As a native New Englander, I watched with interest as the boys from Foxborough dispensed with the Philadelphia Eagles, by a 24-21 count. As I’ve written elsewhere, I’m not a huge football fan, but I have a certain interest in the team from the days when I watched them as a wee lad, when they went by the name of the Boston Patriots and played their games at Fenway Park in downtown Boston.
When I looked at the TV listings page in my local paper, I saw with horror that the game was being carried by Fox. My expectations were greatly reduced for enjoyment of the game, knowing just how much Fox manages to take the simple beauty of baseball and turn it into a bastardized spectacle that approaches what Hollywood does to your favorite novel. I imagined they would do the same with football, also. They didn’t let me down.
Now I don’t expect most sound bite aficionados to appreciate sports in their purity like I do. I mean, I was reading the late Susan Sontag bemoan the death of cinephilia with the TV sound down during commercials! But for the love of Christ, can they dispense with all the stupid graphics, weird camera angles and incessant chatter of the halftime analysts and just give us the game?
Despite my general disgust with what professional sports have become, there is something refreshing about the old-fashioned Bill Belichick and his lunch pail gang of players who are a throwback to the blue-collar teams of the 1960’s such as the Green Bay Packers, Baltimore Colts and the run-and-gun days of the renegade AFL.
I can almost expect to see Tom Brady, Tedy Bruschi and the rest of the Patriots in the old grainy black and white films from bygone days, produced by NFL films.
Congratulations to the Patriots—Super Bowl champions for three out of the past four years!