It got a little dicey there somewhere in the middle of that game. No sooner did we think, all right, we have these damn porpoises right where we want them, than all of a sudden the stupid orange-and-teal-wearers were driving 120 yards on back-to-back possessions and slapping us in the face with 10 unanswered points going into halftime.
Worse, this set the talking heads (DAN MARINO) into a Pats-hatin' frenzy, blathering on about the Pats defense being frauds and how Miami had to be happy and their mothers must be so proud.
The third quarter didn't get much better, either. For nearly 20 tooth-grinding clock minutes the teams were locked in stalemate with only that tiny three-point lead between us and losing to guys who frequently wear bright orange shoes.
I don't know what it is about football that brings out the savage beast in me. It's not just me, though, I suppose. My buddy Brian (Chicago fan) and I can talk baseball till we're blue in the face with nary but the friendliest debate about the Cubs, Sox, AL, NL, et al. But suddenly it's football season and he's up in my grille nonstop about THE BEARS GO BEARS PATRIOTS SUCK.
Which I guess is fine because I can't claim not to have the same affliction. Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing Ben Roethlisberger get sacked on every single play from scrimmage for the rest of his career. I hope Peyton Manning bursts into tears on the sideline this season. I, too, get to a certain point with the Patriots and their opponents where it gets pretty ridiculously personal. On Sunday, I wanted Roosevelt Colvin to snap Joey Harrington over his knee. I wanted the Patriots to score 27 more points ASAP by about 5 minutes into that third quarter. And the thought of losing to Miami, especially after the prediction-gauntlet thrown by SI in their NFL preview issue, was suddenly, ridiculously, unbearable. I guess this is what football season does to a person.
So then, just after Miami took the ball again for another possession, there was Asante Samuel picking off the Harrington pass, and wham, bam, thank you ma'am, that's the ball game, and don't let the door hit you in your seagoing mammalian asses.
I stood up and clapped. I clapped the slow, emphatic clap of the football fan with an unhealthy competitive streak and a transference problem.
God, I love football season.
And with the following, I leave you. In case you missed it.
Q: Hey, Tom, I have to ask you about Matt Cassel, your sidekick.
Q: Because what went on this week between the two of you guys? What happened?
TB: Yes. Matt and I fight like teenage girls.
Q: You do?
TB: Yes, we do.
Q: What happened?
TB: We are always slapping each other around and wrestling and slap boxing and [messing] around with each other in the weight room. And so I decided to take that to the next level. And we were messing around in the quarterback room one day and he walked in with a milkshake, and I kind of put my foot by the door, and I kicked the door and the milkshake splashed up and went all over him. So he sat down, and I was laughing. So I said give me the towel, because I wanted to clean up the wall. So I threw the towel at his face, and it had shake all over it. He had a little shake in his mouth and he spit it all over me.
Q: So Cassel spit on you?
TB: Yes. So we had all this shake all over us. I smelled terrible. So I just laughed. I said I don't get mad, I get even. So the next day, I had one of my friends remove all the tires from his car and leave them right at his locker as he walked in off the practice field. So it was pretty good. He had to walk home that day.
Q: So let me get this straight. You had his car up on cinderblocks?
TB: Yes. It was up on cinderblocks, sitting right out in the parking lot. It was pretty funny.
Q: What did you do with the tires?
TB: I had three of them, and I made him search for the fourth one. I didn't tell him where the fourth one was. But all three of them were stacked up. So he was getting undressed after practice undoing the tape on his ankles, sitting on his tires. It was pretty funny.
Q: Did Cassel do anything to your car?
TB: No. I think I scared him. I don't know if you guys have ever seen the movie "Braveheart," but at the end when Mel Gibson is lying there and the king is laying on his death bed and the guy who is torturing him says, you just claim your allegiance to Long Shanks, so I made him call me Long Shanks. And after that we called a truce. So he knows that now I am willing to go to any, any depths to make him pay. So I think Matt Light was involved and I'm still looking for a confirmation on that. He filled my car, the entire car with Styrofoam peanuts, which he did the following day. And it was a rainy day, he opened the sunroof, and filled the entire car with it.
Q: Who did?
TB: Matt Light, and he blamed it on Cassel. But I know Cassel is way too scared to do anything. Matt Light is still claiming that he didn't do anything, but I've got confirmation from several different sources. So I am still waiting to get him back. But Belichick kind of called a moratorium on pranks at this point.
"Yes. Matt and I fight like teenage girls." That was the cherry on top of the sundae right there.