(photo from Yahoo! Sports)
Personally, I’m just stoked that we don’t have to hear the word “Mangenius” until next season. Unless it’s in reference to how he was completely out-coached by his former mentor. Because, yeah. Although, to be fair, it wasn’t until there were three minutes left in the game when Marianne looked at me, clutching my stuffed football and rocking back and forth on the couch when she said, “Kristen? There are three minutes left in the game. The Patriots are up by three touchdowns. I think you got this one.”
“Really?” I said, “Three touchdowns? Huh.” Because for some reason, those games always seem so much closer than the final score indicates. And then I hear all the talking heads go on and on about how the Patriots owned the game and thoroughly outplayed Chadrick and his stupid haircut and how this one was never really a contest and I wonder, if all that’s true, why don’t I have any fingernails left? Why hadn’t I eaten anything between 9pm on Saturday night and 5pm yesterday? Why was I so damn nervous? Why do I put myself through this?
“You know what I bet it is,” Marianne theorized, “It’s like how they say that human beings don’t have the capacity to remember true pain because if they did, women would never have more than one child.”
“So what you mean,” I said, “is that if 2003 with the Red Sox didn’t kill me, and last year’s playoff game against the Broncos didn’t do it, then I clearly don’t remember the so-called agony of defeat?”
“Huh,” I said, “Interesting theory.”
But she’s probably right.
What I will remember about this game is not the stomach churning that occurred in the second quarter and immediately after halftime. What I will remember is Asante’s giant grin and celebratory endzone jig. I will remember Corey “Killa” Dillon chewing through the defense with his teeth after that fumble because somebody gotta pay. I will remember hiding in my jersey every time New Kicker had to kick because I find things go more smoothly for him if I’m not watching. I will remember Vince Wilfork, all 325 pounds of him (please, homeboy is 350 if I ever saw it), rumbling towards the endzone and needing about seven guys to take him down once they realized what was happening. And I will remember Mangini looking thoroughly Obi Wanned by Belichick in his post game press conference. And, of course, I will remember Tommy. You know, being Tommy. (Shut up, after playoff games, I get to call him “Tommy” without apology.) I will remember him blaming himself after a bad throw instead of blaming his receivers for not being nineteen feet tall, Peyton.
Of course, next week, we’ve got to go to San Diego and I’ve been saying all season long – maybe not to you, but surely to plenty of people who do not care one way or the other – that the Chargers are the best team that no one’s paying attention to. Or, at least, no one seemed to be paying attention to them until about three quarters of the way through the season. Perhaps we can just hope they all get arrested for something before next Sunday.
But right now, I’m flying high. I’m happy that my coach still seems to be the best out there and that suddenly, those talking heads are mentioning that people always fear the Patriots. I’m happy that Tony Romo has proven himself NOT to be the next Tom Brady. I’m happy that neither Terrell Owens nor Chadrick Pennington will continue in the playoffs this year. And I’m stoked that the Pats are back.
Perhaps almost as stoked as Tommy up there. Seriously, is there no one that man won’t hug?
Also, because what’s some football analysis without a dose of madness, Amy and I had the following conversation based on this picture (from Yahoo! Sports).
Me: Vrabes is so amused by Vinny Testaverde’s continued existence.
Amy: I bet Vinny REALLY wants to go drinking with Vrabel.
Me: But he’s afraid to ask because he knows that Vrabes never goes anywhere without Tedy and he’s sensitive to Tedy’s no alcohol policy.
Amy: Essackly. But you know Vinnie thinks they are two coolest dudes to ever live.
Me: He really does. He’s given them nicknames.
Amy: T-Rock and Velocity.
Me: That is so good, I weep.
Amy: It just has such a “Night at the Roxbury” vibe to it. “HEY T-ROCK, HEY VELOCITY, WE GOIN’ TO AVALON TONIGHT?” And Vrabes is like “Okay, Larry,” like in that commercial. And then there is chest hair involved but a good time is had by all.
Me: Of course a good time is had by all. Because Vrabes is all about the good times. He entertains everyone by telling stories about how he stands up to Billiam.
Amy: Because you know Vrabes is the only one who stands up to Billiam.
Me: Oh yes, he is the only one who ever calls him “Bill” in his press conferences and lives to tell the tale. Even Brady calls him “Coach.”
Amy: The power of being Mike Vrabel.
Me: ‘Tis not a power to be wielded lightly.