i Editor's Letter: An intense cerebral battle


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Oh, to have been back in downtown Manhattan yesterday to marvel as the New York Giants' victory parade (see p25) made its stately progress past the windows of my old apartment.

New Yorkers really know how to do a ticker-tape parade. I can remember, as if it were yesterday, the one for the World Series-winning Yankees in October 2000, soon after I arrived. It felt like I was living in a movie, a familiar feeling to Brits who reside in the US, particularly in NYC or LA, the streets of which are often used as film sets – to residents' irritation.

Of course, I stayed up until 3am to see the thrilling Super Bowl between the Giants and the New England Patriots under the all-American quarterback Tom Brady. Watching Brady pit his wits against the ice-cool Giants' QB Eli Manning is as close as sport comes to grand-master chess. It beats me why Brits can't see past the brutal "hits" to the intense cerebral battle and the poetic action.

The plays of the last-quarter's, last-minute's action were being worked out up to 10 minutes before the Tom Brady "hail Mary" pass that failed to fall into a Patriot's hands, resulting in the Giants' narrow 21-17 victory.

As ever, it came down to those who "stepped up" like the Giants' receiver, Mario Manningham, whose tip-toe perfect catch set up the electrifying finish; and those who buckled, like brilliant, hapless Patriot Wes Walker who would most surely trade his 962 previous catches for that one fatal drop, watched by 111.3 million people, the largest TV audience in US history.

If Walker was the fall guy, Brady's wife, the supermodel Gisele, is the villain (see the profile page on page 3). There is a reason "Gridiron" movies so often fail – reality is far better than fiction. Brady and the Patriots will appear at Wembley this October. Why not leave prejudices at home and give it a try?

I can't promise Gisele will be there!