A Slice of Fried Gold

The Cardiac Kids are back

Monday, September 14, 2009

Stephen Gostkowski: The Patriots Secret MVP

My beloved New England Patriots played their first game of the season today against the Buffalo Bills and it was...not at all what I expected. They were 10.5 point favorites, everyone (including myself) expected them to roll over the Bills...and sure enough, they didn't whatsoever. In fact, the game was about as intense as you can get...and it was everything I wanted from my guys. Especially considering they won 25 to 24.

See, the weird thing about the Patriots for me is that for the entire time I've been a fan of them (since 1993...but who's counting?) they've played games down to the wire and made everything exciting. This isn't something that most people would like, but I loved them for it. I called them "the Cardiac Kids" as every game they played felt like a heart attack. Except, you know...a good heart attack. Like a heart attack of happy.

In 2007 though, they annihilated all competition (besides the Super Bowl that year, which was mysteriously canceled) and went undefeated. It felt weird. Sure, winning everything by 30 was fun and exciting in its own way, but I sort of missed games being close. Plus, our games were always turned off because of enormous leads. Last year wasn't the same as my boy Tom Brady was out all year because of injury, but it brought the return of the Cardiac Kids to a degree (a somewhat unhealthy degree).

But tonight with five and half minutes left with the Patriots struggling, Tom Brady looking hesistant, star linebacker Jerod Mayo hurting, and the score being Buffalo 24 and the Pats 13, they remembered who they were.

They were the Cardiac Kids, damn it, and it was time to start acting like it.

Sure enough a classic Tom Brady 4th quarter drive led to a touchdown, and then they kicked it deep when many teams would try for the onside kick. Jon Gruden (announcing his first regular season Monday Night Football game) questioned it, but sure enough the Pats sent it deep and the combo of Brandon Meriweather and Pierre Woods managed to strip the Bills kick returner with the hero of the night Stephen Gostkowski (the kicker!) recovering it.

Two minutes left. Three time outs. Thirty yards to go.

Come on now...it's Tom Brady. You know how the rest went.

Sure, this may have been exponentially more stressful than other games (I was making Twitter updates throughout, to the point that someone asked if I had multiple personalities or that I was just WAY too into football) but I loved it. It was exciting, it was intense, it was classic Patriots football. They were the Cardiac Kids again.

Just the way I like it.


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