Kamrani: Best of times, worst of times

By By Chris Kamrani

By Chris Kamrani

Charles Dickens was comparing London and Paris when he wrote the novel A Tale of Two Cities, but I’m beginning to wonder if he wasn’t also foreshadowing what’s going on between the New England and Tri-State areas. Regardless of Dickens, there are larger matters at hand.

Aaron Boone — Tim Wakefield

Dave Roberts — Mariano Rivera

Willis Reed — John Havlicek

Before you, proud supporters, start blaring obscenities at each other, know this: Yet another chapter is being written in your book of epic detestation and despair. This time, it’s a different stage. No fastballs will be zipping overhead. No walk-off dingers will be hit and no more magic will be had at either Garden. No Don Zimmer plummeting to the Fenway prairie, no Dave DeBusschere-Paul Silas scuffles in Madison Square Garden — rather Tom Brady against the “gap-toothed ogre” Michael Strahan dueling in the desert. In other words, the most intense intercity rivalry in all of professional sports is changing the scenery to the football field.

The rivalry rarely ceases to disappoint, and I doubt this Super Bowl will be an exception. An undefeated 18-0 New England Patriots team takes on a Cinderella New York Giants team that has won its first three playoff games on the road. Some will christen this matchup as a David vs. Goliath. The problem for the supporters from the Big Apple is that that billing sounds about right. The Giants have their work cut out for them, to say the least.

The Patriots are attempting to achieve what no other team in history has. The Giants are trying to prove they belong on the big stage with the big boys. Something’s gotta give, right? After the last two lackluster Super Bowls, fans and advertising execs alike are hoping for any sort of stirring drama to be provided for the only sporting event that resembles a national holiday.

Enter Plaxico Burress. The vigorous Giants wideout attended the Jan. 21 Knicks-Celtics game and proceeded to do a fair share of jawing at Celts’ Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. Burress’ taunting continued when he predicted a 23-17 victory for his Giants. I wonder if he knows how the Pats respond to predictions? Anthony Smith, anyone? Brady responded with, “Is Plax playing defense?” Oh, Plax, be thankful you aren’t.

People, don’t forget that these same Giants gave Bill Belichick’s bunch their biggest run for their money back in Week 17. A come-from-behind 38-35 victory left the Giants with a loss, but in all actuality, they should be thanking the Pats. Giants head coach Tom Coughlin said postgame, “I don’t know any better way to be prepared for the playoffs than to go up against a team that was 15-0.” Seems like ol’ Tom was right.

As the saying goes, “Past is past,” and a rivalry archetypical for the Northeast finds its way to the barren Arizona desert. The only question remains is, will the victor’s supporters litter the streets of Phoenix as they would in their own humble abode? Certainly depends on the circumstance of victory, and the Phoenix police department, as the Boy Scouts do best, should be prepared.

Dickens wrote, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” and you can trust that each team will be able to take a piece of that testimonial to heart once the final whistle blows.

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