Tuesday, February 05, 2008
The 2007 Patriots just crapped away their opportunity to become the greatest football team ever assembled. Instead they choked away in the absolute final game of the season. So why not make the natural New York vs. Boston comparison? What was a worse choke, the 2004 Yanks or the 18-1 Pats?
At Stake: Perfect Season vs. Continuation of the Curse
So what was at stake for each of these teams. The Yanks had already established a dynasty but were amidst a streak where they were losing World Series rather than winning them. Only a season before the Yanks shattered the Red Sox hopes and dreams with a walk off home run by Aaron freakin Boone. By beating the Red Sox, the Yanks would have had a very solid chance at defeating the Cardinals for their 5th title and additionally continued the Curse of the Bambino. The Pats on the other hand had the opportunity to re-solidify their dynasty while going down as the absolute greatest team in the history of football. This is a very close call but losing the opportunity to be the best team ever is larger than the chance at extending the streak which was slightly softened by this years championship.
Choke Advantage to the Pats
Opponent: 2007 Giants vs. 2004 Red Sox
The 2007 Giants were the perfect example of getting hot at the ideal moment. Will or should the Giants go down as one of the best teams ever? Absolutely not. The Giants went 10-6 during the regular season which garnered a meager 5 seed. Granted the 2004 Red Sox finished with the Wild Card and not a divisional crown, but they did have the 3rd best record in all of baseball. The 2004 Red Sox were a better overall team than the 2007 New York Giants.
The real difference here is the rivalry. New York and Boston always have a little bitterness regardless of whom is playing in the game but the hatred in New England for the Giants does not enter the stratosphere of the Yankee hatred in New England. There is no real team rivalry, just a natural city rivalry for the Gmen and Pats. Meanwhile the Yanks and Sox are amongst the greatest rivals in the world.
Choke Advantage to the Yanks
Scenario: 1 Game vs. 4 Straight Games
Baseball is a game where sweeps happen. Teams always get swept it's easier for a bad team or a lesser team to win games than in football. Hell if it wasn't the Royals would go 0-162 every season. If it was 2 games or perhaps 3 than the Pats whom had an obvious talent advantage over the Giants would have had a comparable scenario. But 4 games on the other hand dominates the Pats 1 loss.
Choke Advantage to the Yanks
As much as I would love to have something to mention worse than the 2004 Yanks, the Patriots losing on Sunday was not worse. The Patriots had slightly more on the line than the Yanks but the Yanks loss was drastic and to a much more relevent foe. While sunday certainly makes New Yorkers feel a bit better, it certainly isn't worse than 2004.