Friday night will, invariably, go down as the most electric night in New England sports lore. Not only did the Boston Red Sox win their first World Series title at Fenway Park in 95 years, the New England Patriots then won their fourth Super Bowl title, squeaking out a victory over the Seattle Seahawks, 28-24.
Now, some of you may be wondering whether or not I’ve succumbed completely to cabin fever and completely lost my marbles. Will the cops find me walking like a chicken, naked, up and down my street while clucking out The National Anthem?
[I will pay for the remote therapy for anyone traumatized by that image.]
The short answer is no. I realize I’ve been ordered to stay at home, and I realize that all professional sports have been cancelled for three weeks now, and for the foreseeable future.
What I am doing is practicing cognitive dissonance. In other words, while I know I was watching reruns of the aforementioned sporting events, I simultaneously believed that I watched them in real time.
So allow me to indulge you with some takeaways from this inimitable night of regional dominance.
First, John Lackey more than made up for his beer and fried chicken transgression in 2011 with one of his gutsiest mound performances in his Red Sox tenure.
Lackey went six and two-thirds solid innings, winning Game 6 and paving the way for lights out All-Star closer Koji Uehara.
While this team of bearded journeyman—Mike Napoli, Shane Victorino, Daniel Nava, “Hacksaw” Jonny Gomes—had little business being World Champions, the city united around them following the Boston Marathon bombing and they played over their heads.
In many ways, this was the most unlikely title the Sox notched to date. When the final out was recorded, I leaped up from my chair, pumped my fist and hugged my wife, who looked at me quizzically.
“Um, you know this is repeat, right?” she said.
I wiped my eyes my shirt sleeve. “This never gets old, baby,” I said, choking on a sob. “What’s next?”
Then I turned the channel and answered my own question.
Super Bowl XLIX may have been one of the strangest ending in the history of the game where Seattle and former-Pats head coach Pete Carroll, on the one yard line down four points with 30 seconds left and the most dominant running back in the game, Marshawn Lynch, decided to run a quick slant that was intercepted by Malcolm Butler, securing the Pats fourth ring in 15 years and cementing the legacies of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick as the greatest coach/quarterback tandem of all time.
I just hope that the relationship doesn’t grow so contentious that Brady someday leaves and goes someplace, like Tampa, to finish his career.
As for Pete Carroll’s unfathomably stupid play call, there’s only one plausible explanation: Carol Baskin was responsible. Carroll and Carol—a coincidence, I think not.
Again, I got up and hugged my wife, falling into her, emotionally exhausted. “Oh, what a magical night it’s been,” I said to her.
“Go to bed. You’re drunk,” she said.
And thus concluded the most storybook night on my life as a New England sports’ fan. The next exercise in cognitive dissonance will be trying to convince my bookie to take bets on these games.