I hope Craig Rousseau still likes me after this. Well, assuming he did anyway.
Suze and I just watch Superbowl XLII at our friend Paul's house. I think that was quite possibly the best Superbowl I've seen since the last time the Packers won. That year, my beloved Pack beat the Pats and we saw the game in an outdoor bar in the Bahamas. I was downing 2-dollar pina colodas and celebrated the win with a Cuban cigar in our hotel room.
I didn't tell Craig, but this year I was rooting for the Giants. I don't particularly care for the G-men (not since the awful treatment they gave Phil Simms years ago) but, as much as I love the Packers, I've been a fan of the Dolphins even longer. (Yes, I have two favorite teams. Sue me.) As you've probably heard more times than you cared to this year, the '72 Dolphins are the only team since the merger to have a completely undefeated season. I've watched that record stand since I was old enough to understand what it meant and I've panicked each time it was threatened. The last serious threat was back when the Chicago Bears made a run at it (was that 1986? Jeeeeez...) and the Dolphins dashed their hopes, defeating them in the best Monday Night Football game of all time.
Imagine how I felt going into tonight's game. This is the closest anyone's come to breaking the record. The Pats actually won more games this season than the Dolphins did in '72. But they didn't win the one that counted. Whew.
Forgive me, Craig.
I had mixed emotions tonight. There was the concern for the record. I didn't really like either team and thought it was going to be a blow-out in any event. And then there was the realization that this was the first Superbowl without Mike. As everyone who knew him was aware, he was as huge a football fan as I am. He didn't have a favorite team (though he liked the Chargers as a kid) and usually just rooted for the offense. But he loved the game and he would have thoroughly enjoyed this one. I felt a little guilty for having such a good time watching this game and thought of him often. Especially every time the announcers made such a big deal of Eli following in his big brother Peyton's (who won the big game last year) footsteps. I kept wishing he was here to see it. I don't think we saw a Superbowl together since maybe '91 and I can't for the life of me figure out why. It would have been a blast and I'd give anything to change that.
This post is kind of all over the place. It's late and I'm tired. I'm going to go get some sleep now, secure in the knowledge that the '72 Dolphins are still the greatest team of all time.