Patriots

December 27, 2016

 

I can't keep quiet. I have to say something about my New England Patriots.

 

I've seen every Super Bowl since the very first one. I watched Green Bay in the Ice Bowl. I saw the Cowboys kick everyone's butts. I saw Terry and the Steelers just beat the heck out of everyone. I marveled at the elegance of Joe Montana and the 49ers. Yup, I've seen them all.

 

When the Patriots won their first one in 2001, I was completely shocked and delighted. It almost made up for 1986, when Chicago made us call them Daddy. The Super Bowls of 2003 and 2004 put us all on top of the world. Seattle should have won in 2014, but they didn't. We did. Thank you, Malcolm Butler!

 

Last Sunday, I was quietly confident but not certain of a win. Atlanta has an unbelievable offense, and while I thought our defense could handle them, I knew we couldn't keep them from scoring a lot of points. I just hoped that our offense could do the same thing to the Atlanta defense. For two and half quarters we just couldn't get it done.

 

And then a miracle unfolded right in front of our eyes—a comeback as miraculous as the American hockey team’s victory over the Russians in the 1980 Olympics. The Patriots started catching everything that was thrown. Edelman's catch made me forget all about David Tyree and the Giants ruining our perfect season. Way to go, Jules!

 

Brady was on fire. The offense was clicking, and Atlanta had no answer. Their defense was tired, winded, and in shock that they were being manhandled by the boys from Foxborough. I was yelling so loudly that neighbors were texting the Lovely Louise to ask if I was okay. I was; I was just out of my mind. On the last drive to tie the game I knew we had this. It was a done deal. The football gods were on our side, and we wouldn't be stopped. Overtime was a Patriots clinic on how to win. By then the end was never in doubt. Patriots prevail.

 

I couldn't wait to see Roger Goodell hand the Lombardi trophy to Robert Kraft and the MVP to Tom Brady. How sweet it was. Beware of poking a bear, because when it wakes up it's going to eat everything in sight—including you.

 

Don't talk to me about Spygate. Every team did the same thing; we were just the ones who got caught. Deflategate? Give me a break. The absolute dumbest thing I've ever seen in sports. In the aftermath, other teams were caught with deflated balls as well, and nothing happened to them. Nothing at all. Don't think the league was out to “get” the Patriots? Then explain to me why no other team was punished for the very same infraction. At worst, it was an equipment violation, and the league's own rules call for a fine of $25,000. Instead, we got a $1,000,000 fine and lost a first and fourth round draft pick. So what? We've got the money to pay the fine, and we're going to trade Jimmy Garoppolo to the Cleveland Browns and get the number-one pick in the draft anyway. You can't see me, but I'm thumbing my nose at the rest of the league right now. Because of this incredibly stupid move by the NFL, you can be sure that Goodell personally checked Tom Brady's balls before the game. Yes, they were perfectly inflated . . .

 

Boston sports are unlike sports in any other city. The early Celtics were a dynasty as good as the Yankees. The Celtics Big Three of Bird, McHale, and Parrish crushed opponents in the 80s. The Big Bad Bruins of the Bobby Orr era? Find me a better hockey team. The Red Sox? How about the playoff when they were down 3–0 against the Yankees and then kicked their collective butts and won four in a row? How about going from last place to World Series Champion in only one year?

 

Yeah, as we say in Boston, people hate us because they ain't us. As the French soldier in Monty Python and the Holy Grail said as he lay there after having his arms and legs cut off, “I don't want to talk to you no more, you empty-headed animal food trough wiper! I fart in your general direction! Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!” I'm not sure, but I think they wrote those words for Roger Goodell.

 

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