“It’s a magical world Hobbes ol’ buddy!” - Bill Watterson’s “Calvin and Hobbes”‘
A lot of the time, as sports fans, we get caught up in a moment; other times we may not appreciate those moments until they’re gone. One thing is for sure: Sports provide us with a piece of our magical world, although it all depends on how we capture the moments we witness.
I’ve heard both the theories that “no good thing dies” and that “even good things have to die”; however, I may be living in the aftermath of something great. Whether that good thing continues on literally or purely as a memory is yet to be seen.
For those who haven’t caught on, I am of course talking about the injury to Tom Brady and how it may affect the future of the New England Patriots. Tom Brady, the God-like figure of our magical world has been struck down at the worst possible time.
Before Brady went down, it seemed this great time we’ve come accustom to was weak, especially after 18-1, but we continued to hold a positive mind state for the most part. We had our saviors in Tom and Bill, and as long as those two stayed together and performed, then the magic could continue.
And then it happened.
It was an evil twist and an already heart-wrenching climax. The story of a lowly team, who rose to greatness turned dominance in just a few years, only to face heartbreak in several different forms. Every good thing must come to an end I suppose.
Seeing Tom Brady roll around on the ground clutching his knee was like watching one of your heroes die. At the time, I sat motionless watching it happen and really had no words to express what had just happened. In those few moments that Brady was down, the memories came swarming back from every direction, both the good and the bad.
I saw Vinatieri’s two Super Bowl winning kicks split the uprights. I saw Aaron Boone raise his arms triumphantly. I saw the Red Sox celebrating in St. Louis, the Patriots in Jacksonville, and the Celtics in front of their home crowd.
I saw Brady walk off the field dejectedly both in Indy and Arizona, with flashes of Ben Watson lighting up Champ Bailey out of the corner of my eye. I relived all of these moments strictly from seeing a New England icon, Tom Brady, lie painfully on the ground.
But above all, I saw Nomar Garciaparra walking out of the Red Sox clubhouse and heading for Chicago. Watching Brady lie there was like losing my hero, my idol, my symbol of something I held dear and now felt unsure of.
I remember thinking of the worst when Nomar was traded, and as everyone knows that deal resulted in the best outcome. However, while I couldn’t think of the Patriots without Tom Brady, I still had no thoughts while he lay there. I was stunned. Literally, I couldn’t blink or talk or move. I just stared at the TV screen almost wait for it to scream APRIL FOOLS!
Finally, I came around and the first thing I could ask myself was: “Is this the end?” I had been crushed when the Patriots lost to Indy two years ago, even if I didn’t wear my emotions on my sleeve.
That soon changed when the Patriots blew their undefeated season last year as I let all of my rage out and like most Patriots fans I will never get over that loss. But when Brady went down, all I couldn’t ask myself anything except whether or not the Patriots reign on the NFL was coming to an end.
The AFC Championship Game. The Super Bowl. The Injury.
It all seemed like a nightmare and the thought that all the events happened in a span of three years concerned me. It seemed like far too much bad luck. (Which I obviously blamed it on…come on, the Patriots’ play actually losing a game for them? Pfft.)
Could this be the end of our magical world so soon after it started? Needless to say I don’t want to go overboard, but I think I was emotionally and spiritually beat up by the past few Patriots seasons and when I saw Brady helped off the field...A little piece of me died.
And yet a world without magic is a world nonetheless. While Calvin and Hobbes were a pair of uneducated comic strip characters, they represented the world perfectly. Some days they didn’t get along, other days things just flat-out went wrong for them, but when you get right down to it every day, both in sports and life (I guess) is magical whether you’re living it or reminiscing.
Don’t loss the magic Patriots fans. We’ve had the privilege to see the Patriots go through their best years and also see them face their biggest heartbreaks. We do not know what Matt Cassel will bring, and while he isn’t an icon, every falling empire needs someone to step up and be a leader.
And no matter where he may lead us, whether it’ll leave us celebrating new glory, giving us back that hope we lost when Brady went down, or leaving us remembering better times, we’ll keep those magic season, this magic team, this magical world alive.
KEEP THE FAITH! CASSEL ‘08!