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Sunday, February 05, 2006

The Superbowl is a Holiday. Happy Superbowl!

Despite what my mother-in-law may like to believe, The Superbowl is a holiday, a great holiday and, as far as I'm concerned, the best holiday of the year.

Today is a day when everybody gets the same present, a (hopefully) great Football Game to watch with the two best teams in the NFL fighting for the right to be called 'Champions'. For fans of the eventual winner, it's a very special present indeed, for as a football fan, when your team wins the biggest game of all, there's nothing like it in the world. The feeling of seeing your team win The Superbowl can only be described as pure joy. It's a feeling of happiness that stays with you for months afterwards and you get a heart-warming feeling in your chest with every reminder of it. A smile will come to your face every time you see that Sports Illustrated ad featuring your team on the the cover of the hard-bound Superbowl Champions commemorative book.

As a Pats fan, I've considered myself to be very lucky these last few years, watching my team take home the Lombardi Trophy 3 times. I went through what I refer to as sports-inflicted torture during all 3 of The Pats recent Superbowl appearances, but the payoff at the end made all the writhing on the floor, acting like a complete lunatic and pulling out every insane superstition in the book worth it.

For me, Superbowl 36 (Pats / Rams) ranks beneath only my wedding and the birth of my children as one of my life's greatest moments. (My wife feels a little differently about that. 9 months pregnant at the time, she was literally moments away from calling an ambulance at the end of the game as I collapsed and lay sprawled motionless on the living room floor, reveling in the feeling of pure bliss.)

Of course, just because my team is not in The Big Game this year, that does not mean I won't thoroughly enjoy watching the Superbowl. Even when your team is not in it, the Superbowl is always a game to look forward to and the Superbowl games of last few years have been very exciting and enjoyable to watch.

Superbowl 34 was an incredible game, with the Titans missing the game winning TD by about 1 foot as the final seconds came off the clock. I didn't think a Superbowl could match that type of excitement until my Pats took on the Rams in what may have been the most exciting Superbowl ever played in SB 36.

Ok, Superbowl 37 may not have been considered 'exciting', but as a lifelong hater of the Oakland / La-La Land Raiders, I was quite happy to see the shellacking that the Tampa Bay Bucs put on The Raiders and, adding insult to injury, I appreciated the fact that the ass-whooping was applied by the team's former coach, Jon Gruden, only one year removed from his head coaching position at Oakland. I was also thankful to Oakland QB Rich Gannon for erasing Pats QB Drew Bledoe's name from the record books as the owner of the record for tossing the most interceptions in a Superbowl.

My team played and won in both Superbowl 38 and 39, so obviously, I am biased about those being great games, but I think even non-Pats fans would have to agree that both of those games were very exciting to watch. Superbowl 38 had it all: Defensive chess matches and Offensive firepower and in Superbowl 39, the game once again came down to the wire (and a near heart attack for me).

I'd like to wish the best of luck to the fans of both Pittsburgh and Seattle today. I'll be pulling for Seattle, but if Pittsburgh wins, that's ok too. Overall, I'm pretty neutral here. I'm mainly pulling for Seattle to win simply because they've never been in the big game before and also because Seahawks LB Lofa Tatupu is the son of one of my favorite Patriot players, Mosi Tatupu.

Yes, The Pats are not in the game this year, but at least there's a little bit of Patriots flavor in it. I'll be trying to catch Bill Belichick's pre-game analysis in between the NFL Films Highlight shows that air on ESPN2. And of course, there's the 'Patriots Hour' on ESPN2, with the Superbowl 38 and 36 highlight shows starting at 5:30 and Tom Brady doing the coin-flip to start the game.

Enjoy the Superbowl everybody. Let's hope it's a good one because after this it's a long stretch till August.


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