This week, Daily Campus Sports is celebrating both the highs and the lows of invested fandom with a series of personal articles telling the stories of our sports memories. This is Fandom Week.
As a Jets fan, there isn’t too much to celebrate, so I tend to root for whichever team the Patriots are versing that week. This has caused me to really take a liking to the New York Giants because they beat the Patriots in not one, but two Super Bowls.
It is quite ironic that the Jets injured Drew Bledsoe, forcing Tom Brady into the starting role and the rest is history. In 31 games against the Jets, Brady has tossed 46 touchdowns and only 14 picks while winning 24 of those contests. Since 2001, when Brady broke into the NFL, the Jets have started 13 different quarterbacks. Just because the Jets can’t beat the Patriots, doesn’t mean no one else can.
The Giants and Eli Manning defeated the Patriots in two improbable victories. Honestly, those two days were my best moments as a Jets fan. Not to mention that I am also Peyton Manning’s biggest fan. The Sherriff has a 3-2 record against Brady and the Patriots. Without the Mannings, Brady could have won an extra five Super Bowls, which would leave any Patriot hater in a bad place.
The Patriots have a few scandals that any fan can rally around and hate them even more for. Two of my favorites include Spygate and the recent Deflategate, which led to a four-game suspension for the Patriots golden boy Brady. The NFL was different without TB12, who would come back with vengeance and win his NFL-leading fifth championship in a dramatic fashion against the Falcons.
I will never forget the last Manning-Brady bowl played on January 24, 2016 – the AFC Championship game. It was magical and quite frankly, miraculous. The high-powered offense led by Brady, would take on a historically impressive Broncos defense and a feeble Peyton Manning, who was clearly playing in his last NFL games.
Manning, who was dealing with injuries, only threw for nine touchdowns and 17 interceptions on the season. It was simple; the Patriots would be too much for the Broncos, right? Wrong. Manning mustered all he had left and threw two touchdowns, zero picks on 176 yards. The Broncos were up 17-9, but Brady would not go away easily. In the final seconds of the game, Brady threw for a touchdown, bringing the Patriots within a two-point conversion of a tie. As the ball was snapped, and my heart palpitations were relentless, Brady threw an incompletion just out of the reach of Rob Gronkowski.
As soon as the ball hit the ground, I began jumping up and down as if I had won a million dollars. I was so proud that Manning overcame his dreadful season to take down the almighty Patriots. However, seeing Brady and coach Bill Belicheck mope back to the locker room was a thing of beauty.
Rooting against the Patriots is not easy, but it is something that every non-New Englander should participate in. As a Jets, Mets and Knicks fan, there isn’t too much winning in my life, so maybe I am just jealous.
Michael Logan is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.