I've noticed something in this past day-plus since the Patriots lost the Super Bowl to the Eagles - Pats fans, while expressing disappointment over the upsetting loss, are not nearly as devastated and downtrodden as they were after the Super Bowl loss to the Giants in the 2011 season (Superbowl 46) or, more emphatically, as they were after the "perfect season" Super Bowl loss to the Giants in the 2007 season (Super Bowl 42. David Tyree, anyone?) Perhaps those improbable last-minute drives with amazing catches by the Giants in both Super Bowl losses made it harder to swallow as victory seemed more imminent, and certainly, again, the loss of the Perfect Season was a crushing blow as true history was about to be made and was then seized away by a helmet catch followed by a Plaxico Burress TD. So, why do Pats fans seem less obsessed with this Eagles loss (other than harping on Belichick's seemingly poor choice to bench Malcolm Butler, which seems to be the source of any expressed outrage?) I mean, sure, the die-hard fans on sports radio calling in and ranting have probably not slept a wink since the Super Bowl loss not unlike probably the highly-competitive Tom Brady, but most fans I've encountered are kind of shrugging off the loss, not talking about it much, and, other than the Butler complaints and a few sour grapes remarks about the Eagles' controversial touchdowns, they're surprisingly taking it in stride. Is it because they are still coasting on the fumes of the victory in last year's Super Bowl against Atlanta, realizing with the epic comeback they likely had no business winning that one, so they are willing to give up this year's title as karmic? After all, three year's ago, the football gods smiled on New England again, seizing an unlikely Super Bowl victory from the likely jaws of defeat until the Seattle Seahawks and Pete Carroll literally handed the Pats and Malcolm Butler a gift goal line interception with time running out. Perhaps those two unlikely victories made this loss to the Eagles a little more palatable. Perhaps because the Eagles did technically outplay and outcoach the Pats, it made it easier to swallow - the better team won, and not on some flukey helmet catch or unlikely over-the-shoulder sideline catch and other instances of bad luck (an ill-times Wes Welker drop for instance that would have sealed the game in Super Bowl 46). Perhaps New England fans have been spoiled by so much success they've realized that, even in the Super Bowl, not absolutely everything can always go their way, as much as they've seemingly come to expect that, just as many expected the usual before the strip sack of Brady - that he would lead the team down the field for a go-ahead score, eat up enough clock to limit a last-minute desperate drive by the Eagles, and take home a sixth Lombardi. Or perhaps Pats fans are just confident that Brady and Belichick will be back again next year, and another Super Bowl title is always on the table. Until definitively Tom loses his battle vs. Time. But after his Super Bowl LII numbers, Time still has some work to do on Tom Brady, who is winning the battle against Father Time with sheer will power. And avocados. Either way, Pats fans, I credit you on getting on with your life and setting your sights on next year already.
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