Monday, February 4, 2008

Super Bowl Sunday (update 3)

Would you believe that there was something about Super Bowl Sunday that was even better than the Patriots losing?

It has only been in the last two months or so that my 8-year-old son has started taking an interest in football. I took him to two Colts games toward the end of the season and we watched some of the playoffs together. He didn't watch much of the Super Bowl; we had a bunch of kids over and they were having more fun playing Xbox and PSP and Nintendo DS (and don't forget bothering the girls) to pay attention to the game.

But as the evening wore on and many of the families left (school night, after all), my son and a few of the other boys made their way downstairs to watch the game with the men. My son and I were cuddled up (manly, huh?) on the sofa for most of the 4th quarter. As the Patriots began what looked to be a game-winning drive, my son kept saying "we're going to lose" ("we" in this case, of course, being the New York Giants). I kept telling him not to think that way just yet; there was still a lot of time and a lot that could happen. Alas, Brady found Moss and the Patriots took the lead.

My son said, "See, Daddy, I told you we were going to lose." I told him that he shouldn't give up yet, but he replied that there were only two minutes left and the Giants had to go the length of the field and score a touchdown. I explained that, in football, two minutes could be a lifetime (especially with 3 timeouts and the 2-minute warning...), but he was not to be convineced.

As the Giants started moving the ball, my son was cheering loudly with the rest of us, but with each play, as the clock inexorably wound down, he would repeat his fear that the Giants would lose. Finally, just before one of the big third down plays, my son said, "I can't watch" and turned and buried his head in a pillow. Only when the rest of the room erupted in cheers did he peek and see the referee signalling first down. Together, we watched the rest of the game as the Giants won, the Patriots lost, and Bill Belichick proved, yet again, that he is a jerk.

But the best moment of all came moments after Eli Manning took the final snap and the Super Bowl came to an end. My son looked over at me and said, "Daddy, I guess that I should never say we're going to lose until the game is really over." You can't pay for a life lesson like Super Bowl XLII gave to my son.

Thanks, Eli.

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