It's hard to imagine an NFL season this great was threatened by an ongoing lockout barely six months ago.
But after everything, this is how it ends. The New York Giants sneak into the playoffs and knock off pretty much every Super Bowl favorite on the way to winning the game on an Ahmad Bradshaw touchdown that was never supposed to happen.
But now it's time to look forward to next season, and if the Detroit Lions have their way, it will be them lifting the Lombardi Trophy in February of 2013 for the first time in franchise history.
Sound like a long shot? Of course it's a long shot; I mean, mathematically, they have a 1-in-32 shot, and realistically, it's a lot further than that. But this is the first time in about two decades that the mere suggestion of the Lions in the Super Bowl isn't a punchline.
So congratulations to the Super Bowl champion New York Giants. Now let's see what lessons the Lions can learn from this team about how to win a Super Bowl.