Super Bowl Sunday. Or as it’s become known around these parts: The New England Patriots Annual Invitational.
The other day I thought back to where I was during each of the Super Bowl games that The Patriots have been in since Tom Brady took over.
Feb 3, 2002 – The only Super Bowl we thought that would ever matter. We said that if we never won another Super Bowl, we would always remember this one.
Tom Brady took over as QB early in the season after Drew Bledsoe became hurt. I didn’t even know what Tom Brady looked like. My husband referred to him as “nothing special”. He’s been eating his words ever since.
Where was I when Vinatieri kicked the game-winning field goal? Standing in my living room, about ten feet from the TV, clutching my husband’s hands as we both held our breath, watching as the ball sailed through the upright.
Then we exhaled. And screamed.
February 1, 2004 – Just when we thought we’d never make it to another Super Bowl, The Patriots proved us wrong. I know we won the game versus Carolina.
I know where I was on Super Bowl Sunday. I was driving back to Massachusetts from Canada. I know I made it home in time to watch the game. But I cannot recall exactly where I was when we won the game. Probably still trying to warm up from the cold ride home.
February 6, 2005 – Three things stand out with this game. First, we pissed off the entire state of Pennsylvania because we had beat Pittsburgh in the AFC game. Then we beat Philly in the Super Bowl.
Second, it was my birthday.
Third, I was about three months pregnant.
I know it happened thirteen years ago. Which really scares me because that means my daughter is going to be a teen later this year. But I cannot recall where I was when we won. In my defense I was probably suffering from “baby brain”, more than likely snoozing on the couch.
February 3, 2008 and February 5, 2012 – I’ll briefly pass over our two losses to the Giants. I know I was snoozing during those games.
February 1, 2015 – I remember this season well. The Patriots were dead to rights after losing to Kansas City in week four. Yeah, right.
The simultaneous looks on Richard Sherman and Tom Brady’s faces as Malcolm Butler intercepted the ball are still etched in my mind. Sherman’s was of disbelief. Brady’s was of elation.
I was in the shower when my husband burst in to tell me we had just scored a touchdown, going up four on Seattle. But there were two minutes left. Seattle was getting the ball back. Knowing how close a game it was, I began praying to God, Vince Lombardi, the Football Gods and Myra Kraft.
So where was I exactly when Malcolm Butler intercepted that football? I was busy making the bed in my spare bedroom, still praying to whoever was listening. The only sound coming from the living room was the blaring of the TV. Then I heard my husband yell “INTERCEPTED!” and I practically killed myself running out of that room into the living room. Until that moment I had never heard of Malcolm Butler. I thanked Myra and the others profusely.
February 5, 2017 – There was no way The Patriots would get to the Playoffs, not much the Super Bowl. After all, Tom Brady was serving a four-game suspension and two back-up QB’s (one a rookie) could not possibly win a game in his place. Yeah, right.
So we got to the Big Game. And it was not looking very pretty. I took myself out of the painful watching shortly after we scored our first three points and Atlanta went up by 25.
I don’t know exactly what time I woke up in the fourth. Somewhere near the end. I thought we still only had three points. My husband informed me the score was 20-28 and we were getting the ball back. I remember saying, “Well, if there’s any team who can come back and win, it’s this team”. I stood there for what seemed like an hour (for which was only about 20 minutes of playing time) and watched as The Patriots scored a touchdown, then a two-point conversion to tie the score. If there was ever going to be a team to go into overtime during the Super Bowl, The Patriots would be one of those teams. And they were. If there was ever going to be a team to win the Super Bowl in overtime, it would be The Patriots. And they were.
In thirty minutes The New England Patriots’ franchise will be playing in their tenth Super Bowl, more than any other team in the NFL. Eight of those have been with Tom Brady at the helm.
Where will I be if we win? Who knows. Maybe doing back flips in the front yard. But I know if we lose, tomorrow I will still be a New England Patriots fan. Because that’s how true New England Patriots fans are.