FROM A SINGLE MAN’S DIARY
A couple nights a week I like to fix myself something special for my evening TV viewing……. Tonight I cooked shrimp in butter and seasoning - sometimes I try fish, other nights,,, Pizza from scratch or some pasta with a sauce that I kinda conjure up. I just like to try different things and I’m learning to enjoy the process from start to finish. I’ve never been much of a cook and I’m certainly no connoisseur, but I went out and got myself some pans and a cook book and I’m starting to learn about seasonings,,,,, I’m trying to enjoy myself more…
I’ve decided to start writing an article. Maybe something for a newspaper…… or for a blog…. Maybe just something that I will enjoy reading myself….. Maybe something that I will want to share….. Maybe not….
My story, I’m a widowed gentleman, living alone and enjoying it. She’s been gone over 20 years now…… Once a week or so, I prepare myself a nice meal….. I don’t date…. I don’t shop around looking to meet someone…. I had my great love… I’ve met a lot of fantastic ladies since she passed on, but I she was my great love… Everything, when measured next to that, comes out in second place.
AND, that’s very difficult for a lady to understand. They all want to wind up in first place with the man they love. Even it it’s not love; they want to be in first place…. We might be best of friends and we might have great sex, we might really enjoy being together, but we might also enjoy having our time to ourselves… Well, that’s all fine and dandy, for a while!!!! You get together for dinner or maybe go to a movie and have a couple of cocktails after……. Weeks pass, months maybe, possibly even years… You spend a lot of time together having a wonderful time…… but somehow if it doesn’t seem like it’s leading to marriage….. It’s like, if we aren’t planning to sign that contract… Well, somehow it all starts falling apart. If things aren’t progressing toward what most ladies perceive as the ultimate ending,,,, MARRIAGE!!!! Look out!!! It’s likely there are going to be problems… I just want a good lady friend, who is comfortable in her life, but wants a good gentleman friend to share her life…. But, I digress,,,,,I was preparing a new recipe,,,,, one I’ve never tried before,,,, I’ve read about it, but I‘ve never prepared it. It happens to be a new experiment. It’s December 29th, 2007 and I’m watching the Patriots try to go 16 & O for the season. A record setting accomplishment. Tom Brady and Randy Moss can both establish new records in this game. They’re playing the Giants on NFL Network. But that’s another story. CBS and NBC will simulcast the broadcast. History Making???? I don’t know, but it sure makes it likely that there are going to be one hell of a lot of people watching this game…..
Suffice it to say, it’s a really big game…. I’m in the process of recording it on my “TiVo“ and I keep pausing it to concentrate on preparing my meal or to slip into my office to jot down my thoughts about the game for this article…. Partially, because I want to remember what a great game it is and partially, because I wanted to see if I could write something interesting about it. Something that might be of interest to others,,,,, By the time I finish watching the game, it’s after 3:00 in the morning and I’ve had the time of my life.
What a great time to be a “single” sports nut…. Football season is still going on, basketball season has already started, although I don’t watch hockey, it’s in full swing and they are starting to talk about spring training in baseball….. Soon it will be time for March Madness. Add to that the fact that the very first Fed X cup in golf was just a couple months ago. What a great buzz that created for golf,,,,, The new “season” is on the horizon, I’m afraid if I had a woman in my life, she’d leave me for being who I am, this time of the year….. I’m not ashamed to admit it, I love watching sports on TV. I could never expect a woman to put up with all of that. I’d feel guilty all the time. But, living alone, I do what I want, when I want…… and that doesn’t amount to very much, this time of the year. Well, really anytime of the year… It’s always something, the Kentucky Derby, The NCAA basketball playoffs, The bowl season, the Super Bowl, the Masters, US and British Opens, the PGA,,,,, There always seems to be a big event coming up that I’m interested in seeing….. And, being single, I don’t have to apologize to anybody about wanting to watch it. I can go to the pub to watch it, to my son’s house, to the Legion or, as I most often do, I can sit in front of my own TV, Tivo on, remote in hand and watch it all by myself, nobody disturbing me… and I’m in charge of all the slo-mo replays that I might want to go through. I will say though, it’s a good thing I quit watching baseball a few years back, when they had the strike season. It’s also fortunate that I don’t watch hockey, tennis, or soccer. I’d probably have to buy another Tivo to find a way to watch them all and I’d never be able to find enough time to go grocery shopping.
Boy, it’s a good thing I don’t have any interest in NASCAR…. There’s just no way I could add another sport to my busy schedule….. The only way I could have it any better would be if I were a sports writer or broadcaster…… I’ve always thought that those guys have it made…. They get to go to all sorts of sporting events, then they get to write or talk about it and to top it all off, they most likely get in free and THEY GET PAID FOR IT!!!!! Not only that, if they have a woman in their life, she just absolutely has to understand, cause, THAT’S HOW THEY EARN THEIR LIVING!!!!
Well, I’m not a writer, not a broadcaster either,,,,, and those kind of understanding women don’t see much in a guy like me….. But, I never have to apologize. …. There are times when I get lonely and I sometimes long for a woman in my life, but you have to weigh the consequences. I never argue, I eat what I want, when I want. I don’t worry about staying trim and looking nice for “her”. I drink what I want, as often as I want, I come and go as I please, I never have to ask permission,,,,, and did I mention that I never have to apologize? I’m retired. I go to bed when I want and I get up when I feel like it. How could life get any better?
Course, there are some trade off’s… sometimes it gets lonely….. especially during the Holidays. Sometimes it’s boring…. There’s nobody pushing you to get this or that done, (so it generally doesn’t get done…) The lawn needs mowing, but it can wait another day or two,,,,, My back yard’s a mess, my brick patio isn’t finished, the planters aren’t finished, the house needs a coat of paint and you know what, I really don’t give a damn. I just don’t care that much anymore. I wish I did, but I just don’t. I’m sure if I had a woman in my life, those things would seem more important to me, BUT right now????? Nahhhhhh.
Yesterday, I had breakfast with a married couple who are my very best friends….. They are perfectly happy with each other, they enjoy being together, they enjoy their life, their kids, their grandkids and they are very active with their other friends. They go on trips….. live winters here and summers in Michigan and either of them would simply go bonkers if they didn’t have the other. I sometimes envy that, but you know what? I have it pretty damn good too…..Oh, I’d like to have a lady in my life, but I’m so damn set in my ways, I’ve been single so long, I just don’t know if I could stand the guilt I’d feel if she wanted me to do something else when one of my games was on. There just aren’t many women who want that type of a relationship. I’d want to have dinner with her, go to a movie now and then, have a drink together, make love every once in a while and watch the sun come up together….. I’d want someone who would go to my various functions with me and I would enjoy going to her various functions with her,,,,, BUT!!!!! When my game comes on, DON’T BOTHER ME!!!!
Speaking of the game, if the Patriots should lose, it will be because of the very 1st drive of the game….. The Giants took the opening kickoff and marched it in for 7 points… on the opening drive???? They are the first team this season to score a touchdown on the opening drive against the Patriots. As mentioned, this is the 16th game of the season. There have been 15 other first drives and not one time have they allowed a touchdown. Now that’s a great DEFENSE… Do you follow what I'm saying here? Folks, this is the offensive minded Patriots. The team that just set a record for the most touchdown passes by a quarterback in a single season and let me tell you, the emotion gained by the Giants and the let down to the Patriots on that very first drive,,,,,,,,, Think about it,,,,,,, if it’s a three and out instead of a touchdown,,,,,,, we have a whole different ball game. BUT!!!! What happened? The Giants score. then their defense STOPS THE PATRIOT OFFENSE????? Who’da thunk it????? That’s even bigger than the offense taking it to the house on the opening drive….. I don’t have the statistic at my disposal, but earlier in the year the Patriots were on a record setting streak of consecutive games in which they scored on the opening drive. I haven’t heard the talking heads mention it lately, so I’m sure that the streak ended, but it was at least 6 or 7 games into this season and they had scored on every single opening drive. And,,,,, (if I’m not mistaken) they had scored a touchdown, ON THAT OPENING DRIVE???? THAT’S PHENOMENAL Like we didn’t already know that they were a great team, they have to announce it on every opening drive too?????
Win, lose or draw tonight, THE PATRIOTS ARE A GREAT TEAM!!!! But, WHAT HAD THE BIGGEST AFFECT on the outcome of the game??? It’s kind of hard to look past those two opening drives. The Giants score a touchdown then a three and out for the Patriots. On a later possession, the Patriots kick a field goal, then they score a touchdown…. Brady to Moss, Touchdown!!! It has happened pretty regularly this year. It’s No Big Deal, the Patriots are in the lead…….. BY 3 POINTS!!!! Who didn’t think they’d be ahead by two or more touchdowns by this time in the game????? They’re up by three points????? But NOT FOR LONG!!!!! They kickoff to the Giants…. Course, they are kicking off from their own 20 because of a penalty for excessive celebration after the touchdown….. THEIR OWN 20!!!! Well, I’ll be dog gone, lookie there Wilbur,,,,, the Giants ran the kickoff back for a touchdown…. Is this shaping up to be one of the best games ever, or what?
“SIXTEEN SECONDS OFF THE CLOCK AND TWO TOUCHDOWNS HAVE BEEN SCORED. 16 TEN!!!! GIANTS!!!!” That’s Bryant Gumble (or is it Greg Gumble?) as they are going to commercial break. I’m telling ya, this is a fun game to be watching. So glad I stayed in and cooked that shrimp snack.
Later it’s Manning to Burroughs (or something like that, all I know is he graduated from Michigan State. I’m originally from Michigan, I still root for all teams from Michigan. Even the Damn Lions!!!!! …….And I know that Bouroughs went to MSU ) So, Anyway Manning to Bouroghsssss ????? 28 - 16 Giants!!!!! GIANTS????? Are you kidding me. THE NEW YORK GIANTS are beating the Patriots…. THE 15 - 000000HHHH PATRIOTS????? Is there anybody watching this game, who at this point isn’t convinced that the Patriots are going to win this game…. Brady’s going to pull this out. It’s the lousy Giants for cripe sakes !!!!
Later still, the Patriots take it in for a score to make it 28 – 23, then they kick off to Hixon who returns it to the 40.….. What the hell’s happening here???? This is the Giants, they shouldn’t be on the same field with Tom’s team….. Oh, ya, did I mention that Brady came out of University of Michigan….. GO BLUE!!!!!! We better sit up and take notice. These guys are trying to make a game of it……. Manning to Toomer, (Yep you guessed it Toomer’s out of Michigan too….) for a critical 1st down pickup… They certainly seem to have come to play…… Manning, back to pass, DROPPED! Manning to Toomer, short of the first down. Adalias Thomas takes out Plaxico Bourass. Manning to Toomer for another first down. Adalias Thomas sacks Manning!!!!!! Manning completes it to Jacobs but, it’s short of the first down. Giants to punt….. What a costly sack!!!! That could be the game changing play right there folks…… If the Patriots pull this out, we need to remember that sack by Adalias Thomas. Patriots ball, down 28 – 23, end of the third quarter.
The game of the century? Is that possible for a game ending the “regular season?” A game between two teams that have already qualified for the playoffs? Is it possible that such a game could be the game of the century? Patriots take over inside their own 20, Brady to Faulk for a first down… Brady short over the middle to Moss, Brady to Moss, incomplete. The patriots will punt.
Chris Hansen punts it to R. W. McQuarters. Hansen sounds like the guy who used to play for my Lions and I know McQuarters played a few games for them. Anyway, he gets dropped in his tracks…. Manning crushes under the pressure and fumbles the snap….. Could this game also determine his future??? If Manning can win this game it could be a career defining moment…. If they lose after he fumbled the snap, late in the game. It could spell the beginning of the end, Manning to throw, tipped by Adalias Thomas 3rd and 11, talk about pressure!!!! Collingsworth mentions that once again it’s the pressure, the Patriots have been bringing the pressure to Manning. He’s got to respond…..
They mention that Bill Bellichek, the Patriots coach used to coach the Giants and that Tom Coughlin, the Giants coach worked for him. They may be friends,,,,, maybe not, who knows???? But, each has respect for the other.
Still 3rd and eleven, Manning back to pass, complete to Tyree, short of the first down, the Giants will have to punt…… Collingsworth mentions that the Giants seemed to play conservatively and that they needed to keep pressing….. The games not over the Patriots have been in this position before. The punt is fielded by Wes Welker (one of my 5 favorite active players and a former Dolphin) at the 34, long ways to go for the Patriots, but it could be a lot worse….. Brady has already tied Payton Manning’s record for touchdowns in a season (Ya, that’s the more successful Manning brother) He needs to pull out a win to go undefeated and he needs to throw another touchdown pass to set the record. Which do you think he was thinking about….? Short pass, in and out of Welker’s hands….. Long one down the field to Randy Moss,,,,, in and out of his hands at the fifteen…..His defender fell down, all he had to do was stop and catch the ball,,,,, He didn’t…… right through his hands,,,, 3rd and 10 Brady back again, going deep,,,,,, to Moss,,,,, Complete,,,,, Touchdown Patriots, Brady to Moss….. He comes right back to him after he just dropped the pass that could have been the biggest catch of the night?????…. There’s a lesson in there somewhere….. Confidence in your teammates comes to mind….. It’s 29 to 28, Patriots lead and amid all the celebration and congratulations,,,, Tom Brady’s holding up two fingers… He needed two touchdowns to break the record……… But that’s not what Tom Brady’s about…. He was telling his teammates that he wanted to go for two points, so as to take a 3 point lead….. Did someone mention cool under pressure????? Maroney up the middle, gets it across, the Patriots take that 3 point lead….. This Brady guy really is pretty darn cool under pressure.
Giants return the kickoff outside the thirty, but have difficulty moving the ball and a couple penalties, one by Toomer, doesn’t help the situation….. Manning back to pass, intercepted by Ellis Hobbs, first turnover of the night……. The Patriots have the ball with a 3 point lead and under 10 minutes left in the game….. Time for ball control, burn the clock, but, the Patriots are a passing team…. Brady back to pass, COMPLETE, short of a first down!!! Brady back to pass, SACKED!!!!! Third and long, Brady back to pass complete to Faulk and he fights his way to a first down. Marooney for a couple hard fought yards. Patriots are inside the 20.… Handoff to Marooney, dropped for a loss by Michael Strahan…. Brady to Wellker and he stretches it to a first down inside the 10. Pass to Moss, inside the 5, under 5 minutes to play. Hand off to Marooney and he busts through the line for a 5 yard touchdown…. Patriots lead by 10 points…..
A stupid penalty on Rodney Harrison, Bellicheck yanks him out of the game and Collinsworth lets him have it. What a stupid penalty, how long you been playing football? That’s a garbage play. We’re trying to make history here and you pull a stupid stunt like that???
He’s out for a play, maybe two and then he’s back in and makes a touchdown saving tackle… Manning is wasting all kinds of time, seems to be very poor clock management….. Manning to Burress, one handed catch,,, touchdown!!!! Expect an un-side kick. The Giants can still pull this out…. It’s 38 – 34, with a minute and 4 seconds to play….
Patriots recover the kick and run out the clock Brady sets the new touchdown record at 50 Moss beats Jerry Rice’s record, the Patriots become the first team to “win out” in a 16 game season. It’s a great game to watch. I don’t know if it’s the game of the century or not, but I do know that it was a very entertaining.
I‘ve enjoyed writing my very first commentary. My only problem is that I was watching the game on TiVo. As luck would have it, I didn’t get the final two minutes. I had to find out about the outcome the next morning….. The game ran long and my TiVo shut off before the final whistle.
One final thought. Early in the game, I liked how Collingsworth mentioned the dropped pass on third down as being on the same level of seriousness as a interception or a fumble….. What a great way to make the point in a minimal number of words. The whole presentation was pretty darn good. It made you feel that you were watching a BIG GAME!!!!! Lets face it, the crew is made up of a bunch of names that are well known it the business, and who stepped up to the plate for this broadcast. I thoroughly enjoyed the game and I’m really glad I paid the price to watch it.