Sunday, December 30, 2007

Witnessing Excellence

I was not going to sit down tonight and share my thoughts about the last Pat's regular season game. No matter how it turned out. I was going to just sit in the glow of victory or wallow in the depths of defeat. Do it privately and without an audience.

Well, I couldn't do it.

Just like I couldn't park my butt on the couch and watch the game like a sane and sober man in his own home might who is not in the company of his beer swillin buds after two 30 packs before kickoff. I performed straight and without the support of intoxicating substances. Maybe a beer or two would have taken the edge off. Oh well.

It was trouble right out of the gate. Forget saving something for the playoffs, the Giants wanted to stop the Patriots. Ruin their pursuit of that perfect season. They let it all hang out. Gave the Patriots all they could handle. And in the process I was sure they would give me a coronary. Eli Manning and his Giants brought their A game to the party. They came right out and tallied a touchdown on their first possesion. Damn, another team ready to rumble.

Nervously I paced around the living room groaning and screaming at the TV set like they could hear me. And the whole time my daughter is parked in the over stuffed wingback with her stuffed Pat bear she named Wes calmly taking the the game in. My wife had long ago become disgusted with my antics and left to watch the game in peace up in the bedroom. I became one of those crazed wild eyed fans who should have been painted up and barechested with some cartoon helmet made of paper mache on my head. I paced, muttered and pleaded for the Pats to get their shit together. It was a sad display of a fan gone mad.

That is my perception anyway. Now that the adrenalin has finally been purged and my guts have begun to unwind, I realize that with the exception of all the cat in a cage pacing back and forth, I was relatively docile on the outside. Definitely not on the inside.

It was another nail biter. 12 points down in the 3rd quarter, the boys put the hammer to the Giants. 22 unanswered points later they sat with an uncomfortable lead of only 10 points with just shy of 4 minutes still waiting to tick away. And of course the Giants finally pulled it together and scored a touchdown in the last 2 minutes. Thankfully Eli seemed to have trouble with his 2 minute offense. Clock management was an issue. The desperation onside kick failed when Vrabel fell on the ball. The Pats only had to drop a knee 3 times and the first unbeaten NFL season in 35 years was now history.
All the Sports guys in expensive suits fell all over themselves talking up Brady, Moss and the 16-0 season. And I am sure in the scheme of what really counts for the record books, what Moss and Brady did was cool. I am also duly impressed.

But once again, the guys I probably enjoy the most are the guys who get it done when it has to get done. The players who get the ugly yards, the connections that take the ball from one end of the field to the other. I'm talkin bout my favorite small guys, Wes Welker and Kevin Faulk. They do their thing in the shadow of GQ Brady and the grace of Moss. But they do their thing so very well. 122 plus passing yards in 11 catches for Welker. Two "have to have it" 3rd down conversions fought for and won by Faulk. When blocking was needed, they both stepped up and carried more than their weight.

I marvel at these ordinary looking puny Davids who excel in a sport dominated by Goliaths. They take hits that would cripple most people. Get right up and do it again. Absolutely awesome.

Way to go Pats. Keep on keepin on. 16 and a big 0. Ain't too shabby. 3 more games to go.

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