Monday, February 04, 2008

What a Game!

I haven't watched much football since I moved out of my parents' house (13 years ago), but for some reason I felt like watching the Super Bowl last night. Since we don't get UHF in the house (!), I decided to go down the street to Rockwell's Neighborhood Grill. My wife cares even less about sports, but I managed to talk her into going, too.

Thanks to her dilly-dallying, we missed the first quarter, but I was pleased to find an empty table at the restaurant with good TV sight lines. We ate dinner, had a few drinks, and watched the rest of the game. My reluctant wife was glad she came because she liked the commercials. I was glad because, unlike most Super Bowls I've seen, it was a helluva game. Plus, since the restaurant had fewer people than they expected, we scored lots of swag, including three T-shirts, a bottle opener, and some Bud Bowl beads. As the snow began to fall outside, we were glad we had chosen the neighborhood joint -- I'd rather not be on the road after the game with three inches of snow and a bunch of drunks.

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers were reliable as always at halftime, delivering four quick hits. I was surprised by the song selection. Three of the songs came from Petty's "solo" album Full Moon Fever, released 19 years ago. They are all classics, but I thought the band would mix it up a little more. Petty's beard made him look like an old man, which I suppose he is becoming at 57. I felt old when I realized that it's been 20 years since I saw him live at Poplar Creek Music Theater (R.I.P.).

I wasn't heavily invested in either team, but I wanted the Giants to win since they were underdogs (with apologies to Jen Garrett, the only Patriots fan I know). The entire game was very close -- each team always within a touchdown of the other -- and the suspense was palpable on every play. The three lead changes during the fourth quarter set a Super Bowl record. When the Patriots went ahead with less than three minutes remaining, I wondered whether the Giants could respond. They did, yet the Patriots still had time to take a few shots at the end zone. The game was riveting right down to the second-to-last second. With one second left, hordes of people from both teams ran onto the field thinking the game was over. They had to be chased off so that the Giants could down the ball. It was a goofy finish to a spectacular game.

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