Saturday, February 4, 2012

Patriots-Giants, Then and Now

Just to humor those New England sports fans who include omens in their spiritual diet, here is a brief set of contrasts between the Boston and New York sports scenes leading up to the last Patriots-Giants Super Bowl matchup and those landscapes leading up to this Sunday’s kickoff.

Super Bowl XLII took place at University of Phoenix Stadium, an NFC venue housing the Arizona Cardinals. Super Bowl XLVI will be conducted inside Lucas Oil Stadium, the home of an AFC tenant in the Indianapolis Colts.

The Patriots beat the Giants in East Rutherford to secure their spotless, 16-0 regular-season record in Week 17 of the 2007 campaign. The Pats brooked the last of their three losses in the 2011 regular season at the hands of Eli Manning and Co. in Foxborough.

The 2007-08 Giants avenged three regular-season losses in the subsequent postseason against the Dallas Cowboys, the Green Bay Packers and the Patriots themselves. To date, this year’s New England squad has spent its playoff run avenging losses from previous playoff runs against the likes of the Denver Broncos and Baltimore Ravens.

During the 2007 NFL regular season, the New York Yankees circumvented the F-word when they parted ways with long-time, ring-bearing manager Joe Torre. During the 2011 NFL regular season, the Boston Red Sox circumvented the F-word as they relieved long-tenured, multi-championship manager Terry Francona of his duties.

In both 2008 and 2012, the Boston Bruins defeated the Ottawa Senators on Jan. 31. The prime difference is that the former meeting took place in Canada’s capital whereas earlier this week, the Bs rallied from a 3-1 deficit to claim a 4-3 victory at TD Garden.

Leading up to Super Bowl XLII, the Bruins were unbeaten in their season series with the Rangers, having won each of three meetings. Leading up to Super Bowl XLVI, they are winless in their slate with the Blueshirts, having lost their only encounter to date in a 3-2 overtime decision.

Neither the Celtics nor the Bruins were active on Super Bowl Sunday in 2008. They will both be occupied at midday this Sunday, hosting the Memphis Grizzlies and visiting the Washington Capitals at noon and 12:30 p.m., respectively.

But, of course, there are also some similar signs that ought to enliven the Giants’ faithful. For instance, the New York Knicks were not active the day of Super Bowl XLII and will not be the day of Super Bowl XLVI. The Rangers did play that first February Sunday of 2008 and will face the Flyers this Sunday.

Take these any way you please, but they’re all here for you if wanted.