Item : Lawrence Tynes , the New York Giants placekicker, has a set of four-year old twins. The week before the Super Bowl , one of the twins was accosted by one of his classmates , a girl , who said ” Tell your dad, they better win Sunday !”
Item : After the Patriots lost in the Super Bowl , students at the University of Massachusetts went on a rampage . At least 1,5oo students ran amuck on the Amherst campus before riot police dispersed them using flashbangs and smoke bombs.Fourteen people , 13 of them students , were arrested and will be appearing before a judge.
Item: Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski and OT Matt Light were seen dancing at a party after the Patriots loss and came in for some criticism from sports wonks who felt that it was inappropriate for them to do so.
Item : In Monday’s Boston Globe , blogger Eric Wilbur tore into Tom Brady calling his performance ” horrendous ” and saying that ” the prince has turned into a frog “. He criticised the ” Boy wonder” saying that he was ” an embarrassment to the Patriots organization and to Bob Kraft “. To their credit, readers didn’t agree with Wilbur’s comments . Most of the over 200 people who wrote back called Wilbur’s post ” an idiotic , childish rant ” and him a moron.Some wondered if Wilbur had too many complimentary cocktails and said rightly that Brady should not be blamed for coming up short in a very close game. They pointed out that the Patriots had gone to the Super Bowl five times in the Brady – Belichick era , winning it on three occasions.
Meanwhile , at least according to the talking heads on ESPN, the whole of Boston and perhaps New England has fallen into a deep depression and the sports pundits are busy discussing whether this loss is as devastating as the Red Sox’s 2003 debacle.
I listen to all this and I can only shake my head in wonder. Sure, the Patriots lost a close game in the waning moments but they gave it their all and have nothing to apologise for. In spite of a leaky defense , they made it to the Super Bowl and had Rob Gronkowski been 100% , the result might very well have been different. True , losing in the Super Bowl is hard when victory is within your grasp but at least they got to the big game. Not ony have the Patriots dominated the NFL over the past decade but they bid fair to make a return trip to the Big Dance next year. Already the oddsmakers have made them favorites for next year influenced no doubt by the two first round and two second picks that the canny Belichick has in the upcoming draft.
No , I think the NE funk is because too many of the fans have bought into the misguided notion that anyone who doesn’t win it all is a loser.Never mind that the “loser ” of the Super Bowl not only had a good regular season but also defeated everyone they met in the playoffs.
I think it was Vince Lombardi who trumpeted that ” Winning isn’t everything ; it is the only thing.” When he said that, he was merely trying to exhort his players to play harder but too many of us have taken him literally. In doing so , we have placed too much emphasis on winning and forgotten what it is like to love the game for its own sake.