Over the course of the last week, the unthinkable happened. I completely forgot about playoff football. Through looking for a place to live in London, trying to get used to the time change, starting class, traumatic grocery shopping, and dealing with an impossible roommate situation, I forgot that sports even existed. By the time Sunday rolled around, I was eating Mexican food and doing a back-bend over the Prime Meridian in Greenwich. The AFC Championship was in the back of my mind, but it hardly took precedence over everything else that was happening. This confirmed that I actually do have a life that does not revolve around sports.
By the time we got back from Greenwich, I was exhausted. I could barely move. I made dinner, and by then it was around 7:15 (the game started at 8 in London). My roommate, who's known me since I was 3 and finds relentless humor in my fandom, was talking to her dad on Skype. Her dad and I discussed the game briefly, and then I anxiously waited for 8pm to roll around.
I knew I could have gone to a pub and watched the game, but I was wiped and classes started the next day. I just needed to be comfortable. I put on my long-sleeved Michigan t-shirt and Brady jersey (this combination has not lost all season, there was no way I was putting on my pajamas) and crawled into bed. I logged on to NFL.com and tuned in to the live stream of WEEI in Boston. They didn't have play-by-play, they just had a Fox Sports talk show with in-game updates. It would have to do.
I proceeded to "watch" the game, with the play updates online and sporadic commentary from Lincoln Kennedy, who played for the Raiders in the 2002 Snow Bowl/Tuck Game, and apparently he's still bitter. Seriously, get over it. As Rafiki would say, Iss in da past. Anywho, I was telling my roommate how I surprised myself by not thinking about the game at all because I haven't seen them in about a week. She burst out with laughter, as she often does when I make it seem like I have a personal relationship with the New England Patriots (this happens too often). My other roommate came upstairs to chit-chat for a while, and she could tell how nervous I was, so she headed to bed.
Once the game was in hand, I couldn't stop smiling. I felt connected by my disconnection. I was more pissed by Tom Brady's three interceptions than I would be if I had seen them with my own eyes. I was infinitely impressed with Laurence Maroney, and how they ran out the last 9+ minutes of clock. I listened to the fabulously obnoxious Pete Sheppard and Fred Smerlas on the post-game show, and the ridiculous Boston accents of the ecstatic callers. It felt like I was home.
This morning, I got to school and went to Boston.com. I flipped though the celebration photo gallery. I read Jackie McMullan's piece on Tom Brady. I changed my Facebook picture to a grinning Maroney. I was then shocked to find out the Giants had beaten the Packers, and Eli Manning would be playing in the biggest game of his life against Bill Belichick (I giggled out of both satisfaction and nerves--the Giants scare the crap out of me, but so did the Chargers and Jags). I found out a friend of mine had gone to a sports bar and watched it, and she confirmed they would have the Super Bowl on there. I watched the NFL.com highlights and Brady's press conference when I came back from class. It was almost like I never left, minus Sportscenter. Technology is fabulous.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Truer words have never been said.