Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Win is a Win, or is It?

When I was a kid I was a huge Patriots fan...notice I didn't say "New England" Patriots fan because in those days they were the "Boston" Patriots. I can even remember when the franchise started. I remember my father taking me to see the Pats play the Houston Oilers at Fenway Park back in 1964. And I remember the San Diego Chargers crushing them in the American Football League Championship game back in 1066 (the same year William the Conqueror invaded England)...these are old memories.

Today I enjoy the Patriots tremendously and never miss a game, so I'm still a fan, just not a "huge" fan anymore. Why am I telling you this?... because I feel a need to explain my reaction to last Sunday's Patriots victory.

So here goes...

Like many, many others in the area, I watched the Patriots/Raven AFC Championship game. I thought it was a great game, filled with excitement. But, I didn't think either team played particularly well. The climatic moment came with a field goal separating the teams. Raven's kicker Billy Cundiff ran on to the field for what appeared to be a routine chip-shot that would send the game into overtime...

When Cundiff's kick was in mid-air, I yelled to my wife, "he hooked it"...and then my next words were "I feel bad for that guy". I didn't yell "he missed it, the Patriots win". My wife just looked at me. "I mean it. I feel bad for him", I said again. I am little embarrassed to admit this was my reaction, but it was.

I leaned back on the couch and wondered...hey, Tony you're a Patriots fan. Why do you feel bad for Cundiff when the Patriots are going to the Super Bowl? What's the matter with you?

I continued to ponder my unusual reaction and then it hit me. I know why I didn't scream and yell "Super Bowl, Super Bowl, Super Bowl". I didn't because I thought this game "should" have gone into overtime. Neither team played poorly, but neither team deserved to win either. Sorry, but that was how I felt. Of course, I wanted the Patriots to win, but I didn't feel like they had earned it at that point...but neither had the Ravens.

I know, I know...all that matters is which team finished with the most points...but truthfully, some victories are sweeter than others... and to me this was a lemon.

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