The New England Patriots sure did shut me up on Sunday. It's not the fact that they won; it's how they did it...
"What's the big deal?" you may ask. "Everyone knew they were going to win." But the fact is, the Patriots actually HAD to win the game.
Tom Brady did not execute a good performance, the team appeared flat at times—and yet still they won the game. It wasn't 52-3. It was close. As a matter of fact, one almost wonders how the results might have differed if good ol' Coach Norv-someone get this garrote off my neck-Turner had called a better game.
The fourth quarter of Sunday's AFC Championship game was as exciting as they get. The Chargers were actually threatening to do the undoable, beat the unbeatable. I could hardly talk by the end of the game. But the Patriots toughed it out, weathered the storm, and took one step closer to what they feel is their destiny.
I was hoping for the upset (I love the underdog), but braced myself for the thrashing. What I did not expect was a less than perfect, close, competitive game. What the heck? I didn't want to see the other side of the mighty New England Patriots. I enjoyed hating their perfection. Many of us did (I know there are others...). Now, like at the end of every Rocky movie, I can see NFL fans all over America clapping rhythmically, chanting, "Brady, Brady!"
One more win and the Patriots will finish the season undefeated and assume their place in history.
I use the term "undefeated" in place of "perfect," because I think more respect is due the Patriots by looking at their adversities. It's easy to hate perfection, but the Patriots have not been perfect. They are human, just like us.
This demonstration of mortality also makes me wonder if perhaps the commercials won't be the best part of Super Bowl XLll after all.