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What might have been

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Maybe it should be arranged that through the foreseeable future -- until at least either Tom Coughlin or Bill Belichick pack it in or Eli Manning and Tom Brady wander off to their ultimate reward in Canton, Ohio -- we might have annual renewals of this thing the Patriots and Giants have lately concocted for our deep winter amusement. I say these two need to go at it, hammer and tong, again and again at the end of every season until one of them has won four out of seven.

Not that the two Soupeys they've so bitterly fought have necessarily been the best ever waged. But they have surely been the two most dramatic featuring the same two teams in a given era representing two city-states generally regarded as the Athens and Sparta of their times. All of which adds a certain essential grit to the infernal mosaic of the thing and accounts for the wonderful edge they bring to this opus which is otherwise too often overwhelmed by its own insufferable folderol.

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