I am glad I slept on the Patriots’ loss in the Super Bowl before I put pen to paper to give my opinion on the “strange” game that the Giants won 21-17 in a great football game. Not that the world is waiting for yours truly’s opinion, but here is my two cents’ worth. There are 32 teams in the NFL and the New England Patriots are the second best team in the league. They are the model franchise in the league and as a fan, the Patriots are going to have a shot to go to New Orleans next year to compete in the Super Bowl.
Your Patriots are not the 0-4 Buffalo Bills of the nineties nor are they the Minnesota Vikings of the seventies. They are not the team that finally gets to the Super Bowl once every ten years. So, quit crying in your Pepsi. The Patriots will be in the hunt again next season. The good news is that their defense got better at the end of the season and that will help prolong Tom Brady’s career. Yes, Brady is the focal point of our frustration this week and he might have had his days in the sun already, but come on, he still commands respect from 31 other teams in the league. He has a few more runs at the Vince Lombardi trophy. Don’t throw him under the bus.
A couple of things we will probably never see again in the same game took place in Indianapolis on Super Bowl Sunday. First was the safety on the Patriots’ first possession. Second, was the last score for the Giants when the Patriot defense let them score so the Patriots could get the ball back again for one final shot at a hail mary pass. Both plays were bizarre and needed explanation. The tough one was when you have to let the other team score because the time and the score are against you. That was desperation and frustration at its best. Other than that, the game was a chess match between two veteran coaches. All young coaches please take note of this. Regiment and discipline were the key words throughout both coaches’ preparation. Finally, one player usually does not make a difference in the Super Bowl, but the 21-17 score really favors a healthy Patriot Rob Gronowski as being the player who gets the Patriots a victory. So let’s all of us move on, the Celtics are back and pitchers and catchers will be reporting soon to Florida and Arizona.
Looking forward to upcoming Clark Tournament during President’s week in Worcester. There will be plenty of local teams with Bartlett, Shepherd Hill, and Oxford representing the South County. WGFP will be there to broadcast and follow the local teams. Matt Morway and Pete Geanis will once again be making the calls at the Clark on the 940 AM dial.
Finally, a tip of the hat goes out to longtime friend and teammate Mike Hackenson. Mike retired from the Principal’s seat at Bartlett last week after 34 years of dedication and loyalty to helping kids in the Oxford and Webster school systems. Hackenson wore a lot of hats during his career. Classroom teacher, assistant football coach, head baseball coach, athletic director, principal at Oxford and Bartlett. His baseball teams at Oxford won a state championship in the eighties and another one won the District title when proposition two and a half negated the state playoffs. As the Principal of Oxford, Hackenson served a rare dual role and took on the Athletic Director duties also because of the tough economical times. The guy has been a winner his whole life. Enjoy, my friend, you deserve it.