Monday, February 4, 2008

An (Almost) Super Bowl Smack Down

Last night, as I was cheering on the Giants deep in the heart of Patriots Nation and receiving more than a few death rays from everyone in the bar, my conservative friend leaned over to me and whispered, "Now you know what it's like being a Republican in this city."

And it was true. Just as she once bravely walked into a voting booth at the last presidential election wearing a huge elephant T-shirt amongst a sea of donkeys, so I confidently stepped into a Boston bar during the Super Bowl, proudly wearing my Big Blue hat at the risk of certain death, or at least not being served alcohol.

Strangely enough, my only supporter in the crowd was an Eagles fan who was tired of hearing about the "mythical" Patriots, as if they were born of unicorns and capable of striking down the Giants with bolts of lightning on the field. I wasn't about to reject the one person in the place who didn't want to kill me, so I smiled and tolerated her Eagles-loving ways for a few minutes.
It was either entertaining her or one of the locals who had a Patriots helmet tattooed to his forehead.

Even though the situation looked bleak after the Patriots scored their last touchdown in the fourth quarter with only a couple of minutes to spare, I had complete confidence in my team. When the Giants won, a silence enveloped the bar that was quickly broken by my triumphant squeals. I immediately grabbed the phone to offer my congratulations and thanks to my dad, whose sacrifice to his personal hygiene by wearing his lucky blue socks for two weeks straight to secure a Giants win will sadly go unrecognized by the general public.

"Congratulations, Dad!"

"Shut up!"

"Heh?"

I turned my head and saw the biggest, reddest-faced Patriots fan in the joint all up in our grill. He was screaming at my Republican friend who hadn't been rooting for either team to win. She quickly pointed an accusing finger my way, "But she's the one with the hat!"

"I don't care! I'm talking to you!" the angry man sneered.

Little did he know that living in a hostile, liberal state for years had grown her some big, elephant balls. Still, I feared for the briefest of moments that I'd have to excuse myself from my conversation with my dad to whip some Boston butt.

Thankfully, the red-faced man's girlfriend came to his rescue and dragged him away from what would have been an even more humiliating defeat at the hands of a spunky blonde and pink corduroy jeans-wearing brunette.

Even though I've been living in Boston for quite some time now, I still was not prepared for the Patriots fans' reaction to the game. The newscasters covered the event as if it were a funeral. People at work were dressed all in black--a pathetic few refused to take off their Patriots jackets as they sat and typed up financial reports at their desks. One woman from Foxboro they highlighted on the six o'clock news was bawling her eyes out. "I can't believe they lost!" she cried. "Now what do we have to look forward to here? Our beefed up police squad and the new manager at Stop & Shop! That's it!"

I know I shouldn't be taking such joy at my fellow neighbors' depression, but it's hard not to when you've been dealing with the arrogance of Boston sports fans all season long. Come to think of it, maybe the Patriots are mythical after all. What is that Greek story about hubris again...