EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

January 30, 2012

Pats have more at stake than revenge

No disrespect to the New York Giants, but for all intents and purposes they are collateral damage.

They might as well be the San Francisco 49ers or New Orleans Saints.

Despite what you've read and heard, and will continue to read and hear, the New England Patriots hold no ill will toward the Giants.

In this case, the "New York" thing is way over-rated. If this were the Jets, well, that would be different. As of now, there is no rivarly between the Patriots and Giants. None.

You will hear about "revenge" and "redemption" the next seven days as if they really mean something in this matchup. From the Patriots perspective, next Sunday's game versus the Giants is too meaningful for those teenage-like passions.

What you have to understand, win or lose on Sunday, that loss four years ago in Glendale, Ariz. to the Giants, 17-14, will never go away.

Never.

When coach Bill Belichick is riding his boat — named "Seven Rings" (note: It's currently called "Five Rings," referring to his three championships with the Patriots and two with the Giants. I'm predicting two more "rings.") — on Nantucket Sound a decade or so from now, that game against the Giants will still stick in his craw.

While eating his Cheerios some random morning in retirement, he'll bang the kitchen table with his fist when he thinks about something from that game.

It seems all of the greatest coaches, at all levels, in all sports, always seem to remember the hard losses most.

Call it bad luck (the Pats dropped three potential interceptions on the Giants final winning drive, not to mention David Tyree's ball-stuck-to-the-helmet play).

Call it lack of preparation (the Patriots never adjusted to the Giants pressure on Brady).

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports

Local Sports Videos
Sports Videos
Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft NHL playoff preview: Boston Bruins vs. Detroit Red Wings NHL playoff preview: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Montreal Canadiens NHL playoff preview: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Carolina Panthers NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Atlanta Falcons Too Hot or Too Cold: Brewers and Rangers NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Baltimore Ravens NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Arizona Cardinals NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Oakland Raiders NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Houston Texans NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Jacksonville Jaguars Olympic Great Michael Phelps Ending Retirement Draft Preview: Chris Davis Draft Preview: Jay Prosch Watson: 'I'm always going to cry' Is the use of pine tar considered cheating? Draft Preview: Jake Matthews Draft Preview: L'Damian Washington
Boston Sports
Merloni: Transfer Rule 'ruining the game' Gomes: Ceremony showed healing is ongoing Pedroia: Game-winning play 'kind of a crazy deal' Babcock: 'An exercise in skating up and down the rink' Rask: Chara's become better at screening Miller: Flu 'a scary situation' Florek: 'It's a feeling I've never felt before' Iginla hungry for first Stanley Cup Running Strong: How the Bruins National Anthem brought Boston together Patriots Talk TV: Should the Pats abandon the 2 TE system? Brad Stevens: Hopeful season was a 'learning experience' for young Celtics Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft NHL playoff preview: Boston Bruins vs. Detroit Red Wings NHL playoff preview: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Montreal Canadiens NHL playoff preview: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday McAdam: MLB replay system already affecting Sox Running Strong: Marathon Sports Manager, Shane O'Hara reflects back on Marathon bombings Merloni: An imperfect game we're trying to make perfect Felger sounds of on the MLB replay system