On his way out the door last night, my father, the one who taught me everything I know about being a Pats fan, put his hand on my slumped shoulder, looked into my dejected face with his own expression of genuine concern and said, "Remember. It's only entertainment."
I guess you could say I took this one hard. Real hard. Like, "I knew I should've stayed away from the Internet and even promised my family I would after the game but couldn't resist getting sucked into flame wars anyway" hard. Like, "typed and deleted the first sentence of this blog post over and over and over last night" hard.
See, it's not that I assumed or took for granted that the Patriots would win (despite assumptions otherwise by the fans of other teams who have come gleefully out of the woodwork to kick whatever Pats fans they can find while we're down). It's that I knew since last Sunday, when we found out who the Patriots' opponent would be, that a loss would be absolutely unbearable.
Because it's not just about losing -- it's also about losing, when it really mattered, to THEM.