Every week of the NFL season tells a story. GIFs -- pronounced "gifs", "jifs" or "gee-oafs" -- can do the same thing. So let's tell the story of Championship Sunday through GIFs.
The Gatorade Bath wasn't always a thing. This is weird considering the celebratory dousing feels like it came into football the same time as pigskin and laces. In truth, the tradition began in earnest during the 1986 season, when Giants linebacker Harry Carson doused Bill Parcells after every win during New York's march to Super Bowl XXI victory. Giants fans are conditioned to despise any scenario in which Eagles fans are happy (and vice versa), so at least New Yorkers can take solace in knowing the Eagles were biting off a Big Blue creation on Sunday.
This is cheating. We only respect real deal Holyfield canine disguises 'round these parts. You want to see a real dog mask? Here's a real freaking dog mask:
Oh look, my darkest nightmare! Want to see another real dog mask? You don't? You're getting it anyway!
Shoot it. Shoot it. Shoot it. Then set it on fire.
Poor Vikings fans. They expected Sunday to be a coronation. And you can't fault them, really. It was difficult to fathom a scenario in which Minnesota would win the most dramatic game in franchise history then lay an absolute egg against Nick Foles and friends with the Super Bowl on the line. And yet, that's exactly what happened.
Eagles fans -- who were feeling no pain by, oh, 10 a.m. yesterday -- naturally reveled in it all, shouting "Foles!" instead of "Skol!" Fair play.
By the way, we focused so much attention on the possibility of the Vikings playing a Super Bowl home game that we didn't factor in the worst-case scenario: The Eagles (and those loutish fans) taking over their building with 110 million people watching. My colleague Adam Rank likened this to losing the love of your life to your rival and then hosting their wedding at your house.
Not one. But most people. I can't with these guys ...
Man, it feels good to see a guy like Bradley Cooper catch a break for once. Charlie Brown finally kicked the football.
Carson Wentz should absolutely keep that cane even after his knee is back to 100 percent. Swagger for days.
Howie Roseman has one of my favorite redemption arcs in recent memory. Roseman was exiled in Philly when Chip Kelly came to town after the 2014 season. They even moved Roseman's office to the other side of the building as Kelly assumed all personnel duties. But Kelly quickly flamed out, Roseman regained his footing and now he's headed to the Super Bowl with a young and dynamic roster with crazy talent on both sides of the ball.
That's Howie Roseman, who crawled through a river of s--- and came out clean on the other side.
Tom Brady is kind of a crazy person on game days -- we already knew this. But he was especially brusque with CBS cameramen on Sunday. Perhaps it goes back to that old saying that every man turns into his father eventually. Brady appears to have completed his transformation into his Football Dad, Bill Belichick.
Want to see more riled up Tommy? Of course you do!
You'd think a guy who's played in 12 AFC Championship Games -- this is not an exaggeration for comic effect, Tom Brady has literally played in a dozen conference title games -- would come to peace with the reality that CBS is going to blow out their coverage a bit. Lighten up, GOAT!
Is this expression played out? Definitely -- but that doesn't mean it isn't appropriate given the circumstances. You know people are sick of the Patriots when virtually all of America is rooting for Bortles and the Jaguars to make the Super Bowl. That's right: America was overwhelmingly in favor of the NFL team with a two-toned helmet to advance to the most-watched sporting event of the year.
If you're from New England, you feed off all this, of course:
I grew up in New York and went to school in Boston right as Brady and Belichick took off. You have to understand how New Englanders viewed the New York Yankees for decades to truly appreciate the surreal theme of Shaughnessy's column. This is a fanbase that grew up to become the thing they hated. And you know what they found out when they did? Being the Bad Guy beats being the Oppressed Snakebit Underdog. Every damn day of the week.
That it is. Peak Belichick. Here's a man who's achieved so much in his legendary career that a trophy for winning a conference championship no longer holds any value to him. In fact, you can deduce he's disgusted by the very idea of the Lamar Hunt trophy at this stage. A prize for advancing to the Super Bowl? Gimme a break.
I'm going to cite the Yankees again because they are such a great parallel for this Patriots dynasty. As the Yankees built their own dynasty in the '90s and early '00s, then-owner George Steinbrenner made it very clear that division titles and American League pennants weren't enough. His unrelenting vision became known as the Steinbrenner Doctrine: Any season that didn't end with a championship is considered a failure.
Belichick doesn't own the Patriots (not technically, anyway), but he and Steinbrenner park their cars in the same garage. There's only one trophy that matters. The biggest one.
Be careful what you wish for.