"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" ~ Mary Oliver

Tag: Tom Brady

Secretariat and the Super Bowl . . .

DSCN4930While waiting for the Super Bowl hype shows to blow over, I came upon a movie playing on TV in the afternoon, “Secretariat” starring Diane Lane and John Malkovitch as the trainer who she believed in, even if he didn’t believe in himself. It’s a tale of long odds, if you’ve seen this film: Penny Tweedy takes over her ailing father’s thoroughbred breeding farm and wins Secretariat as a colt in a coin toss by default. Her father dies and her husband plus brother connive to sell Secretariat to pay death taxes on the farm. She refuses, deciding to syndicate Secretariat’s breeding rights ($190,000) to thirty-two other owners, all of whom refuse her until the most prestigious owner of all, who gave up the colt at the coin toss (yes, it’s all true) decides to be the first to sign up. The others follow and Secretariat promptly loses his first big race due to an abcessed tooth.

Secretariat goes on to win the Triple Crown, the first time in 25 years, setting track records in EACH race that are still standing. It’s truly an amazing story. That it actually happened is sports history.

So, now we are down to watching the Super Bowl game and to see if this much maligned team can win their first Super bowl game in ten years. Yes, they’ve won divisional championships. Yes, they’ve gone to the Super Bowl in between years and lost, sometimes ignominiously (like the time Brady fouled in the first play of the game the last time.)

The Seahawks are defending their Super Bowl win last year. There’s been so much hype about the two coaches, Bill Belichick and Pete Carroll, both of whom have coached for the Patriots and Bob Kraft. And both, it turns out, are part-Croatian! Who knew? Plus they’re supposed to be crafty coaches with sophisticated knowledge of the rules so that they know what they can try even though nobody else may have.

Well, here we are. I’m finishing this post at 11:16 p.m. after a Super Bowl win by the Patriots that will go down with the ages as one of the most unbelievably tight and suspenseful victories of almost all time. After all, who could make up a last minute interception over the goal line by Malcolm Butler, a rookie from Alabama playing his first Super Bowl game? In his interview afterwards, he was asked about the three-bobble catch that the Seahawks made improbably while the guy was on his back and the ball was still bouncing around in the air. Butler said he thought he felt that because he didn’t prevent that catch, that he might be responsible for losing the game–and that he HAD to do something during the next play: which he did, by intercepting the ball in the Seahawk’s endzone.  The last 30 seconds of the game were the longest ones ever after Butler’s interception: a half yard from the goal-line moved five yards out due to a penalty, then fifteen yards out due to fighting by a Seahawk who was ejected from the game for unnecessary roughing.

It was amazing. Chris Collinsworth, the most urbane of all TV sportscasters put together was sputtering through the last two minutes of the game. He kept saying, “I can’t believe this!” And the rest of us couldn’t either. What a relief! I’m glad that I was “wu-wei-ing” it throughout the game. In fact, I threw the I-Ching when the Pats were down in the fourth quarter and it felt like all was lost. It predicted that the Patriots would indeed win the Super Bowl in the end after a few hitches. And what an ending!

This Patriots Super Bowl victory was as unpredictable as Secretariat’s winning of the Triple Crown years ago with a thirty length win over the second horse at Belmont stakes. Big risks, a lot on the line and winning at the finish line–making exceptional sports history for a long time to come.

Bravo! Whew! I’m going to bed!




staying . . .


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!

“make my day” . . .

I don’t know if you watched the Super Bowl last weekend but we did. And because of the notoriety of the Super Bowl Ads, we didn’t even mute them out. It was bad enough to watch the Patriots stumble through the game with Tom Brady’s error on the first play casting an ominous tone over his teammates and the rest us for the remainder of the game. Gronkowski wasn’t there even though he went through the motions, it seemed.

Halfway through the agony, the animated animal cartoon ads and the dumb beer ads rolled on. Then, the 2 minute spot by Chrysler with a familiar raspy voice narrating, “It’s halftime, America,” caught our attention. Wow! an ad not for THINGS for people to buy. It wasn’t really even about buying cars. The message was about VALUES, for pete’s sake. And it created a hullabaloo afterwards too.

I thought they got the perfect guy to make this perfect pitch: Clint Eastwood. He’s almost eighty-two and still going strong, doing his thing, his way. His politics are Republican and fiscally conservative AND he Read the rest of this entry »