The Super Bowl isn’t really much of a rematch, but what the heck, let’s go with it


It's being called a rematch of Super Bowl XLII, the upcoming battle between the Giants and Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI. And it is, in the sense that they're the same organizations, wearing the same uniforms, with fans in the same general geographic areas.

Player-for-player, though, there's not a lot of rematch in this rematch. Of the 92 players who will be suited up for the big game, just over 20 had anything to do with the 2008 game. Sixteen Giants remain from the XLII team (D.J. Ware was a Giant then, but wasn't active for that game), while the Patriots retain just seven (oddly, one of them is Ross Ventrone, who was active for the Pats in '08, while in 2012, they keep firing him for their own amusement).

Here's a list of the XLII veterans still kicking around:

New York Giants:

Eli Manning, Quarterback.
Brandon Jacobs, Running Back.
Ahmad Bradshaw, Running Back.
D.J. Ware, Running Back.
David Diehl, Tackle.
Kareem McKenzie, Tackle.
Chris Snee, Guard.
Kevin Boothe, Guard.
Osi Umenyiora, Defensive End.
Justin Tuck, Defensive End.
Dave Tollefson, Defensive End.
Chase Blackburn, Linebacker.
Zak DeOssie, Linebacker.
Corey Webster, Cornerback.
Aaron Ross, Cornerback.
Lawrence Tynes, Kicker.

New England Patriots:

Tom Brady, Quarterback.
Wes Welker, Wide Receiver.
Matt Light, Left Tackle.
Logan Mankins, Guard.
Vince Wilfork, Defensive Tackle.
Ross Ventrone, Safety.
Steven Gostkowski, Kicker.

I'm not saying that the idea that this is a rematch is wrong, necessarily ‒ just that it's not the entire story. A team's identity is pretty well tied to a team's quarterback, and both of those strapping young lads return. The Giants were Eli's team in 2008 just as they are today, and obviously, the same is true of Tom Brady.

Both placekickers return, though I'd imagine that if you're Lawrence Tynes, kicking against the Patriots is pretty similar to kicking against any other team in the league. Wes Welker and Corey Webster will renew acquaintances. Matt Light and Logan Mankins will see a lot of the same pass rushers they saw in '08, but Vince Wilfork is the only Patriot who will remember chasing Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw in XLII.

Outside of those things, it will just be a bunch of guys playing football against each other without much history behind it.