After last year’s AFC championship game I rewatched this video about 1020930392 times. (Also this one because so many lols #soundon).
If you’re not feeling like clicking, basically the gist is this: the Patriots have a crappy start to their season. Everyone asks, as usual, “is this the end of the dynasty?!” Pats turn it around, as usual, and make it to the AFC championship game. And win, in overtime, 37 to 31. A nail biter, literally.
My friend Tom (a girl can dream, right?) sums it up pretty nicely to my other friend Chris (still dreaming):
“I’m too old. You’re too slow. We’ve got no skill players. We’ve got no defense. We’ve got nothing.”
A casual nod to the haters from a team on the way to their eleventh Super Bowl.
What, you ask, does this have to do with me?
It was this game where I felt my turn-around coming. A little spark of life peeped out that night from around the corner.
Honestly, the weeks before that game bad been particularly challenging. Between the first-holiday-season-post-divorce and post-holiday-season-blues, everything had piled together and I was in a serious funkkkkk.
Right up until that fateful evening when I made the first crucial connections between my weird little life and my weird little football obsession.
Bear with me, I swear there are parallels here and I’m not totally insane. Because, truly, my team had been in a funk too! And somehow, with The Patriot Way and a sprinkle of Brady magic, they had pulled it together. So much so that they were going to the Super Bowl.
It was time for me to pull it together too.
Yes, maybe this emotional investment is something that happens when girls get involved in the world of sports. It’s also possible I’m just a nut. Whatever. I’m a human with a heart and sometimes these things happen.
Either way. Here we are.
This team and this game had proven a point:
Great things can still come after great failure.
And yes, it’s possible that to some of you last year’s Super Bowl was one of the more boring in history.
It’s also possible I’m biased because A) I got to go (thanks Dad!) and B) we won, but still! The game was a defensive masterpiece; a demonstration of slow-moving, steady, sturdy, hard-worked winning.
Maybe not thrilling, but maybe that’s not the point.
In real life/football life we don’t always get to take the most exciting or problem-free journey, but sometimes, in the end, it doesn’t matter. We still get to celebrate. And that day, when that confetti came down, it was a celebration like none other. A celebration of resilience. Bounce-back. Community. Overcoming odds. Becoming stronger, more brilliant, more successful humans despite setbacks and criticisms and NOISE.
So HELL YA I took this season personally. Again, for emphasis: HELL to the YA. There I was, watching a team win that had overcome their odds, finally ready to overcome my own. Ready to climb out of a headspace where I was forgettable, unwanted and uninteresting. Not smart. Not strong. Not desirable.
Again, parallels abound, and I’d like to remind any of you who’ve forgotten that the Patriots hashtag for last year’s season was #STILLHERE.
Fitting. Looks like I’m #STILLHERE too.
I will not be told I am unworthy. I will not be told I am forgettable.
I will be respected.
I will be bigger. I will be stronger. I will overcome this mess and be the better for it.
I am going to win my own freaking Super Bowl.