As we begin the 2012 edition of our annual depressing look at the Super Bowl, it's worth remembering one thing: The New England Patriots, as St. Louisans, are our fault. We aren't responsible for them—the 2001 Rams aren't even responsible for them—but every time Bill Belichick and Tom Brady combine to make the NFL playoffs less interesting a little part of me will think, "What if the Rams had squashed them before they had the chance?"
If only, if only. Who knows what would be different—Mike Martz might even still be head coach of the Rams.
Instead, the Patriots went on to win in 2003 and 2004, and a dynasty, such as it is, was born. I don't know if I had as much to lose in that game as the Rams, or Drew Bledsoe, but every time the Patriots come back for another chance at extending their parity-era-dominance over the NFL I have a strange urge to blame myself.