By: Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb

From the first ball possession things did not go well for the New England Patriots yesterday in a 21-17 Super Bowl XLVI loss to the New York Giants in Indianapolis. Sunday’s game was a Super Bowl rematch between the Patriots and Giants and quarterbacks Tom Brady and Eli Manning.

An apparent mistake by Brady who grounded the ball while under pressure from the Giants defense in their end zone put the Giants on the score board first with a two point safety. Soon after, in what television commentators described as another “un New England Patriots like” error, the Pats were penalized for having twelve men on the field.

Though Brady had good moments, his concentration appeared to be off – that usual laser like look of determination missing in his eyes. Despite Brady’s well earned status as one of the National Football League’s premier quarterbacks, some say the best of all time, whenever he goes up against a Manning – in this case Eli- it seems to get under Brady’s skin. Perhaps it goes back to his low draft pick entrance into the NFL versus the mystique of the Manning name, there’s the father, but in particular Eli’s brother Peyton Manning, hailed as a phenom virtually from day one of his pro career. Four years ago, following a perfect season up to that point, in Super Bowl XLII the Giants and Eli Manning delivered Brady and the Patriots their only loss.

Though theoretically a neutral location, Indianapolis is home to the Colts, Peyton Manning’s team, so it it no surprise that Sunday’s crowd favored the Giants. In a pre-game interview, sportscaster Bob Costas asked Brady if Coach Bill Belichick’s aloof manner was to blame for the Patriots being “reviled” outside of New England. Brady said the Patriots are a class organization whose members try to conduct themselves as such and that whatever Belichick does, he does for the players. In fact, Brady added he might not want to play for any coach other than Belichick. If it is true that the Pats are “reviled” beyond home territory, one cannot help but wonder if it comes down to jealousy. Perhaps it gets under other region’s collective craws that New England, which is rich in American history, renown for intellectual, literary and educational acumen, not to mention home to major league baseball, basketball and hockey teams synonymous with the sports, is now also a pro football powerhouse

Nevertheless, crowd sentiment was unlikely a game changer on Sunday. No one really knows the extent of pain Brady may have been dealing with due to a previous shoulder injury that appeared to have been aggravated by a hit during the February 5 game.

Admittedly, as a Patriots fan this was a tough loss. It would have been nice to see Brady, whose talent and skill have guided the New England Patriots to five Super Bowls, get this rematch win against Manning and the Giants. On the bright side, fellow Nutmegger, Bristol native Aaron Hernandez made a catch for a Pats touchdown.