Pat Mahomes owns my attention. Saints because I want Drew Brees to win another Lombardi so his lovable ass can retire and ride off into the sunset. Then maybe the Saints fall apart and that’s one less NFC power to worry about.

Some people (read: one person, my friend, a groomsman in my wedding) got just a bit triggered when I posted that first tweet with disapproving Dwight Schrute and this tweet…

Why did that memory of John Madden doting over Brady come to mind, besides the obvious? And why don’t I want to watch it? So many reasons.

First, the lead-up to the Super Bowl is BRUTAL when your team isn’t in the big game. When the Giants were in Super Bowl XXXV against the Ravens, I was a junior in college home for winter break and I was STAPLED to the television 24/7. It had been a decade since we’d been there, so I soaked it all up and couldn’t have been more miserable when we got trounced.

Now, I gotta hear about the Patriots — the greatest dynasty in ALL OF SPORTS — claim (YET AGAIN) they’re the scrappy underdogs or whatever. I gotta watch ridiculously overjoyed Brady and goofy Gronk and montone Belichick and that whole Patriots vs Everybody mantra that is tired as me with a newborn. G. T. F. O. H.

These 2 weeks are just gonna be everyone fluffin’ the Patriots non-stop. And I need it to stop. I need Brady to retire. I need Belichick to retire. I need some variety in my life because this is the literal definition of insanity — going into each NFL season with the same hope (Giants as Super Bowl champions) and expecting different results (Patriots NOT in the Super Bowl).

We’ve seen the same shit for 2 decades. TWO DECADES. The Patriots have been one of the few constants in my life over the past 20 years. That is what’s the MOST nuts and also the  MOST painful about this never-ending reign, this historic run, this eon of dominance. It could’ve been pure paradise for me. Pure uncut MDMA ecstasy.


Join me as I walk you through what could’ve been, won’t you?

I lived in Westwood, MA from 1988 – 1990. Before that I briefly lived in Scituate, MA. I was around 7-10 years old during that span. I’d seen the Giants win a Super Bowl in 1987 before the move to Mass. When we were in Westwood, the Pats weren’t great and the Giants continued to roll. Had the Giants fell apart and the Pats got hot, I could’ve converted. Kids are easily influenced. Kids are stupid.

The conversion wouldn’t have been all that treacherous. My dad was born in Providence, Rhode Island in 1950, 10 years before the Pats came into existence as an AFL team (the XFL of the ’60s). So, Dad was a Giants fan because the Giants were the only NFL team in the area. The Pats didn’t really get that good in the NFL until 1976-1980. At that time, Dad was just coming out of med school in Mexico, getting married to my mom and having me — all in New Jersey, now home to the NY Giants.

After Westwood, we moved to Cranston, Rhode Island after a brief stint in North Carolina. We were in Cranston from ’91-’94. The Patriots changed their uniforms and drafted Drew Bledsoe. That was another time when I got tempted to become a Pats fan. The Giants lost Bill Parcells and stunk with Ray Handley. Dan Reeves gave them 1-2 okay years and Phil Simms was unceremoniously cut before having his number ceremoniously retired.

Once we moved back to NJ, the Pats get Parcells, they’ve got Bledsoe (who wears #11 just like Simms) and a couple former Giants join the Pats. The Patriots are basically the New York Giants 2.0.

So, yeah, if I’m a diehard Giants fan and I have to pick an AFC team to “root” for, the Pats were it. That said, isn’t it a little weird for me to get AMPED about “my AFC team” dominating? Is that really fandom? Like, oh, I’m a Giants fan and a Pats fan? I’m happy the Patriots have gone on this tear. Other than the Giants, there really isn’t another team that I’d be okay with having this level of success. That still doesn’t make it any easier to watch.

So, why do I want the Patriots — a team that could’ve been MY team but that has worn me thin — to decimate the Rams?

No other NFC team has a better winning percentage against the Giants than the Rams. And it’s not just that the Giants have a lost a lot to the Rams but it’s the way we’ve lost.

From 1938 – 2001, the Giants played the Rams 36 times and only won 10 of those contests. I was born in Nov ’80.  I became cognizant of football when I was around 5-6 years old (1985-1985). Here’s a rundown of the matchups from Nov 1985 on:

The Jim Everett Era (1988 – 1993):

  • Sep 25, 1988 – Giants lose to the LA Rams at home, 45-31
  • Nov 12, 1989 – Giants lose to the Rams @ Los Angeles, 31-10

Had the Giants beat the Rams, LA goes 10-6 and might not make the playoffs. Instead…

  • Jan 7, 1990 – Giants lose in overtime to LA Rams at home in Divisional Round, 19-13

Everett to Flipper Anderson in OT

Imagine watching that as 9-year-old. Probably the most soul-crushing game of my pre-pubescent years. Never has ‘sudden death’ been more applicable.

Nov 11, 1990 – Giants finally beat the LA Rams 31-7

  • Sep 8, 1991 – Giants lose to LA Rams, 19-13
  • Oct 18, 1992 – Giants lose @ Los Angeles, 38-17
  • Sep 19, 1993 – Giants beat LA Rams 20-10

The Move to St. Lou / My High School Years (1994-1997):

  • Oct 16, 1994 – Giants lose @ Los Angeles, 17-10

The Rams move to St. Louis for 1995 season and for some bizarre reason, I loved it. Maybe I thought the move would take away that glamorous LA luster and we’d get back to owning St. Louis like we did with the Cardinals. Turns out, nope.

  • Sep 21, 1997 – Giants lose @ St. Louis, 13-3

The Greatest Show on Turf / College Years (1999-2001):

  • Dec 19, 1999 – Giants lose @ St. Louis, 31-10
  • Nov 12, 2000 – Giants lose to Rams at home, 38-24

  • Oct 14, 2001 – Giants lose @ St. Louis, 15-14

2-10 in 12 games over 13 years. 13 formidable years. I mean, that’s when I’m developing as a human. My body’s growing. My brain is firing on all cylinders. I’m making lifelong associations. Lifelong scars. And the Rams came to be the embodiment of all my shortcomings and failures.

Jesus, Neal. Still bitter about a rough 13-year stretch? Get over it. After all, the Giants have gone 7-1 against the Rams since 2002. 

Doesn’t matter. None of those games mattered. This team will never be able to shake off that stink. 9-year-old Neal will never forget. Jared Goff = Jim Everett + Kurt Warner.

And the WAY the Rams get to the Super Bowl is so Rams. On an inexcusable non-call. The most egregious non-call in NFL history.

I want the Rams to get beaten so bad that they have to disband as a franchise. And I want an apology from Jim Everett and Flipper Anderson.

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