Let me explain why I am both befuddled and sometimes jealous of those who don't pay any attention to sports.
Tonight, the New England Patriots lost their bid to do what no football team has ever done: win three Superbowls in a row. It is a disheartening blow and one that made me want to throw the remote through the TV several times. I was picturing it going through the glass and the sparks and smoke coming out of the TV when that stupid pass interference play was called on Asante Samuel.
It is frustrating, disheartening, disappointing and heart-breaking.
It is also a bit of a relief...
Of course I wanted the Patriots to be the first team in history to win three Superbowls in a row. All New England fans did. But the Patriots - like the Red Sox - never make the victories easy. They are dramatic nail biters (which makes for great football) and while it would have been great to see another Lombardi trophy in the hands of Brady and watch another Championship banner go up at Gillette Stadium, it is also weird sort of relief that all of New England doesn't need to start working on yet another ulcer for the next three weeks. That's two more weekends where we can do what we want, when we want, where we want.
This is why I try to keep my sports fandom at a reasonable level. I can get too caught up in it - become too competitive and do stupid things like make fans of opposing teams break down in tears with insults and trash talk. I get nervous, disgusted, excited, and overjoyed. I enjoy watching sports, but I can't watch/listen to every single game, or else I'd be locked up by now.
However, I am enough of a fan that when I meet people who just don't care at all about sports, I am dumbfounded. But then at times like this, I'm jealous of them. They may have done something more memorable than I did tonight, but I think that watching the game was exactly where I wanted to be.
I do want to say one more thing about the Patriots and their loss tonight: the dissection of this game will go on for days, if not weeks here in New England. Blame will be shifted around as it is placed on the shoulders of the players, the referees, the coaches, the humidity, the altitude, the wind direction, the phase of the moon... whatever it is. But I hope that what all the fans don't forget in the middle of that discussion is that the Patriots have given us what very few teams in Football history have: a "dynasty" of three wins in four years and an AMAZING run of record-breaking games throughout those playoffs.
We have everything to be proud of and I hope that whichever team wins the Superbowl this year, the team and their fans will enjoy it as much as we have the last few years with the Patriots.
THANK YOU Patriots for making the last few years the time we'll look back on and say "those were the good 'ol days!"
Let's enjoy the peace and quiet while we can: 32 days until pitchers and catchers report!