Super Bowl 49

It’s about one hour until kick-off, and I’m excited. And, nervous.

It should be a great game, but, for me, there’s more at stake. First, a few hours ago, a very connected journalist reported that “there wasn’t much deflation” going on with the Patriots’ footballs a few weeks ago. So, I’m stunned that the NFL has allowed so much gossip to go on for so long. We’ll see what the investigation reveals, but, to me, it feels like a lot of damaging hearsay over something pretty minor.

Second, I really hope that the Patriots win. Of course, if they do, we in New England get to “co-adulate” with the team’s victory. But, we’ve been pretty blessed in Boston, given the championship runs the Patriots, Bruins, Red Sox and Celtics have had the past 14 years.

For me, I’m cheering for the Patriots because I’m cheering for the players. Not the coaches or the owners, but the in-the-dirt and we-can-cut-you-whenever-we want players. Many grew up in tough single-parent households. Many grew up with the odds against them. Many felt, because of their race or poverty, that they were not special.

But, they’ve persisted.

To succeed in the NFL requires tremendous mental fortitude. Many, many players with tremendous physical abilities have washed out. The ones who do well have mental toughness.

So, I’m cheering for the Patriots players. They’ve overcome a great deal and can be champions. Keep an eye out for #96, Sealver Siliga, about whom I wrote last year here.

I hope they win and realize that they really are special. Go Pats!

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