There was a lot of back and forth leading up to the Super Bowl. The guys wanted me to meet them out at a bar in town. Then it became a bar on the north shore. I just didn’t want to go anywhere. I wanted to enjoy the game from the privacy of my living room. My TV, my couch, and of course another homemade jambalaya because that’s what I made AFC Championship week.
Early on it was apparent I’d chosen the correct venue. As Brady threw an early interception and a spew of profanities came from my mouth, I knew a bar may have asked me to politely leave. As the game went on I think the politeness would have vanished as they just kicked me and my filthy mouth out.
There were moments during that game that I thought about throwing away my allegiance completely. Similar to how I’d contemplated becoming a Pirates fan when the Red Sox pissed me off (when Pittsburgh was a perennial basement finisher not now when they compete in the central). Maybe being a Jaguar fan wouldn’t be so bad. Sure they have ugly ass uniforms and are the league’s doormat, at least you have low expectations every year.
I was in a couple of group texts throughout the game. This was my lifeline to the outside world. So instead of me just screaming the f-word at the TV (which there were plenty), I could text my friends who had similar thoughts.
Down 10 I thought the magic was completely gone. We’d seen the picture play out too many times before. That old Brady magic where he’d lead the team back from a loss was gone. Brady just didn’t have it anymore. Especially in big games. We have two Giants Super Bowl losses to prove that.
The offense ran a stupid run play to the right that they’d just run to pick up a first down earlier only to be stuffed by the league’s #3 rush defense. I thought this could be the end. If Seattle scores here, we’re toast (yes we, I know).
But the defense did its job and got the Seahawks to three and out. They stopped Lynch twice and Ninkovich managed a huge sack on Wilson on third down. This led to the Pats third touchdown to cut the lead to three. 24-21.
My stomach in knots, my heart beating out of my chest, the only thing to do is grab another plate of jambalaya and ride it out. My west coast Pats friend on drink #8, sounded very much like Da Guy. “I have faith….don’t give up!”
Three and out again by the defense. So glad they took out Arington. He was killing the Pats.
The Pats get the ball back with six minutes and change on the board. I send out the text requesting a slow methodical drive that scores a touchdown with no time left on the clock. I almost get my wish as the Pats run it down to 2:02 when Brady hooks up with Edelman. Pats take a 28-24 lead.
OK defense, you’ve done it so far. Please just do it again.
Mismatch with Collins on Lynch leads to a quick 31 yard gain and just like that the Seahawks are on the Patriots side of the field. More profanities and the two minute warning.
OK, just hold them here. You’ve proven you can do it, just do it again. After a first down a bomb down the sideline (please don’t be Arington there), incomplete. Wait what? He caught it?!? Why the hell didn’t Harmon kick it, punch it, anything except just jump over Kearse??
My mind starts racing back to the 2011 Super Bowl. Do the Pats just let them score here and you give Brady the ball with a minute to go? Is that enough time for him to get it into field goal range? Is there magic left after his previous two amazing drives?
Hightower somehow gets his arm out and stops Lynch on first down. I’m having flashes of the Green Bay game and how Lynch ran through the Packer defense when he needed to. Oh no. They line up with Lynch to the right of Wilson. Don’t be fooled, just because it’s a pass formation, it’s probably going to Lynch.
The ball is snapped…
OH MY GOD!!!!!! (as my arms are in the air)
Malcolm Butler picks off Wilson in the end zone!!
Complete and total elation. Almost. I’m trying to figure out in my head if the Pats give up a safety since they’re on the one, how well could they punt it and hold Wilson and the Seahawks down again?
Brady pulls them offsides for a little breathing room and the game is over. The Patriots are Super Bowl Champions! How in the hell am I going to fall asleep??
For all that each of their Super Bowl victories were close, this was far and away the best game. So much drama. So much back and forth. So much me on the edge of the couch.
I sit here a day later, almost exactly 24 hours removed and still can’t believe it. The #AZRedemption is complete. The Brady and Belichick dynasty is tops. Get the duckboats ready!