(1) 32-4. That's the Pat's record the last two years. I don't see how one could logically dismiss that as anything less than an incredible accomplishment, one of the greatest in league history.
(2) Level of Competition--In their first Super Bowl Victory, the Patriots defeated the Rams, the Greatest Show on Turf, a team considered to be on the verge of dynasty at the time. Few remember that the Rams were a two touchdown favorite. It also should be added that Super Bowl XXXVI was played in a Dome, on turf. In other words, the Patriots defeated the premiere team of the era under the most inauspicious conditions possible.
In addition to the Rams, the Patriots beat the Colts last year and this year. Although it's hard to recall, only five days ago the Colts were considered unstoppable, the greatest offense ever.
(3) The teams from one's youth almost always seem greater than they actually were. None of LB's listed teams were at their peaks simultaneously.
(4) The Snow Game against the Raiders was not settled by a bad call. It was settled by an undeniably correct call that was predicated on a stupid rule. Walt Coleman is no Don Denkinger or Larry Barnett. It's not his fault he had to enforce the Tuck Rule.
(5) The Esiason-Marino thing was hilarious. Dan was upset because Boomer was so on the money with the Manning/Marino observation.
It had to be particularly painful for Marino because he lost two conference championships at home and one Super Bowl as well, all three of which were played in adequate weather conditions and all three of which he played poorly in. Peyton has also failed to play well in the biggest games of his career. Facts are facts.
But Manning can take comfort in the fact that five years into his career Magic Johnson was often derided as "Tragic" Johnson because of his dismal performance in the 1984 Finals. By the end of his career, that performance was almost completely forgotten.
So for Manning there's still time to write a different ending. For Marino, alas, the story is written.
The battle is well and truly joined.