The Patriots v. Giants 2008 Super Bowl XLII was unique even before the kickoff happened.
Firstly, the New England Patriots entered this Super Bowl with a perfect regular season, making them the first team to do so in 30 years. As such, the Patriots were the favorites to win the match. On the other hand, the Giants were a wild card entry. Feelings were additionally heightened because the two teams had faced off in the final game of the regular season.
At first, the game was tight. Both teams were playing competitively and only 10 points were scored in the first three quarters. In the fourth quarter came the defining moment, and the game-winning drive. David Tyree of the Giants managed to make a glorious one-handed catch, trapping the football between his helmet and his hand. The “Helmet Catch” goes down as one of the most epic moments in sports history. This helped wide receiver Plaxico Burress make the winning touchdown moments later.
It’s all a testament to the power of self-belief and perseverance. Giants linebacker Antonio Pierce said, “We shocked the world but not ourselves.” Defensive end Michael Strahan agreed. “We didn’t do it to prove you wrong,” he said to The New York Times. “We did it to prove to ourselves we could do it. We were stopping the best offense in football.” Strahan is referring to Tom Brady here, who was sacked five times in the game.
There are several more reasons this game was unique among Super Bowls.
For the first time since the 1975 Super Bowl IX, neither team in this final match scored more than 20 points. Additionally, this was the first Super Bowl played on something called a retractable natural-grass field. The University of Phoenix hosted the game, and its removable surface is highly unusual among sports stadiums in the United States. Finally, this Super Bowl represented a record-breaking broadcast thanks to Fox News. Super Bowl XLII broke the then-record for most-watched Super Bowl of all time.
Super Bowl XLII was one of the biggest upsets in sports history, and it will be remembered forever by loyal Giants fans.