Monday, January 22, 2007

There is no joy in Mudville

Permit me to dilate upon something different. Something more important than politics and perhaps as important as cats: football.

Gloom pervades New England as our Patriots went down to defeat last night at the hands of the Indianapolis Colts, a team that the Pats once dominated, at least psychologically--which is more important than dominating physically.

It was a game of if onlys.

If only the Patriots still had David Givens or Deion Branch (or better yet, both of them).

If only the Patriots had rushed Peyton Manning more in the third quarter.

If only Corey Dillon had played more in the 2nd half. (Was he hurt?)

If only Ellis Hobbs had made an 80-yard kickoff return when the score was 21-13, not 21-21. (Going up by 15 points after the other team has cut the lead to 8 is a more powerful psychological statement than going ahead by a single score after the game has been tied.)

If only the refs had called pass interference when Reche Caldwell was mugged in the end zone. (The Pats would have had the ball 1st and goal on the 1, with about a 95 percent certainty of scoring a touchdown, and the best the Colts could have done on their final drive would have been to tie.)

If only the Patriots' coaches had smelled out a run on the play that led to the winning touchdown. I did, and I'm no football whiz.

and finally: If only the Pats had won.

If nothing else, this game confirms my football superstition: I believe that if you score fewer points than the other team, you're going to lose.

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