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Julian Edelman Meeting Michael Jordan Before Super Bowl XLIX is the Most Michael Jordan Story Ever Told

Tannen Maury. Shutterstock Images.

When we're not all bellyaching about the joyless dystopia that has been our reality for the last two seasons, one of the most common topics of discussion among Patriots fans is which Super Bowl is our favorite. 

I love it for several reasons. Not the least of which is that you know the idea we can even have that conversation goes all the way up the ass of every other fan base sideways. But also because there's really no wrong answer. Then there's the variations on the discussion. Counter factuals like "Would you give up any two Super Bowls to have that 19-0 win over the Giants, would you?  And which ones would you give up?" And hearing someone give their answers and defend their reasoning is sort of a window into their soul. 

As I've said before, my favorite and the one I'd never surrender for anything is Super Bowl XLIX. It was a great game between two teams that were loaded on both sides of the ball. With lead changes, huge plays, major adjustments by both coaches, and no controversial officials' calls to act as party fouls. Not to mention the greatest twist ending since The Sixth Sense. Just great football in the purest sense. An emerging dynasty dies, an old dormant one is reborn. 

And you know XLIX is the best when there are still untold stories being told about it, even nine years later. Like the one Julian Edelman just told Bert Kreischer (cued up to the 12:50 mark):

“You have the night off on Friday, and you usually take your folks out the week before the Super Bowl. I took my folks to dinner. I went to go see them and I roll up and I see Derek Jeter and Michael Jordan. I’m super starstruck. I’m about to play in the Super Bowl. 

"I go up. You could tell Jeter is a very charming guy. Welcoming. I go, ‘Mr. Jeter, Jordan. I’m playing in the Super Bowl.’ I felt weird introducing myself, but I wanted to meet him. I saw Jordan. He was a little stand-offish a little bit. And I started talking with Jeter and everything’s good. 

"As soon as the conversation’s about to end, five minutes in, I’m about to leave. Jordan comes up to me and he goes, ‘Hey kid, I got a bunch of money on you. Don’t fuck it up.’ And that’s the only thing he said to me.” 

If you just beamed down to Earth from another dimension a week ago, and were still trying to figure out what our hold obsession with sports and celebrity is all about, and heard this story, you would automatically know everything there is to know about the three men in this story. You wouldn't have to have any more context to figure out what these people were all about.

Edelman was still in the early stages of his emerging stardom, not yet fully established, humble and self-effacing. Jeter was the smooth, impeccable, image-conscious megastar, expert at navigating the celebrity culture world. And Jordan was just the driven competitor who wanted nothing more than total victory, and would rip your fucking lungs out to achieve his ends. 

Three very different approaches. And you have to respect them all. And no one is defined by this story the way Jordan is. He doesn't care if you're still new to the fame game. He's got no interest in making friends. Your relationship - if you even have one - with him is entirely transactional. You represent dollars to him. Your life is worth whatever you can put into his account at the sportsbook, and not a penny more. If you want companionship, get a dog. But let there be no doubt where you stand with him. 

And credit where it's due to Edelman. Because whether he was rattled by Jordan's menacing tone or inspired by it, he came through in a huge way. That game was a Pick 'em. With an Over/Under of 47.0. Both hit in the final few minutes thanks in very large part to Edelman. Beginning with his favorite play of his career with the Patriots down by 10 in the 4th quarter:

And ending with the go-ahead touchdown that gave the Pats a 28-24 lead that would end up being the final score:

Edelman had nine catches in all, for a game-high 109 yards and that winning score. And in doing so, didn't incur Jordan's wrath and make a very powerful enemy. And miracle of miracles, made the greatest Super Bowl of them all even better. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go pop in the DVD of 3 Games to Glory and dream of better times.