So, as we prepared for kickoff yesterday of the Super Bowl, I mentioned to my Patriot friend and fellow Bronco bretheren, "Hey, you know this is the same field as the Fiesta Bowl, right?"
Now, a day later, I'm wondering myself -- what exactly is up with this field? Boise State pulled off the upset of Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl. A week later, Florida thrashed a then undefeated and supposedly much better Ohio State team. And now, a year later, arguably one of the greatest upsets in NFL history has taken place on the same field.
The thing that really stuns me is how quickly things have changed. Seven years ago, the Patriots were the underdogs, they were just happy to be there, and they were elated when they won. It wasn't supposed to happen. A little over a year ago, many of us Boise State fans were in the same boat heading into the Fiesta Bowl (those of us that weren't still had the memories of the Georgia debacle fresh in our minds and feared the worst). When the seemingly impossible happened, it was a feeling like anything I had ever experienced as a sports fan. Boise State isn't supposed to make plays like that. Eli Manning isn't supposed to elude a rush and throw a 30 yard strike.
We all root for our teams to be great. We want them to remembered as one of the greatest of all time. But at what price? At some point the joy gets removed from the winning and it's replaced by relief. We can no longer enjoy the games that they're supposed to win.
So, as much as I want Boise State to continue to climb the ladder of respectability in college football, I hope somehow they can keep the mystic of being the underdog. Can there be a happy medium? I'm not sure. However, a win that's not supposed to happen feels a whole lot better than the ones that aren't.