Will Walthall ’14
Hartford is located about two hours from both Boston and New York City. Much of Trinity College’s student population is drawn from these cities and the metropolitan areas surrounding them. This truth will never be more apparent than it will be this weekend. One can expect New England and New York fans alike to turn campus into a sea of red, white and blue on Super Bowl Sunday.Any Patriots fan that watches ESPN regularly is sick of seeing replays of David Tyree’s impossible catch in Super Bowl XLII that dismantled the Perfect Season. Any Giants fan that watches ESPN regularly will never get tired of watching Eli’s final drive and can’t wait for another chance to see their team knock golden boy Tom Brady off his pedestal. Giants fans want a repeat performance. Pats fans want revenge — but it won’t come easy. The Giants have been on a tear since the end of the regular season and have earned their stripes in the playoffs, taking out the top two seeds in the NFC: Green Bay and San Francisco. Despite having the league’s worst running game, the Giants have serious talent on both sides of the ball. In addition to the best pass rush in football, the Giants boast a high-powered passing attack. Eli Manning is coming off the best statistical season of his career and has a deep receiving corps led by Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks, both of whom are also having career turning years. With all of this in mind, Giants fans have to feel good facing the worst secondary in the NFL and a team that lives and dies by their quarterback.The Patriots are coming off a messy victory against the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship. Tom Brady had his worst game this season throwing two picks and, for the first time all year, no touchdowns. However, both the defense and running game stepped up and allowed the Pats to squeak out their fifth Super Bowl appearance in the past ten years. Despite facing defensive criticism all year, Patriots fans have full faith in their powerhouse offense headed by Tom Brady and two of the most impressive weapons in football: record-setting tight end Rob Gronkowski and receiver Wes Welker who leads the NFL in both yards and catches this season. It also never hurts when Bill Belichick is your coach. Super Bowl XLVI marks only the second time the Patriots and Giants have met since Super Bowl XLII, other than meeting earlier this season. In the week 9 matchup, Brady succeeded in passing upwards of 300 yards and two touchdowns but also throwing two picks and facing heavy pressure from the Giants defensive line, led by Jason Pierre-Paul. Eli Manning proved that he was in the top tier of NFL quarterbacks by leading the Giants to a late fourth quarter victory that was all too familiar to Patriots fans. In many ways, Super Bowl XLVI is a story about two quarterbacks. Tom Brady is looking to join the ranks of Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw as the third quarterback ever to win four Super Bowls. Brady, who was formally invincible in the playoffs, has not seen the same postseason success since the Super Bowl loss to the Giants in 2008. Eli Manning will try to win his second ring in the House that Peyton Built. If he succeeds, he will have one more championship than his superstar brother who’s career is in serious question after a season on the sidelines. Needless to say, the stakes are high for both quarterbacks taking snaps this Sunday. New England and New York match up very well and though the media coverage of Super Bowl XLVI is borderline suffocating, I expect the game to live up to all of the hype. It’s a rematch of one of the most exciting Super Bowls ever played between two teams with massive fan bases and decorated histories. Not to mention the general animosity felt between Boston and New York sports fans, which only adds fuel the fire.