Authored by Andrew Perna - 7th December, 2009 - 3:59 pm
Forget about your fantasy team. Disregard any potential grudge you might hold against either team for beating your favorite one. History is unfolding in the NFL this season and no matter how much mainstream media play the Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints have gotten in recent weeks, it?s not enough.
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What the Colts and Saints are trying to accomplish isn?t anything new, but the fact that they are simultaneously on the road to history in the same season adds a special dimension to the historic possibilities.
On the off chance that you didn?t know, the 1972 Miami Dolphins went 14-0 during the regular season and went on to win a championship. Then, just two years ago, the New England Patriots went 16-0 and finished just one win shy of completing a perfect season when they lost to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII.
We are talking about something that only two teams have accomplished in the last 37 years.
Think about all the great teams we?ve seen in the last four decades. The San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers have all had great success, but none were able to string together a perfect regular season.
Almost every Goliath has run up against a David of sorts that slung a rock high and knocked them off their perch. Heck, on Sunday the lowly Washington Redskins took the Saints to overtime and had endless chances to hand them their first loss of the season.
But, just like any team that either goes undefeated or flirts with doing so, there has been a little luck on the sideline of Indianapolis and New Orleans in 2009.
On Sunday, Washington kicker Shaun Suisham missed a chip shot field goal that kept the Saints alive.
A few weeks ago, New England famously didn?t convert on fourth-and-2 late in the regulation, allowing Peyton Manning to find Reggie Wayne in the end zone for yet another victory.
Watch either of these teams play and you?re bound to see something special. The amazing thing is that their march towards perfection is just half of the excitement. Both clubs are led by future Hall of Fame quarterbacks that happen to be among the best of their generation. Let?s not forget that Mr. Manning is perhaps the best of all-time.
However, they haven?t just won on the arms of their stars this season. The Saints were saved by their defense, which woke up at just the right time, against the Redskins and the Colts would have lost to the Ravens last month had Gary Brackett not intercepted Joe Flacco near the goal line.
Believe it or not, this kind of thing can transform allegiances.
I remember a conversation I had with a good buddy of mine, who just so happens to be a Giants fan, prior to Super Bowl XLII. I asked him how he felt entering the game, with his club trying to upend a team that hadn?t lost all season.
?We could be watching history,? he said. ?I?m real excited.?
Wait? What? Oh, you mean like stopping history?
?No. I?d love to see the Giants win it all, but 19-0? That?s something I?d be able to tell my grand-kids about. I could say I saw perfection,? he reasoned.
My friend?s sense of history may be rare, but it?s inspiring -- and for what it?s worth he dropped a few Benjamins on Super XLII gear after his Giants were victorious. Every die-hard fan?s passion for their favorite team stems from a love of sports in general. Who knows when we?ll have the opportunity to see perfection again?
We may have seen the Patriots come close two short years ago, but the possibilities have been multiplied this season.
Could you imagine the back flips the NFL would be doing behind closed doors if the Colts and Saints met in Super Bowl XLIV without a loss between them?
We know the ?72 Dolphins were rooting for the Giants to topple the Patriots, but who would the ?07 Patriots root for to win in South Florida?
Yeah, I figured the Saints too. Allegiances aren?t always so easy to put aside.
Andrew Perna is Deputy Editor of RealGM.com. Please feel free to contact him with comments or questions via e-mail: Andrew.Perna@RealGM.com. You can also follow Andrew on Twitter: APerna7.