Thankfully, my personal psychiatrists Frank Renew and Larry Ouellette were in Florida and Texas, respectively. If they had been at Cobb Manor on Sunday night, they would have recommended some severe action — pharmaceutical or institutional.
I don’t know why I care so much about that band of football Hessians known as the New England Patriots, but I do. My sainted brother-in-law Mike and I went to their original games at Harvard Stadium, Boston College and Boston University Field in the early years.
I am not sure, but I think we even went to Brockton, Mass., for a pay-per-view of an early playoff game featuring the Buffalo Bills and “Cookie” Gilchrist. There was no local television, for some reason.
The Pats were bad, but they were all ours, our very own football team after rooting against the hated Giants all those years. The Giants games were all we got on Sunday afternoon and we instinctively hated all New York teams, especially announcer Chris Schenkel.
The Patriots were run on a shoestring so plenty of Boston College players were hired, to avoid any serious (and expensive) scouting. That made us love them even more.
All of which brings us to Sunday night when the Patriots (losing two straight) met the much hated New York Jets (winning three straight.) The game was held in New York during a convention of psychopaths, according to various crowd shots.
We journeyed to Buffalo, N.Y., this year to witness the worst Patriots pass defense I have ever seen. The Jets have a fearsome pass rush and I feared for the life of my only hero, the handsome Tom Brady. He not only is a Most Valuable Player but married to a super-rich supermodel. Not a bad life.
If you have a drop of Irish blood (Ballyvourney and Ladyswell) you reek with superstition. I have been convinced since childhood that the more I watch (Red Sox, Bruins, Celtics, Patriots) the worse the team does.
I have a tendency to predict doom, to prepare for the worst. It’s an Irish thing. The Pats defense was already the worst in the league, before the injuries. On the field at Metlife Stadium on Sunday strode the football immortals James Ihedigbo, Sergio Brown and the undrafted and inconspicuous Jeff Tarpanian. Good Grief. Who are those guys?
I sensed disaster.
I found a nice History Channel show when the game came on, as my backup. When the game started the Jets quickly pinned Brady in the end zone for a two-point safety, a sign of certain death on the football field.
Off to the History Channel.
When I sneaked a peak again, the Jets had taken the lead, 9-6.
Back to the History Channel. If you look hard enough, you will find some show about Hitler on TV 24 hours a day. I have no idea why, but I watch them all. He could still be alive, for all I know.
I am an old man and it was getting late. I watched the second half in my bed with the huge, king-sized L.L. Bean comforter available for hiding. My nieces accuse me of hiding under the
covers when the going gets tough. I have no idea where they got such an idea. They are mean women.
It was 13-9, Patriots at the half, so I started watching again. The Patriots scored 24 points in the second half and eventually won in New York, by 37-16.
I hid under the covers only a few times. Don’t laugh. It worked. Every time I emerged, the Pats had scored another touchdown. I don’t do this just because I am a lunatic Irishman.
I do it for all of Maine, all of New England.
There is no need to thank me.
Thank James Ihedigbo, my new hero.
Now, it’s on to Monday when the Pats play the Kansas City Chiefs, a very bad football team. I might watch the entire game.
No Hitler Channel.
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