Another season is over and the game that almost the entire world waits for has come
and gone. To some fans it is the ultimate contest of the year, while to others it's
a time for parties and getting together with friends. Even if those friends don't agree
on who the best team on the field is. Of course, the ad execs have a blast this time of
year with the pre-game hype and outrageous budgets allotted for the commercials during the
game. And let's not forget the entertainment industry that comes out in hordes and descends
on the city hosting the Super Bowl. After all, deep down inside, they're just fans like you
and me. So was the game worth it this year? Did it live up to the expectations? Were the
prognosticators right when they said it was going to be a boring one-sided affair?
I'm not one for the pre-game hype and post-game celebrations. I want to be entertained
by the players on the field. And this year there was something riding on the game for me
personally. That's right...I made a bet with my boss, the webmaster, that Carolina would
win the game. That they would live up to their underdog role, rise to the occasion like
Rocky Balboa, pulling out a victory in the final minutes. So I was ecstatic when the game
was tied with just over a minute to go. I really thought that it was going to overtime and
the Panthers would win it by a field goal. That's what I thought was going to happen...
The whole fourth quarter was a roller coaster ride for me. The Patriots had the lead but
the Panthers kept clawing back...keeping themselves in the game. Waiting for that one big
play. And then they got it. The go ahead touchdown. But why try for the two point conversion.
Get the additional point on the board. They failed not once, but twice on the two pointer.
And then New England comes back down the field on their next drive and now that 22 - 21 lead
is gone and the Patriots are up 27 - 22. And they're going for a two pointer. Made me wonder
if Belichick knew something at that point. And what does New England do. A trick play on the
conversion that gives them a 7 point lead.
So the Panthers respond by marching down the field and scoring on a great passing play by
Jake Delhomme to Ricky Proehl. You remember Ricky Proehl don't you. He caught the tying
touchdown pass two years ago from Kurt 'I know I can still play' Warner. I should have had
a feeling of deja vu at that point...but I didn't.
And watching the game with a big Patriots fan should have been the highlight of the evening.
My boss should have been squirming in his seat, yelling at the television when a big play
was made by Carolina. I got the exact opposite reaction. He sat there glued to the screen,
watching every play, following every move, watching the clock tick down. I admit I rubbed
it in with 1:09 to go in the game...What a mistake...Because at that point in the game he
turned to me and said, 'It's all over for Carolina'. I just laughed. What else was I
supposed to do? Agree with him?
So as Kasay kicked the ball out of bounds and the Patriots took over on their own 40 yard
line, I started getting this awful feeling in the pit of my stomach. But after the first
incompletion I was feeling a little better...Until he spoke again...
'Brady's gonna pass over the middle for a first down'...That feeling came back...'He's
going to go to the side'...A little relief because of the offensive penalty...'Back over
the middle'...Where was the Pepto-Bismo...'Short gainer'...I felt like slinking out of
the room...'Big gainer'...To the Carolina 23 yard line with nine seconds remaining...
And of course there was Adam Vinatieri...Waiting patiently...Waiting to spoil the good time
I had had up to that point. And of course deja vu reared it's ugly head like the bad grades
you got in high school...Coming back to haunt me was Super Bowl XXXVI where Vinatieri was
'Mister Clutch' when the pressure was on. And you know the rest of the story.
So as payment for the bet I foolishly made on the Super Bowl this year, I have to admit
to the world that the New England Patriots are the best team in the NFL this year. That
said, all I have to say at this point is...Wait until next year...
* Richard Blaine's views and opinions do not necessarily
reflect the views and opinions of the staff at Twin-Music.