VETTEL: For Me It's A Win-Win Super Bowl

When the Super Bowl kicks off Sunday evening most fans will be in one of three camps. There will be those rooting for the Patriots, those rooting for the Giants and those who don't care. But I'm in my very own category. I'm a winner no matter how Super Bowl XLII plays out.



Primary Motivation

I am a lifelong New York Giants fan. That doesn't mean I'm a Giants fan who started rooting for them when they drafted Lawrence Taylor. Nope, I was a Giants fan when Norm Snead was their starting quarterback and they were still playing home games in Yankee Stadium.

I was a Giants fan when they decided a kick returner from West Texas A&M, Rocky Thompson, should be their first round draft pick. Among the players still available with that forgettable pick were Hall of Famers Jack Ham, Dan Dierdorf and Jack Youngblood.

As a Giants fan I have had it pretty good in recent years. The G-Men won Super Bowl XX1 21 years ago and repeated that feat four years later. Heck, I even enjoyed Super Bowl XXXV when the Giants were completely trashed by the Baltimore Ravens.

I'm a true blue Giants fan and really want them to win the Super Bowl.

Ulterior Motivation

So how can a man who has rooted for the Giants since the 1960s possibly have a rooting interest in the Patriots beating his favorite team for football's greatest prize? Well, that's a little bit more complicated.

To begin with, Bill Belichick was the defensive coordinator on those Super Bowl Champions and I'm still grateful. Additionally, the Patriots have Jabar Gaffney and Chad Jackson and that's two more guys that I know personally than suit up for New York.

But the truth is my rooting interest in the Patriots is just petty and vindictive.

I hate the Miami Dolphins.

When we moved from New York to Port St. Lucie in 1970, I got/had to see the Dolphins every week of the season. As a result I built up quite a dislike for the fish that endures to this very day. When the Dolphins finished off a perfect season by beating Washington in Super Bowl VII it was a great accomplishment.

Enough already!

Last week my colleague and friend Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel wrote that anyone who criticizes the Dolphins' 35-year tradition of celebrating when the last NFL team finally loses is a hypocrite.

Mike's view is, in a word inane.

It's not hypocritical to find it distasteful that a group of people plan an annual event to celebrate someone else's failure. I think of it as having class and understanding sportsmanship. I would have no difficulty if the 1972 Dolphins held an annual reunion every February and toasted their accomplishment. If it so happens to remain the only perfect season on the books, so be it. But for them to quickly schedule a get together as soon as the last unbeaten goes down every season is kind of pathetic.

If the Patriots win Sunday, those events are history. New England would have bested the Dolphins by going 19-0 and doing it in far more dominating fashion. It will be such a relief for me to have those Miami celebrations come to a close and never hear from Mercury Morris again.

But I really want the Giants to win.

Questions or comments? Contact FightinGators.com's Larry Vettel


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