My heart’s just a wee bit broken. Maybe yours is, too.
I was hoping for a Green Bay Packers-New England Patriots Super Bowl and an old school vs. old school matchup — crafty deadeye Aaron Rodgers vs. crafty deadeye Tom Brady.
Two instant Hall of Famers in one more showdown.
But the Seattle Seahawks beat the Packers 28-22 in overtime in the NFC Championship Game in perhaps the most incredible, or at least improbable, comeback in big-game history.
So young gunslinger Russell Wilson will be facing Brady, instead. In the long run, that might be almost a classic thing in itself. If Wilson, only in his third NFL season, were to win Super Bowl XLIX, after winning last year’s Super Bowl and deserving to be the MVP over Seahawks linebacker Malcolm Smith, well, then you’d have to assume he’ll be a Hall of Famer someday, too.
Wilson is only 26, and at 5-11, 205 pounds, he was nobody’s pick, ever, to be an NFL star. And he was so bad for the first three quarters of the Packers game that it seemed the curtain had been pulled back to reveal a computer-nerd quack controlling levers that made him only appear to be big and mean and transcendent.
Then came a whirlwind of Seattle scoring, capped by Wilson’s pinpoint 35-yard touchdown pass to Jermaine Kearse in OT to prevent Rodgers from even touching the ball.
So it’ll be new school against old school in Glendale, Arizona, on Feb. — young Wilson against Brady, who’s 37. It’ll be mobile and agile against frozen and fearless. But let’s add that Wilson’s comeback from wretchedness against the Packers showed that this young man is as fearless as they come.
That Wilson broke down in tears and could barely speak after the game shows how deeply invested he was in its outcome. But being concerned and anxious did not mean he was taut or terrified. It only meant he was awaiting his chance.
Which is what Brady always does. People might misconstrue some of what Brady, in his 15th season, really is. The image is he’s Mr. Pretty Boy married to Mrs. Pretty Girl, the elite, highest-paid-in-the-world model Gisele Bundchen, and together they’re worth a trillion dollars and spend their time grooming furs and posing for fashion mags.
Yep, just like pretty boy Michael Jordan was a real sweetheart. You do remember him putting the knife in a few enemies, and twisting it? That’s Brady. Along with Dr. Evil — the frighteningly blank and devious Bill Belichick, his coach for all of his pro career — Brady is the nastiest of competitors.
But so is Rodgers, whom I’ll miss so badly.
The Packers deserved to be in the Super Bowl, but they blew the game in so many ways that I guess you have to say, maybe they don’t. But Rodgers does.
Think of it — between him and Brady, they have over 80,000 passing yards in the regular season and over 10,000 in the postseason. Wilson has 9,950 passing yards in his regular-season career.
But he’s in the big game, and he deserves to be there. There’s nothing fair or sentimental about football. A fake field goal for a game-changing TD? A big No. 9 lineman (Garry Gilliam) catching a TD pass out of a confusing formation? So it goes.
So it went.