The local angles always get beaten to death when there's a two week gap between the league championship and the Super Bowl. So let's take a look at a trend that hasn't been trendy enough to cover: Namely that since the Raiders took the pipe in S.B. XXXVII no loser has ever returned to the big game.
When the Silver and Black got whacked in San Diego back in 2003, who knew that they would be making the world a more dangerous place for other losers? Naturally there's always the talk that says, "Hey at least we made it." But that's pretty poor comfort five years later in Oakland, and it probably won't play much better in Carolina, Philadelphia, Seattle or Chicago all of whom after missing the brass ring have pretty much missed everything else since then.
So we have the Raiders to thank for making the Super Bowl kind of a death-defying contest. To the winner goes the commemorative Sports Illustrated souvenir book to the vanquished there is banishment.
(Weird) Al Davis and his dwindling army of acolytes like to boast that the Raiders are now the team of the "DecadeS", meaning they've had a shot at being Super every ten years, but clearly the football Gods have seen enough, and they have laid upon the Nation a miasma of failure, embarrassment, and salting the earth they've trod on.
Take the Patriots and the points, and give the Giants a long goodbye. — Kibby Kleiman