Saturday, January 17, 2004

Rise of Patriots Nation

When the Red Sox lost Game 7 way back on October 16, 2003, I was put into a sports depression. The following Sunday, the New England Patriots were at the Miami Dolphins. The hype: New England hadn't won at Miami in any of their previous September/October match-ups. In the mood I was in, I was prepared for yet another New England sports loss.

Instead, the Patriots won the game in overtime, on a thrilling 82-yard pass from Tom Brady to Troy Brown. They became 5-2 that Sunday. And from that point on they have not lost. (They had already won two-straight before that Miami game.) I have watched the Patriots win with all kinds of styles: defensive stops (Colts), dramatic touch-down passing (Denver), squeakers (Jets) and even a plain old ass-whipping (Buffalo). The Patriots have done more than get me out of my sports depression; they have lifted me back into the winners' section, feeling that winning feeling.

Tomorrow, the Patriots are playing the Indianapolis Colts for the right to play in the Superbowl. Listening to the local sports media analyze and dissect this game, you'd think that New England has already won the thing. But the Colts have a hot quarterback in Peyton Manning. And the Colts have lost twice to New England this season. I.M. Bettor of the Boston Herald opined on the radio that "lessons may have been learned."

As a Red Sox fan whose neck still tightens thinking about that roller-coaster week in October, it's hard to really let my guard down. I'm nervous for tomorrow. But I'll be there, to see if I can get that winning feeling again.

No comments:

Post a Comment