These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

see tom fall. see tom fumble. see tom cry

'm not a fan of sports, really. i try not to get involved in watching them. i get caught up in the game and i eventually choose a side (even if i don't car who's playing) and i start getting rowdy, excited, cussing (if the team i like is losing) or i leave when things get too much.

dawn says i'm too competitive for my own good. she's right. i would've made a poor coach for a sports team.

inevitably, though, i got dragged into the super bowl. but i made a promise i was going to watch only bits and pieces, say halftime score, fourth quarter score and i guess that's it. i had nothing at stake, really. the cowboys were out (bums), despite having home field during the playoffs.

so here's this powerhouse team (the pats), rolling over teams. crushing them, ridiculing them. 18-0 going into the big game. 12-point spread in their favor. they've got brady, moss and a bunch of other lads who generally kick ass.

on the other side we've got the giants. fifth seed in the playoffs. wild card team. took a few final games to make the playoffs. hardly giants. but they beat tampa bay in florida, kicked the cowboys ass in texas and made fools of favre and the packers in wisconsin.

two weeks ago the matchup was set. nobody gave the giants a chance. everyone i knew said no way. but something told me they weren't going to roll over and let the pats kick them around. after all, they lost by only three points to the pats in the regular season. not much of an upset there.

the pats were full of hubris, playing with too much confidence, i think. they did have a monkey on their backs: an undefeated season. it means nothing if you go to the super bowl and lose. big f'ing deal getting there and coming out with nada.

the giants, on the other hand, had nothing to lose and everything to gain. they knew they were underdogs. they knew america wanted the pats to go undefeated and claim the record held by the 1972 miami dolphins wouldn't it be nice to come along and steal their thunder? and steal they did.

i watched a bit part and saw the score was 7-3. before halftime. same score. leading into the fourth quarter, same score. i decided i couldnt' take it and took a looooong shower, even decided to clean the shower on a whim to kill more time. by the time i got back, the score was 10-7 giants but the pats were within a few yards of scoring. and score they did. 14-10. a little more than 2 minutes left. i was sweating but decided t keep watching. and then the little manning brother did his thing. he didn't fall. and when plaxico caught that pass in the end zone, i was elated. but there was 35 seconds left. three time outs. i was a little scared. but after the giants defense whipped brady around, it was done. i breathed a sigh of relief.

i'm getting worked up simply writing about this now.

most people would think me foolish to root for the team who beat the cowboys. but they were so much the underdog that i had to root for them. and they did me proud.

next year, when they play the cowboys -- if i'm still watching -- i think i'll still root for the cowboys, though. but if the giants play the pats, it's the giants.

really, no, i don't like sports. seriously.


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