There’s few things I respect more in this job than athletes who give thought-provoking answers immediately following a painful loss. It is never lost on me how difficult it can be.
That a Super Bowl loss like Sunday’s can sting so bad should really give anyone an idea of how long and deep defeat can sting.
Winning is easy. Winning big is euphoria, like last time. No one sits and self-analyzes the cycle of emotions. Loss is painful, but the way the Chiefs lost? It was profound.
And, unsurprisingly in some regard, irritating.
Which takes a lot. Games are emotional. Another part of this gig is sealing that emotion and being impartial, which trickles over off the clock. It’s kind of an emotional callus.
Something about that game, though, was the kind that’ll make you forget the cork.
To a large extent, it’s the Brady Factor.
Look, anyone who doubts that he’s been the greatest NFL player of all-time is lying to themselves. Super Bowl LI, that comeback over Atlanta? That put the baby to bed. The discussion is closed. His greatness is appreciated by almost all. This isn’t Jordan-LeBron. There’s no stake to drive through the middle of the debate. Sensible people are unified here.
Part of what’s at play is Mahomes building that legacy that approaches Brady. There’s already articles about “how the Chiefs dynasty has been put on hold.” Chiefs fans have watched other generational quarterbacks spearhead dynasties. To further cement Brady’s and fall down the ladder, it’s frustrating.
The bandwagoning is even worse. Throughout that poorly officiated first half –– no, it wouldn’t have changed the outcome, but the fact remains –– the one lowly table of Brady fans at the Springfield locale our party was at had me annoyed. Sorry, I’m not buying that 20-somethings with Bucs gear are lifelong fans.
A lot of this sounds thin-skinned. It is. I’ll blame it on the nature of the fresh wound.
There’s solace in that the dynasty is intact, barring drastic injuries or more unlawful incidents like Britt Reid’s crash. Another Super Bowl appearance is more than reasonable in the next couple years. The Chiefs are already the betting favorites for next season.
Where’s that callus when you need it? I guess I underestimated how much losing in the Super Bowl, especially like that, would suck.
March Madness? Baseball season, anyone?