Rap has East Coast/West Coast, sports has Boston/New York. And while Pedro’s throwdown with Zimmer might not have been on the same level as the Biggie and Pac assassinations, it’s no secret that the two cities simply do not like each other. In addition to grating accents, both New England and New York share a rich history of location-based films. So let’s break down Sunday’s Super Bowl showdown by seeing which star players on each team match up with their respective cities’ most iconic film characters.
Tom Brady as Will Hunting in 'Good Will Hunting'
Both are unassuming Joe's (6th-round pick, janitor) until a happy accident (Drew Bledsoe's injury, solving the chalkboard problem) led to them getting discovered as touchdown-throwing and equation-cracking savants, respectively. How do you like dem apples? Both have a crew of tough guys willing to do violence on their behalf, but they can get hot headed and lose their cool with them. Each has a mentor (Bill Belichick, Robin Williams) that pushes them to and past their potential and to whom they grow extremely close to. And I can only hope that Brady's last words to Bridget Moynahan were, "I have to go see about a girl."
Wes Welker as Micky Ward from 'The Fighter'
At first glance, both these tough white guys seem too undersized to be going up against their freakish opponents (most NFL defenses, Arturo Gatti), but they both end up with the knockout. Both are from underwhelming backgrounds (undrafted from Texas Tech, streets of Lowell, Mass.), and they’ve carved out reputations as scrappy fighters. Welker is never afraid to go over the middle and take a pounding, just like Ward used to eat punches like cornflakes.
Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez as the MacManus Brothers from 'Boondock Saints'
In a league filled with diva wide receivers, the Patriots have put on their own display of vigilante justice with the twin terrors of Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez at tight end. They leave opposing defenses looking like the Russian mob massacre at the hotel, and clearly have a lot of fun doing it (see also: Bibi Jones). Will they be able to put on the same display in Indy as the MacManuses did at Papa Joe’s trial?
Vince Wilfork as Sergeant Whitey Powers from 'Mystic River'
The role of defensive tackle and police investigator is similar: get to the objective (Eli Manning, Katie’s killer). Wilfork, a hard-nosed vet from the U who will stop at nothing to get into the backfield, and Powers, a tough cop from Boston who is not afraid to ask the hard questions, both have a personal stake in their goals (seeking revenge on the Giants, having Katie’s uncle as a partner). If Wilfork has his way, the Giants' backfield will be chewed up and tossed into Mystic River (err, White River) on Sunday.
Chad Ochocinco as Staff Sergeant Dignam from 'The Departed'
Brash, loudmouthed trash talkers, both these guys have a propensity to piss people off and speak their mind. Both did a disappearing act in the last part of their respective films (15 receptions and 1 touchdown this entire season, not popping up until the final scene), but there’s always a chance that Ochocinco could show some of that flash he did in Cincinnati and show up out of nowhere to blow the Giants' f*cking heads off on Sunday.
Bill Belichick as Frank Costello from 'The Departed'
Scowling, legendary genius Belichick oversees the cartel of the Patriots with the same iron fist that Costello uses to run his crime syndicate. Clearly neither has a problem subverting the law (Spygate, countless illegal rackets) and both use a healthy dose of subterfuge in achieving their goals (Belichick’s legendary injury reports, using double agents). It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if Roger Goodell’s blind eye to Belichick’s ways has something to do with being a protected informant.
See the Giants' cinematic lineup on the next page...