Monday, December 3

Why doth everyone hate Perfection?

Ezra continues to be surprised by the vitriol directed to the New England Patriots. His surprise has nothing to do with the Patriots being the Team of Hate, du jour. Nay, the Surprise is with the inability of the Sports Media to appreciate when a team is, how shall Ezra put it? Damn Good. Just look at what the Patriots have done: they put up a incredible numbers against Professional Football Players. They put on a Clinic. They make it look Easy. This is not The Ohio State University beating the snot out of an over-matched I-AA Youngstown State University. No, The New England Patriots are beating Teams comprised of the Best Football Players in all the Lands.

Why, Ezra asks, are the majority of the people (read: sports writers) hoping the Patriots lose? Ezra understands that it is in the American Psyche to root for the Underdog. But this makes no Sense when Goliath is Perfect! We do not watch Sports for the Result. We watch Sports to see something that we cannot do, something we do not see very often, something that has not been done. What the Patriots are doing has not been done. (Or, rather, has not been done in a LONG time. Ezra was not alive to watch the '72 Dolphins, so He can make no comparisons.) We, as a Sports-obsessed - and "sports"-obsessed - nation have come to the point where we want the Underdog to win, regardless of the manner in which they won.

If the Best Team is to lose, then the Underdog ought to Beat the Best. As when Villanova Wildcats came out of nowhere to beat the Georgetown Hoyas in the 1985 NCAA Championship. To do so, 'Nova had to shoot the proverbial lights out. And they did. They shot 79% for the game, and 90% in the second half. That, my Friends, is Perfection. In order to beat the Best, Villanova had to be the Best to beat the Best. The 1980 US Olympic Hockey Team did the same.

In general, though, the Upset occurs when the Favorite plays like Ass. Like the 2006 World Series. Or the 2007 Mets. Or the 1994 NBA Series between the Sonics and Nuggets. The Underdog didn't Win so much as the Favorite Lost. As a Sports Fan, can this be considered a good thing? Ought we to lower our Standards just so the worse team wins? Ezra thinks not.

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