Last night was one to remember for staying to the end. Of the game, that is. On Sunday afternoon, we watched the Patriots play a frustratingly error-filled game with Tom Brady being sacked, interceptions happening right and left, and only the field goal kicker, Gostowski delivering twice to keep the Patriots seemingly in the game. Until the last five SECONDS. Yep, the stands had already started to empty with the Saints leading, 27-23 with the clock ticking down the final minutes. People wanting to get a head start getting out of the parking lot had already left. But they missed the best which came in the last five seconds as Brady shot a seventeen yard pass to the end zone for a touchdown. The guy who caught the ball was Kenbrell Thompkins, a rookie but as usual, Tom’s passes were sometimes thrown so hard that they’re almost impossible to catch–so it’s a victory when one of those bullet throws becomes an actual touchdown. With the clock at 5 seconds, I was getting ready to get up with a sigh of resignation to put supper on the table. But in a blink of an eye, they pulled it out, winning 30-27! Bill Belichick, who usually says no more than five words when interviewed after the game was so talkative from nervous energy that he stayed at the microphone for almost twenty minutes, rattling off how the players are everything and make the plays. But he also started off by saying that the dramatic finish of the game “took five years off my life!” That’s saying a lot for Bill.
Okay. After we had our supper of oven-fried chicken, corn on the cob and buttered peas, we tuned in to watch the second game of the Red Sox against Detroit in the American League playoffs at 8 o’clock. My heart fell when I saw Clay Buchholtz was pitching because watching him pitch to me is like watching figure skating and worrying that a skater will take a fall on a jump. Confidence is not something his pitching inspires, despite all the hype. Sure enough, after a very slow game and the Sox losing 5-1 in the 7th inning, we decided to go to bed and listen to the end of the game on our clock radio which we sometimes do as the night wears on interminably and they’re losing. I was almost asleep when I heard G. murmuring something like, “grand slam home run.” I sat up in bed and asked “who?” David Ortiz had just hit a grand slam home run in the 8th inning to tie the game at 5-5. I got up and turned on the TV to watch the Red Sox jumping around in the dugout and Ortiz coming out for a wave to the crowd which had erupted with crazy joy. They managed to win the game, 6-5 with Jonny Gomes and Jarrod Saltalamacchia hitting in the ninth inning for a walk-off win!
So, for Boston sports fans like us, lightning struck twice at the very last minute yesterday for both the Patriots and the Red Sox. We are fortunate to live in a world championship sports town but these two back-to-back victories on the same day brought watching sports to another level of suspense-filled winning games. Even if we might start to fall asleep before it’s all over. Lucky us!