I committed to the Giants. In December, NY was at the height of a low point. They lost several of four. A few were close, if not close calls. They were almost too close to call. I don’t know anything about sports analytics. If I did, however, I would say a loss is nothing more. Or less. You can’t score negative points. That has to count for something. Nobody knows more about small margins than everybody who lost the Powerball. Everybody, who lost.Whether you only thought you had the winning numbers or just didn’t have them, the end is in vain. If you won, you had a 100% chance of winning. For everyone else, there’s MasterCard. 1 in 292 million. The odds are at odds. Of course, 1/292 million is for a jackpot. That might seem pedestrian, but consider the following: there’s a very small chance of seeing any single person in the world. Every time you step outside, however, you do see a random person.“$2? Yeah, right. I’ll take my chances.” “If you don’t buy a ticket, there is 0 possibility.” “Hey, you never know.” 0 isn’t 1. In fact, 0 is nothing. 1 is infinitely higher than 0, but 2 is only double 1. That’s because the difference between nothing and something is qualitatively different from that between something and more. That said, ‘nothing’ is a construct. It is physically impossible for there ‘to be nothing,’ as implied by the infinitive “to be.”The NFL is a zero-sum game insofar as one team wins if the other loses. In a tie, you neither win nor lose. In 28 to 24, you don’t say the winner had a 53.8% victory or the loser had 46.1% of one. It’s all or nothing. Even 0 isn’t nothing. In other words, you’re never down and out until you’re out of downs. Regardless of score, there’s a chance to do so. A coach says, “We’ve got to get something going.” ‘Something’ refers to an opportunity, however minute.
You don’t hear anybody saying, “We’ve got to get nothing going.” In any event, play. Just standing on the field gives you a shot. Ultimately, there’s something to be said for points. We say you did well in winning by 30. You can have a good game without being part of one. Yet if quality is only determined by point differential, losing by a lot would be better than a little. You can have a bad loss without losing badly.So it’s gone for the Giants. You’re either winsome or you lose some. All told, however, this is about the birth of a fan, not a playoff berth. Before 2016, my favorite teams were the 49ers, the Panthers, and the Broncos. I enjoyed these teams largely based on the palette of their uniforms. I’d grown tired of basing my fandom on aesthetics and there’s more social utility in supporting a team if you live there. Even so, I never had a believable reason to switch.As luck would have it, a new year was on its way. Making a resolution to back my hometown is as good a reason as any. How, then, do you decide between the Giants and the Jets? I picked the only way I knew how: colorway. I’ve always been more of a red and blue guy, so it was easier to select the Giants. Naturally, two of my previous teams got into the Super Bowl shortly thereafter. It would be easy to go back to them, but it actually wouldn’t.If I negated my new team, it would undermine the credibility of the New Year’s resolution that was the basis for choosing them in the first place! It would be twice as validating if you get two teams into the Super Bowl. How do you choose? Do they cancel each other out? Subtraction by addition. Having two teams you no longer support is actually convenient. The choice is harder because you don’t care as much. The choice is also easier because you don’t have to choose.You can just enjoy the game and prefer the one that wins. Or you can use this scientific quiz rooted in art. Part of a resolution is keeping it. In some ways, missing the playoffs has been a good test run. They couldn’t do anything tangible to make me like them. My investment would be arbitrary and, therefore, unqualified. I’m off to a good start. We missed the playoffs and already hit the ground running in 8 months from now.We’re at Super Bowl 50. It’s hard to remember back because I wasn’t alive for all of them. 50 could refer to a number of things, if not just a number. You have a 50/50 chance of winning in that you are one of two teams. Some say one can win, but they’re only half right. 50 might be a nod to Brian Blechen on the Carolina practice squad or Zaire Anderson on the Denver equivalent. That really speaks to the depth of each team.It’s the beginning of the end of the beginning or the end of the beginning of the end. Is it the end of an era or the beginning of one? It’s both, no matter who wins. Who wins? Everybody. As we talk about Peyton and Newtonian physics, the Panthers and the Broncos symbolize the best of the conferences. They do this by being the best. Some people are irritated by the Panthers. The way they celebrate, you’d think they scored or something.Others, especially players, are irritated by the Broncos. The way they defend, you’d think their opponent didn’t score or something. Both excel. It’s win-win, if not just win-lose. Madden 16 estimates a 4-point Panthers victory. Even though Madden got it right in 2015, it’s not undefeated. It’s only predicted 9 out of the 12 winners. This is as much about making ends meet as the end of an era. DEs and TEs. Good matchup. It’s defensive, but it’ll also be pretty tight.
The most compelling part of this is it hasn’t happened yet. That is, the Super Bowl is on Sunday, but they didn’t play each other during the regular season. It’s impossible to know how it will go other than that it will. The future has a margin of error because it hasn’t happened. There’s still time to make it happen. Eli will support the Broncos in Santa Clara, so it’s possible to achieve a transitive victory. It’s not the Giants, but it isn’t their season, anyway.