It's the morning after, and my Super Bowl prediction/hope did not come true. From a football perspective, it was a less-than-outstanding game, and from the Patriots' first play (a safety), it seemed like they were never completely in synch. Near the end, I believe that Bill Belichick made a tactical mistake by not merely allowing the Giants to score a touchdown once they were within the red zone, rather than waiting until there was only a minute left on the clock. The additional minute-plus might have given Brady enough time. However, the Giants played a good, clean game of football--hitting hard but not trying to injure--so I give them immense credit.
Joni and I went to breakfast yesterday morning, prior to the game; almost every person in the restaurant had some form of Patriots garb, and the talk was all about the team and the game. It was an honor and a joy that we take for granted around here, but many others have never experienced. My friend Ron pointed out that Cleveland has never even had a team in the Super Bowl, and if you look it up, you'll find that San Diego, Cleveland, Buffalo, and Milwaukee--all cities with multiple major league sports teams--have not won a championship in the four major men's team sports in more than 40 years.
So, to put a different spin on an old saying, it's better to have played and lost than never to have played at all. We got to see our team compete until literally the last second of the football postseason. Throughout the season and postseason, and until that moment, we cheered for Brady, marveled at Welker, Wilfork, and Gronkowski, and empathized with Kraft. The Bruins and Celtics are both playing well, and baseball spring training starts very soon...new hopes, dreams, cheering, and T-shirts.
In the end, I have some control over many things, including what I eat, drink, buy, watch on TV, and do for a living, as well as with whom I choose to spend time. But I have no control over what a group of athletes does on a given field, court, or rink. It's not life, it's just entertainment, and the Patriots have entertained me very well this year.
One more thing: to my friends from New York. Today (and maybe for a week or two more), you own us.