Every title is. Just as nearly every great fortune has more than a little theft and sulfur in its past, nearly every Super Bowl champion is compromised on some level. Football is like that; it's a game where a handful of turnovers can wipe out any actual on the field advantage, and the devil's bargain that is routine concussive violence doesn't exactly lend itself to people who value the journey more than the destination, if you catch my drift.
Of course, my laundry has never won one of these things, so I'm bitter and biased and unfair and all of the other things that are listed right there at the top of the blog. If my team had simply compromised themselves better, I'd be more than happy to cheer on the compromised crown without reservation... but that, of course, is not how Boston Fan works. Boston Fan, as we've seen over and over again in the last decade, needs you to be happy for them that they won, needs to convince you that their teams are somehow different. And does not understand why, the more they win, the less of this they receive. Or how they've basically become the professional equivalent of Duke.
But I digress. Let's get into the astericking, shall we?
* This year's Giants team was a team that was mediocre for much of the year, with a sieve-like defense, until they turned it on late.
* The Packers in 2011 got in as a sixth seed and only held off the Steelers due to an edge in turnovers.
* The 2010 Saints beat the Colts during BountyGate, and only got there because Brett Favre unfurled his biggest choke, in a career feel of them, in their own building. TAINT.
* The 2009 Steelers benefited from some shaky officiating in their run, and in their win over the Cardinals. (Steeler Fan is secretly happy about this, in that it drives Raven Fan insane, and driving Raven Fan insane is almost as good as winning it all.)
* The 2008 Giants were, if you believe the metrics, the luckiest team in the history of the league.
* The 2007 Colts got their ring thanks to Rex Grossman, moreso than Peyton Manning.
* Seattle Fan is still crying about the ref job that the 2006 Steelers took advantage of.
* The 2005 Patriots have more than a whiff of sulfur about their Spygate win over the Eagles, particularly on how well they changed playcalling to screens in the second half.
* The 2004 Patriots beat the Panthers in a close game, once more during Spygate.
* The 2003 Bucs beat a Raider team that couldn't stop turning the ball over, and lost their starting offensive guard due to a pregame freakout.
And so on, and so on, and so on. You can always find a way to put an asterisk on a crown.
As if it actually mattered.
You see, it's very simple: tragedy is, to quote Mel Brooks, when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall down a manhole and die. And your team's title is tainted, because it is a title that only 1 out of 32 fans really wanted to see happen, which is to say... a tragedy. Always has been; always will be.
And finally, there's just one fan base that will be really bothered by this.
And it ain't the Saints...