Am still in shock about how the Patriots lost to Denver.
I�ll be brief and then move on. It�s hard to ignore how their incredible run � certainly one of the top 5 NFL runs of all time � could end in such an ugly, ignomious way. Will just say they were NOT beaten by a better team. A couple of BAD calls were enough to do them in, and on top that, those 5 turnovers were just plain unreal. Vinateri missing a chip shot. Brady getting picked when they were on the verge of taking the game over. They don�t make mistakes like this � absolutely no explanation for it.
Denver�s offense was a non-factor in the game � all their points came at the expense of Patriot miscues and bad calls that robbed them of a game they should have won. To be fair, Denver�s defence really was the story � they forced a lot of those mistakes that did the Pats in � they beat themselves - this was no Orange Crush, and Jake Plummer is no Tom Brady. And the AFC final should be a great game.
All I can say is that the same sports gods who slipped the mojo of my Red Sox to the Chisox decided it was time to do the same to the Patriots. It�s just how they even things out in the big scheme of things. All the breaks that always seemed to go the Patriots� way the past 4 years were balanced out in one game here, and most of that in the last 90 seconds of the first half! Cruel, cruel, ye gods.
No doubt, the �tuck rule� Super Bowl Patriots would have had those calls go their way � so, pass interference getting called on Denver, not us � which is what should have happened. Ben Watson�s brilliant effort to stop Champ Bailey could have resulted in a Patriot touchback, changing the whole complexion of the game. But they didn�t get those calls, and the gods can now rest easy � there will be no 3peat, and the rest of the football world can take solace in watching the Pats get some comeuppance. Ok, I'm over it now.
Given this was a full moon weekend, and it was Friday the 13th, it�s not surprising that the sports gods had other teams on their mind as well. How else do you explain Vangerjagt missing yesterday with the season on the line?? All I could think of was how similar it was to Vinateri missing in a situation on Saturday where he�s come through without fail. Of course, Van�s was much more critical, and it didn�t help to be wearing #13! I�ll bet those two guys will have a lot to commiserate about in the off-season.
And Bettis fumbling for the first time all year, in a situation that could/should have let Indy pull off a fantastic come from behinder??? This just doesn�t happen. And it�s no way for the Bus to end his great career. And just to come full circle, I had a feeling Pittsburgh would win, letting them do the dirty work to dispatch the Colts. All the Pats had to do was beat Denver � as they should have � and the road to Detroit would have then gone through Foxborough, where you know they would have beaten the Steelers. Yeah, yeah, whatever. Bring on the Panthers�.. I�ll be busy reading up on the Red Sox spring training schedule�..
Let�s move on the present � it�s much more uplifting�.
Blues is another of my passions, and tonight is our version of the Academy Awards in Canada. I�m a long time board member of the Toronto Blues Society, and tonight is our Maple Blues Awards event. In recent years this has grown to a national event and I recently posted a link for Canadian blues fans to vote online for their favorite homegrown blues performers. It�s really cool and it�s a great way to recognize our best, many of whom toil endlessly in the clubs, keeping the blues alive. Can�t help but notice it�s on MLK day this year � a happy coincidence, although the holiday has zero significance in Canada unfortunately.
Tomorrow I�ll post the highlights of all the winners � can�t do that now � it�s a big secret! Until then, I�m posting a wonderful profile of Richard Flohil, which ran in the Globe & Mail on Saturday. Richard has served the TBS for many years on the board, and is one of those seen-it-all guys with great stories about everyone in the blues biz over the past 40 years or so. In recognition for a lifetime of making Canadian blues happen, Richard is being honored with our Blues Booster Award. The article has some great anecdotes of his that any blues lover will enjoy, so check it out!