Back in November, I wrote about two NFL teams with contrasting fortunes. The Dolphins, of whom I am a beleaguered supporter, were winless after ten games, while their rivals the Patriots were unbeaten and looking unbeatable. The Dolphins finally broke their streak on December 16, winning their only game, in overtime, against the Baltimore Ravens, who are, ironically enough, the other team I support (it's a long story). However, the Patriots went marching on, unbeaten all the way to the Super Bowl.
Screenwriter and blogger Todd Alcott recently wrote about the importance of identifying the protagonist in any story. The NFL is non-fiction obviously but for most of this season it seemed that Tom Brady and the Patriots were the protagonists. The story was their indomitable march to the perfect season, becoming only the second team to do so.
Nobody suspected that the season was really about the New York Giants. Sent to London in October, where they looked unimpressive as they beat the Dolphins, they were viewed as also-rans. And yet they swept to the Super Bowl and ruined the Patriots' story.
It finished New York 17, New England 14.