Defining legacies never turned on a dime the way it did last night at Super Bowl XLIX in Phoenix.The media scribblers and talking heads had already set the tone before the game. If the Patriots lost another Super Bowl, head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady would be properly scrutinized for being a "flawed" dynasty that went ten years between championships and lost twice as heavy favorites against the New York Giants. It's a ludicrous premise, but sportswriters and broadcasters aren't fussy about talking points when there's column space and air time to fill. Some will try to fill that space and time by claiming the Patriots are proven cheaters, but games are won by execution, not by stealing signals or marginally deflating footballs.
Right-thinking football fans everywhere owe the Seattle Seahawks a debt of gratitude for sparing us the tiresome discourse by making the worst play call in Super Bowl history, handing the Patriots the championship, and cementing Brady and Belichick as pro football's most enduring and successful quarterback/coach partnership. I take no joy in making that pronouncement. Belichick is the king of the sourpusses and it's not as if Brady is wanting for accolades and good fortune, but to attempt to diminish them in their professional capacities smacks of willful ignorance.
All is not lost for the "tarnished legacy" crowd, however. They still have Peyton Manning to kick around because despite being the active leader in virtually every passing category and the all-time leader in more than a few, he has still "only" won one Super Bowl, the bum.