Monday, February 13, 2012

Despite Patriots Loss, Super Bowl XLVI Still Winning Experience

They say time heals everything. No matter how extreme a situation, giving emotions chances to settle and thoughts opportunities to collect allow individuals to reflect and draw meaningful conclusions. This goes for all facets of life, including sports.
Enter Super Bowl XLVI, the National Football League’s title match between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots. The game watched around the globe, with the Feb. 5 spectacle boasting a world record as the most watched TV show in U.S. history when 111.3 million viewers cast their eyes on professional sports’ biggest stage.
As a Patriots fanatic whose family had season tickets to the cherished team for more than a decade, I—along with my family—traveled to Indianapolis hoping to see the Patriots capture its fourth championship. But once the game clock expired, celebrations erupted and confetti strewed—for the Giants. Instead of leaving Lucas Oil Stadium with feelings of elation, I left with feelings of dejection, anger and resentment as Boston fell victim to another New York victory.
No Patriots fans need recapping of the game that began with the Giants securing a safety and ended with Patriots quarterback Tom Brady throwing an incomplete Hail-Mary bomb to the end zone. Of course there were highlights of running back Danny Woodhead and tight end Aaron Hernandez scoring touchdowns that—at one point—looked to capture the Vince Lombardi trophy. Like a Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees battle, the Giants seized and sent the Patriots and their fans packing.
A season that began with heartache for Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who lost his beloved wife Myra, ended with heartache for Boston sports nation as a victory literally slipped out of the hands of the AFC championship team.
That’s when time heals everything. Five days later and more than 900 miles away from Indianapolis, I reflect. My Super Bowl trip had been a whirlwind of exhilaration from the moment arriving in downtown Indianapolis. Super Bowl banners hung at every street corner, fans decked out in their hometown colors poured the streets and celebrities such as actors Adam Sandler and Andy Samberg attended the event and ushered past screaming fans who aligned barriers.
And then seeing Lucas Oil Stadium for the first time sent tingles up my spine. Stepping inside the stadium transformed those prickles into anticipation and awaiting kickoff propelled that anticipation into euphoria. I was at the Super Bowl, hungry for the Patriots to win and ready to see the biggest game of my life—no matter the outcome.
This had been a-once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. While 111 million viewers witnessed the game via TV, only about 70,000 watched it live inside the stadium. Seventy thousand fans cheered from the stands for their favorite team. Seventy thousand fans had been given an experience that would last well after the victor’s crowning. I was one of them. I was lucky enough to be part of the crowd and that alone was pretty sweet.
I’m determined to not let the loss sack my overall experience. No matter how hard a loss, time heals everything.


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