A few weeks ago, I mentioned that some personal circumstances have led me to residing in my sister and brother-in-law’s basement. It has been fine. I had forgotten normal people have to do things like shuffle cars in the driveway, share bathrooms and empty the clothes dryer so other people can use it. While I am still far from normal, I am once again doing some more normal things.
For the first time in my nearly 49 years on this planet, I live in the same house as a dog. Yup, me and Skippy have become good buddies. Skippy is a mutt, mostly Maltese that wanders downstairs a couple of times a day to see how I am doing. I have known Skippy for a couple of years as I regularly visited my niece and nephew, to whom I am affectionately known as Unkey. But the pup and I have taken our relationship to a new level as I take him for walks and we hang out together.
The other day, I had a bit of an epiphany as a result of my new living arrangements. I am totally convinced I am a complete slob because I grew up without a dog in the house. Before moving in, if I missed the basket with my fudgesicle stick, I didn’t care, I’d get it when I had to take the garbage out. Now, I have images of the Skippster finding the stick, chewing on it and splintering open his cute little mouth. As part of my routine to limit my caloric intake, I enjoy a few sugar free mints throughout the course of the evening. Until recently, my desk would be covered with little pieces of plastic wrapper with a minty aroma. Now, all I can see is the little guy choking on my candy covering.
I pick up clothes (most of the time), I make my bed (more than I used to) and in general am a tad neater, all because of my furry friend. Don’t get me wrong, you don’t become Felix Unger overnight after being Oscar Madison your whole life, but Skippy is (slowly) making me change my ways. Now if he can only do something about the utter mess that is my PC desktop screen.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
It is almost here, Super Bowl Sunday. It is no secret I am a card carrying member of Patriots’ Nation. I have been to two Super Bowls and had tickets for a third. Keeping in mind the whole slob thing, I splashed acid on my face the week before Super Bowl XXXVI and had to not only miss the Pats defeating the Greatest Show on Turf, but Mardi Gras as well. I managed to go without incident the week preceding Super Bowl XXXVIII so I was in attendance for the victory over the Panthers, though to this day I have yet to see Janet Jackson’s nipple. My view was not all that great. Then a couple of years ago, I ventured out to Glendale hoping to see history and the first 19-0 season in NFL history. I think I mentioned last week that I still cannot listen to Tom Petty.
Of course I feel the Patriots are going to win Sunday, but I am admittedly looking at things through my Flying Elvis colored glasses. Objectively, the Giants have the more balanced, and likely better squad. As well as Eli Manning has been playing, and as good as Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz are, Tom Brady and his friends Wes Welker, Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowksi are the superior unit. However, the Giants D is far superior to the Pats D, so much so that the difference between the Pats offense and the Giants defense is less than the difference between the G-Men offense and the Patriots defense. On paper, the matchup edge of the respective units goes to the New York Football Giants.
But the game is not played on paper and New England has something New York does not: Tom Terrific. To me, Brady is the football equivalent of Roy Halladay. Regardless of the opposition, Halladay has the ability to toss a 4-hit shutout every time he toes the rubber. Brady is similar in that when he is on, he can carve up any secondary. Of course, when Halladay winds up, he does not have to worry about four or five 300-plus pound beasts looking to clock him. This is my sole concern; the Giants defensive line is outstanding. When Mathias Kiwanuka, who I had the pleasure of witnessing terrorize ACC quarterbacks while at Boston College, is your weak link, your chain is pretty strong. But here we have a saying, in Bill we Trust, so I am confident Coach Belichick will devise a game plan to keep the hounds off of Brady long enough so he can do his surgical imitation and pick apart the Giants.
Assuming this happens and New England scores early and often, the porous Patriots defense suddenly becomes a bit better. As a unit, the D is historically bad for a Super Bowl team, but they do have some excellent players. Now force the Giants into a game of catch up, and the rest of the eleven can play a scheme and become a better unit, perhaps even rattling Eli a bit, though I am not counting on that.
At the end of the day, I see Brady having a game only certain players can turn in and the Patriots evening their record in the big game against the Giants. I will not pretend that it avenges David Tyree’s helmet grab, but maybe I will be able to listen to Tom Petty again. That said, if they lose, not listening to a Madonna song is not a problem.
Patriots 37 Giants 23
Enjoy the game.