Congratulations today to the new Super Bowl champions, the Pittsburgh Steelers. Pittsburgh earned the title with a thrilling 27-23 last-minute victory over the Arizona Cardinals.
The folks at Behind the Steel Curtain, SBN's Steelers blog, are in a celebratory mood today. Good for them, they should be. We know the feeling. Just a year ago, that was us celebrating a Super Bowl victory.
I come here today feeling a bit conflicted.
There is sadness that the Giants' reign as Super Bowl champions is now officially over. Being able to throw around the phrase 'defending Super Bowl champions' for a year was fun.
There is still regret at the way this past season ended. We all know the season ended long before it was supposed to. Our Giants were a team primed to do so much more, primed to make a run at historic back-to-back titles. Alas, whatever the reasons in the end it wasn't to be.
I won't succumb to the 'woulda/coulda/shoulda' whining we were subjected to at BBV throughout the past year from fans of teams we knocked off on the way to our 2008 Super Bowl title. This time the Steelers did. We didn't. End of story.
I won't spend my time making excuses for why the Giants didn't win another Super Bowl title.
I won't spend the next several months pontificating about how if Plaxico Burress hadn't shot himself and screwed up the Giants' offense we would have won again.
I won't spend the next several months moaning about how Eli Manning is not the second coming of God himself, and how he throws too many flutterballs in the Giants Stadium wind.
I won't spend the next several months complaining about the playcalling of Kevin Gilbride.
In other words, I won't spend the next several months in 'woulda/coulda/shoulda' mode complaining about all the imperfections of this team I love.
Instead, I am going to look at positive side. After all, when it comes right down to it the Giants are right now a model for pretty much every other team in the league as to how to build a winning franchise. Outside of Pittsburgh, and probably New England, everyone else has to look at the success of the Giants in recent seasons with envy.
Instead of complaining, I am going to remember.
Remember that I root for a team that has gone to the playoffs four consecutive seasons.
Remember that I root for a team that has earned a Super Bowl title and two NFC East championships during those four seasons.
Remember that I root for a team that has a franchise quarterback coming off the best regular season of his career. And remember that that franchise quarterback probably has another decade or so left in what will likely be a brilliant career.
Remember that I root for a team that, despite flaws, still has an excellent nucleus of young talent that should allow the Giants to be at or near the top of the NFC ladder for years to come.
Remember that I root for a team that still has an excellent coach and a terrific general manager adept at drafting young talent and plugging holes with inexpensive free agents.
In other words, I am going to remember that while I root for a team not hoisting the Lombardi Trophy today, I root for a team that has done many wonderful things during the past four seasons. And is in position to do many more over the next several seasons.
There will be no parade for the Giants this week. This, however, is still a great time to be a New York Giants' fan.