In the Suburbs / Hoping for a New England win for our grandson
Published 12:00 am, Thursday, February 8, 2018
For Super Bowl Sunday we were invited to join our daughter and our grandson Lucas for his first experience as a New England Patriots fan. Wearing his own Patriots’ tee shirt and relaxing on the couch with his own snacks, little Lucas was filled with excitement about watching the team win another Super Bowl and hoping Tom Brady would bring home his sixth Vince Lombardi trophy.
The weather in Minneapolis was frigid but the stadium was an indoor arena. And the weather in Connecticut hadn’t cooperated, so our daughter’s regular group of friends decided to cancel. In the end, it was just the four of us chowing down on the large salad my wife made, enough chicken wings, mini pizza rolls and desserts for 15 people, but it was a fun night for all of us. We definitely ignored our Free Style Weight Watchers program and ate like the old days.
At the beginning, Lucas was riveted to the television, laughing at the commercials and watching the action on the field. Sadly, most of that action involved Philadelphia scoring touchdowns and field goals throughout the first half of the game. Just before half time, Lucas decided to resume playing with his toys on the floor in front of the television, almost as if he knew the Patriots were not displaying their best effort.
We had no allegiance to either team, but hoped the Philadelphia Eagles would give the game their best shot. Boy did they ever do that!
By the time half time came along, it was clear that quarterback Nick Foles, who had actually thought about retiring from football after being released by the Rams Football team in 2016, was hotter than a firecracker in this game. Foles had actually rejoined the Eagles as a backup quarterback in 2017 and the team was definitely looking like a winning squad.
Despite the great first half from the Philadelphia team, we decided to head home and not stay for the famous come-from-behind rebound of the Patriots. Lucas was busy with his toys, Stacey was cleaning up and we figured we could keep checking the score from home.
Foles had even succeeded in scoring his own touchdown, catching the ball in the end zone from a player he had tossed it to and the Eagles were up 22—12 as we were walking out the door. The play, one for the record books, was called the Philly Special. By then, we knew that the game was clearly New England’s to lose and they would have to pull off some amazing touchdowns to win. This Philadelphia team that the Patriots had beaten in the 2005 Super Bowl, had returned with a vengeance.
Once home, we flipped on a Hallmark movie and just kept checking the score of the Super Bowl whenever a commercial came on. The Patriots definitely were making a comeback and in the fourth quarter, they finally took the lead, 33-32. That score was definitely too close for comfort and the Eagles scored again with a touchdown that went under review but was allowed to stand.
We switched back to our Hallmark movie but I told my wife that it looked like New England was going to pull this one off with another touchdown after all. But we resumed watching the game just at the moment that Brandon Graham sacked Tom Brady and all hell broke loose.
The Eagles drove the ball down field to a point where they decided to attempt a 46-yard field goal. Jake Elliott of the Eagles kicked an amazing field goal and gave the team a 41-33 lead going into the final seconds of the game.
The Patriots last hurrah came as a flurry of long passes from Brady that really went nowhere and to no one. In the end, Nick Foles and his team walked away with the Vince Lombardi trophy and Foles became the most valuable player of the Super Bowl.
Foles own comments in a piece on WGN Television, Chicago, said it all. “It doesn’t get any bigger than this, but I felt good, I felt calm. I think the big thing that helped me was knowing that I didn’t have to be Superman. I have amazing teammates, amazing coaches around me and all I have to do is play as hard as I could and play for one another….”
Steven Gaynes is a Fairfield writer, and his “In the Suburbs” appears each Friday. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.