Waiting for the Pats-Jints game this time around is like dating a guy you mad crushed on who broke your heart: Caution is the watchword. This time around, I'm trying not to get too caught up in the heady whirlwind of emotion. I am being as coy about this game as that girl in your third period math class who used to act like she kinda sorta liked you, until she didn't, and then asked your friend why you were mad at her. I am just...holding a little in reserve. This time, I'm not haunting the NFL/Sports Illustrated/SB Nation websites looking for that one more piece of analysis. I'm going to be all zen and relaxed and ... who am I kidding, if I thought about it, I'd be the original cat on a hot tin roof, so I've put a mental moratorium on all things pigskin - AFTER I get this one post off my chest. So here, for your reading pleasure, are all the thoughts that pinwheel through my cranium in my weak moments when I allow myself to wonder "what if":
This I Know For Sure
I know half the Patriots will be on the medical list just to screw with everyone's head. Brandon Spikes will have kwaashikor, Wes Welker will have piles, and the third assistant mailboy will have a persistent hangnail.
I know "rock out with your Gronk out" is the best almost-obscene-yet-still-acceptable catchphrase I've heard in some time.
I know Hoodie will be dressed for success in his trademark sweatshirt; the question is, will he wear the formal dress hoodie with intact sleeves, or will he keep the streak alive with the cutoff Flashdance look?
I know TownieNews.com does the best job of encapsulating the bitter/loyal/arrogant/insecure/perpetually dissatisfied tone of the average Baaahstahn sports fan. GFY!
I know I'm making whoopie pies during the game, because I spent the last two games in a frenzy of stress-induced cooking, so I can't stop now. Besides, that way, if the game and/or the outcome suck, I still have something to look forward to.
What Keeps Me Awake At Night
Osi Umeyura (sp? not bad for off the cuff!). That guy who caught that one pass on the back of his head. Eli performing in front of Peyton in his big brother's stomping grounds. Bad juju. Gronk's ankle injury. The thought of another NY franchise ruining New England's dreams.
Cross Your Fingers
I hope Brady takes apart the Giants D like a butcher piecing a chicken, while Eli's bland, blond and pretty wife bows down in recognition of her inferiority to Gisele.
I hope Gronk runs into the end zone five times with helpless Giant defense linemen hanging off him like baby possums off their mama.
I hope Hernandez adds subliminal messages to his sleeve tats that cause disorientation and mass confusion, resulting in two Giants running TDs into their own end zone.
I hope Vince Wilfork envelops Eli in his meaty embrace so many times, Eli thinks they're going steady.
I hope the Giants lose so badly, their 2011-2012 squad has to enter the witness protection program for their own safety.
I hope Anubis, the dog-headed god, stalks the Giants sidelines looking for souls to steal and turning Gatorade to ice. I hope the spirit of Myra H. Kraft descends from the heavens accompanied by a host of angels who turn to harpies that shred the flesh of unwitting G-men while their harsh cries drive Jints fans insane. I hope the earth cleaves in the Giants' end zone as Kronos and his Titan children emerge from the deep to bat down every point after TD the Giants attempt. I hope Zephyr and Aeolus cause gale-force winds inside the dome every time Eli cocks his arm to throw. I hope the primal scream of every Pats fan in the nation reverberates so deep, it registers on the Richter scale. I hope Hel, Hades, and Loki cast dice on the sidelines for the souls of the Giants' front seven before summoning them to the underworld. I hope the restless spirit of Billy Cundiff (yeah, he's not dead yet, but he's dead to a lot of Ravens fans, now, isn't he?) infects the punter's leg. I hope, to paraphrase my friend and philosopher Jack, that the Patriots are up 72-0 in the fourth quarter, and Brady is still passing the ball on fourth down and a cab ride. I hope for nothing more than a defeat so resounding in its entirety that every doubter, shouter, Belichick hater and Brady berater has no choice but to admit their erroneous ways, renounce all their worldly possessions and enter an ashram.
Okay, maybe not. But another Lombardi trophy? That I *do* hope to see.
And now, we shall not speak of this again. Promise.