We had a bunch of friends over to watch the Superbowl yesterday. No one who came had any allegiance whatsoever to either team. No Bostonians or New Yorkers in the crowd. In fact, most of us are pretty casual football fans. Other than keeping up with the Broncos enough to make conversation, I didn't watch more than 2 or 3 complete games all season.
We thought it was about the friends, the food, and the commercials (loved the one about the Clydesdale and the dalmation). But the first time Tom Brady got knocked on his butt we all cheered--and realized we did have a bias. I could not have imagined a scenario in which I would care about the New York Giants, but there I was.
It was good to see a team (Giants) show up ready to play their game, without giving much credence to the hype about their "perfect," ie. unbeaten opponent. Good for Manning for stepping up and leading with clarity and courage. He will never again stand in the shadow of his father or older brother.
David and Goliath. The Spartans and the Persians. The American colonies and the British Empire. Al Gore and the oil industry. Now to the long list of underdogs we add Eli Manning and his Giants. Hail the victorious underdog!
(My inner editor is telling me that Leonid's Spartans were eventually killed, but they held the line long enough for Greece to unite. At least that's the Hollywood version of history)