Curtis Dahlgren
"Atlanta, we have a problem"; Brady wins one for the geezers (channeling Jim Murray)
By Curtis Dahlgren
February 6, 2017

"Effort only releases its reward after a person refuses to quit." – Napoleon Hill

"Sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war." – President Trump

THE YOUTHFUL FALCONS WERE EXCITED, BUT THE HATED OLD MAN WAS REWARDED (Cubs win, Trump wins, Patriots win; what's next? Maybe America?) Deja vu all over again? It ain't over 'til the fat lady Gaga sings the fifth quarter? I'm so old I forgot to be reminded of the 2015 Super Bowl when the Seahawks appeared to have a 99.3 percent chance of winning their rings. I posted this colmun: "Close Encounters: The shortest yard and a pass too far; Seahawks go green" Excerpt:

"The absurdity of reality is worse than fiction because it doesn't have to hold to the limits of plausibility . . . If we accept that miracles sometimes happen in football, you ain't seen nothin' yet." – my column last week after Seattle beat the pack (didn't know it was referring to the Super Bowl too)

THEY CAME TO PLAY. But people in the Northwest know now how little kids in the Frozen Tundra felt. I mean Alaska. Out in the cold (and it was 21 below zero at my house this morning). A game for the Ages. No timeouts. No further reviews needed. But here's mine anyway:

An NFL city was once accused of piping in recorded crowd noise. Phoenix could have piped in a laugh track. Seattle's ball park – what's its name – was dark and silent Sunday night. The Patriots got the last ball and last laugh. Another miracle. What goes around comes around. Right or wrong, the Pats had to fight the media too. Like Scott Walker.

To their credit, there was no finger-pointing by the Seahawks. The coach said that the buck stops here and the quarterback said the buck stops here (unlike some people). And this Packer fan was pulling for the Hawks. The weather kept me home, but I was so excited I slept through the half-time show and the second half. Was very rudely awakened by an announcer screaming. Using the Lord's name in vain. "OMG! Intercepted! OMG!"

In a daze, I said to myself, "Whaddaya mean, Brady in victory formation? Seattle is ahead 24-14 at least"! I must have been dreaming. The Gods must have been kidding. Or trying to tell us something: "On any given (Super) Sunday" . . "One play at a time" . . "And in the Real World, don't count your chickens (or 'free' stuff) before the eggs are laid (or the Feds actually have the money; 'free' is a 4-letter word)."

Anyway, some practical lessons: Lucy jerks the ball away from Charlie Brown again. Don't count your cow chips while you're sittin' at the table. The hand you were dealt isn't necessarily "unfair." Mr. Wilson, mature for his age, will be even more mature. He coulda woulda shoulda changed the play at the line. He might have pulled a Bart Starr in the valley of the sun. Maybe, but there's no cryin' in football. No scapegoats. It's not over 'til the fat lady sings the fifth quarter. Nothing is harder to predict than the future, Yogi. My only regret is that Jim Murray (1919-1998) didn't live long enough to see this one. Who writes this stuff anyway? [end of excerpt]

I think Jim Murray WAS watching that game Sunday night! I may have been dreaming, but I think this is what he wrote overnight:

YOU CAN'T FLY WITH ONE WING: Speed may beat power, but sometimes youth will be embarrassed by a mixture of old and young, including a no-name running back from Wisconsin, James White (I'm so old I had forgotten he was a Badger, and I still don't know his skin color). Oh I did watch the game. Drinking Cokes in a bar full of Brady haters spewing obscenities (even before the Falcons imploded. After scoring 44 points against the Packers, Atlanta – literally – watched the Geezers score 31 unanswered point in the biggest show on earth. I walked into the bar neutral as to whom to pull for, but seeing how the dirty birds were hustling, I began to think that New England had taken them too lightly. I soon started cheering with the foul-mouthed Brady haters, giving no thought as to what Tom's ailing mother must have been thinking.

I skipped most of the half-time "Show" and turned on my car radio. To my amazement, I heard a journalist do a respectful interview with President Trump, known to most of the media as "The Jerk." Back in front of the boob tube, I had day dreams of a drum-and-bugle corps, or maybe a Punt-Pass-kick contest at next year's Super Bowl, assuming there will be one, and the fireworks at NRG stadium is nothing compared to a fifth quarter played by the UW Badger band. I must admit though that the "save the trees, save the ice pack, and save the rhinos" commercial was funny.

Anyway, back to the game: The turning point was three consecutive stupid defensive holding infractions by the young Falcons. They started to look a bit pale in the face, while old man Brady got his second wind (good thing for him the half-time lasted as long as it did). His receivers, surprise surprise, started looking like professionals (I'm almost 75 and I could have caught some of those passes they dropped in the first half). When #11 made the immaculate reception, you should have heard the cussing from the Brady haters (cussing is the mild term for it). I was now cheering for the Patriotic New Englanders (silently of course), so I can honestly say I was a middle-of-the-roader; I cheered for both teams – only at different times. As soon as the Pats won the coin toss at the start of overtime, I started singing – silently – "Turn out the lights, the party's over," ala Dandy Don Meredith. The dagger was the nose of the football touching the goal line in the hands of James White. THE LONGEST YARD BUT NO FURTHER REVIEW NEEDED (except this one).

It wasn't until Monday morning that I looked at my 'TO DO' list for Sunday. The last item I had written down on Saturday night was "Beat Atlanta"! I'm so old that I had forgotten I was for the Brady bunch all along. You never get to that last thing on the "to do" list anyway, do we? But the Patriots did!

P.S. I'm writing this on the 6th of February and you know what that means, don't you. Tom Brokaw's birthday. No really, the birth date for the Gipper and the Babe – Ronald Reagan and Babe Ruth, believe it or not. It's also the 65th anniversary of the coronation of QE II – Queen Elizabeth, the occurrence of which I'm old enough to remember (I've been a news junkie for a long time). Anyway, on this auspicious occasion I stumbled literally upon an appropriate quotation by the first Queen Elizabeth:


[Tell that to the last two Super Bowl victims of the Brady Bunch Patriots, pilgrim. It was a game for the geezers.]

© Curtis Dahlgren


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Curtis Dahlgren

Curtis Dahlgren is semi-retired in southern Wisconsin, and is the author of "Massey-Harris 101." His career has had some rough similarities to one of his favorite writers, Ferrar Fenton... (more)


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