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Dynasty Easy to Say, Hard to Do

It's hard to repeat when a season comes down to three or four plays

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    It's hard to enjoy your trip to Disney World when you're busy planning the next one.

    It's pretty remarkable how narratives get written.

    Two days after the Giants' 21-17 win in Indianapolis, people are talking about dynasties for Big Blue while Boston is tearing down Tom Brady like he was caught eating fried chicken and drinking beer in the locker room during the Super Bowl.

    It's incredible how easily you could flip around those two outcomes. We're not even talking about things like what if Wes Welker makes his catch and Mario Manningham drops his because those were plays of skill and they happened because the players made them happen.

    Ahmad Bradshaw's fumble on the 11-yard line early in the fourth quarter is the thin line we're talking about since the fact that it wound up back in Giants hands was an essentially random event that wound up making their chances of winning the Super Bowl much more likely.

    Over the two Super Bowl wins against the Patriots, the Giants have fumbled five times and they recovered four of them with the fifth overturned because the Patriots had 12 men on the field. That's some incredibly good luck, which doesn't mean that the Giants were lucky to win but such fortune is very fickle.

    Keep rolling back through the season and you see plenty more of those kinds of moments going the Giants' way this postseason. Bradshaw's fumble against the Packers doesn't get ruled as forward progress, the refs rule the ball didn't hit Kyle Williams' knee or Williams fumbles in overtime but falls on the ball and you aren't hearing anyone talking about a dynasty even though all of the purported pieces for one would still be in place.

    Heck, roll it back even further and we could be staring at a team without a head coach, defensive coordinator and who knows what else. Miles Austin getting to one in Dallas, the Jets making a tackle on Victor Cruz or the refs deciding Brandon Marshall didn't commit pass interference could have stopped this train before it even left the station.

    Because some people get very sensitive about this stuff, make no mistake about what we're saying. The Giants are a very good team that fully deserves their championship in no small part because of when they were handed breaks they took full advantage of them almost every time. 

    Maybe the Giants are on the verge of a dynastic run for the ages. With Eli Manning, Hakeem Nicks, Jason Pierre-Paul and a strong organization, it certainly isn't the most ridiculous thing that anyone has ever suggested.

    But espousing the idea that it is likely or that having those pieces guarantees you anything more than a chance shows a pretty fundamental misunderstanding of the way the sport works.

    Football seasons are decided by a handful of plays over a long season and those plays often involve a bit of randomness that has nothing to do with talent, coaching or anything else that a team can actively control.

    Giants fans love to bemoan the strike in 1987, the defensive call on Flipper Anderson's playoff touchdown in 1989 or Plaxico Burress shooting himself in the leg in 2008 as things that stood in the way of extended title runs. All of them did stand in the way, but, outside of a handful of cases, there's always something that pops up to ruin things for defending champs.

    It was just last year when people looked at the Packers' roster and predicted a long run of success for Aaron Rodgers and company. And it looked pretty good, right up to the point when the Packers fell flat on their face against the Giants.

    Outcomes of random events are unpredictable, obviously, but it isn't going too far out on a limb to say that one break the Giants got this season will go against them next year. As we've shown, that's all it can take to flush a dynasty right down the toilet.

    That's exactly why there's no reason to do anything but celebrate this Giants victory and the fact that your team has won two titles in five years. Worry about next season when next season starts because all that matters right now is the way this season ended.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.

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