Coda: The Patriots and the Meaning of Life
In 1986, I cried when the Patriots lost to the Bears, 46-10, in Super Bowl XX. I was in first grade.
The next thirteen years were basically one Red Sox failure after another- 1986 and the Mets, being swept by the A’s in 1988 and 1990, losing to Cleveland in the ALDS in 1995 and 1998. You remember.
In 2003 I flew into a blind fury when Grady Little left Pedro Martinez in well past his pitch limit, and the Yankees rallied to beat the Red Sox in Game 7 of the ALCS.
In 2008 I was stupefied and dazed for two days in the aftermath of David Tyree and Plaxico Burress inexplicably ruining the Patriots perfect season.
In 2010 I wrote off the Bruins forever after their epic collapse against the Flyers in the second round of the playoffs.
I curse Liverpool losses, yell at the TV because of no-calls in Celtics games, and get entirely too competitive in sports that I’m playing.
And last night the Patriots lost the Super Bowl to the Giants. Perhaps you heard? It was incredibly frustrating. But it also felt different.
After the game, my 8 ½ year old went to bed, I got a snack, and then I put in Casino Royale and watched it until I was tired enough to go to bed. Such is life. Today is just another day.
Perhaps I’m spoiled from a decade of Boston as Titletown USA. But I don’t think that’s it. My priorities are changing. Chalk it up to spiritual growth, or my own maturity (at long last), but the fact remains that something has become more important than Boston sports.
Saturday morning I woke up at 5:45, roused my third grader, and we headed off to a 7:00 indoor soccer game in Acton. I watched as he scored two goals against a pretty good team and played what was perhaps his best game ever.
The Patriots lost? In the end, it’s not a big deal. There’s more important stuff that’s going on- like the happiness of my own son and the pride I feel when I see him succeeding.
As I watched him on Saturday, I felt joy. Joy at watching him play, joy at seeing his confidence, joy at noticing how he has improved this year, and joy at seeing how happy he was, both as he played and afterwards. That kind of happiness trumps just about everything else.
Even an excruciating Super Bowl loss.