As my mother and I drove past Buffalo yesterday, I felt an incredible force. Inexplicable, almost like I imagine standing upon an empty battlefield feels. Long after the fighting is over, the impact of the battle remains. Then it hit me and I said to my mum, "The Patriots were here on Sunday." Like she knew exactly what I meant she said, "Oh my, how did that go." "Not good," I said. "Not good." She shook her head, "Poor Buffalo," she said. We went quiet, the sky darkened and it began to rain.
Now as a huge Indy fan, I don't like to harp on too much about how frighteningly good the New England Patriots are this season. How when Brady steps onto the field he is Robocop meets the Six Million Dollar Man, his arm flinging the ball like that arm was made of steel and his receivers, or whoever catches the ball, are magnetic. The ball soars directly into their guts, all they have to do is wrap their hands around it. Frightening. And it makes me sick when I hear certain analysts, mainly Canadians, say the Patriots should have stopped scoring, let up on poor ol' Buffalo. Jesus, what professional football player or coach in their right mind would say, okay guys, I think we've scored enough points, lets drop a few balls, throw a few interceptions, put the Gatorade boy in as QB. If Buffalo were up 56-10, would they quit doing well, just so New England could feel a little better?
In a Brooklyn hair salon last week, I flipped through gossip magazines while my sister had her hair flat-ironed. I filled her and the hairdresser in on all the latest gossip. Heath Ledger left Michelle Williams for ex-supermodel Helena Christianson. No! they said. Oh yes, I said. And other sundry shite. Then I said, Oh no! Tom Brady was spotted arguing with his supermodel girlfriend Gisele Bundchen in a Boston Starbucks. In unison, Lily and the hairdresser said, Whose Tom Brady?! I was shocked! The quarterback for the New England Patriots, I said. Oh, they said and asked if Brad Pitt's really leaving Angela Jolie. I shook my head and continued to read about how poor Brady's struggling to keep his high-maintenance supermodel girlfriend happy while longing to be with his son who lives in L.A. with his ex, actress Bridget Moynahan. Most men would be wrecked by such a tumultuous personal life; the kid, the ex, the supermodel girlfriend who dumped her Victoria's Secret contract to spend more time with her best-quarter-back-ever-in-the-history-of-the- NFL boyfriend (so say the experts), but not Tom Brady. He wraps up every minute detail of his troubled personal life and he packs it into that silver and blue uniform each week and he goes out there and he whips it and whips it and whips it into the end zone, time after time after time and he doesn't stop until the game's over and he trudges off the field like the warrior he is, goes back to his personal life and fuels up for the next game. I closed the magazine and nodded my head - so that's how the bastard does it, get all messed up with a couple of dames, get all amped-up over it then let that frustration out on the football field and rock the NFL's world - very clever.
My mother's tender voice shook me from my reverie. "How's Peyton doing?" she asked. "Okay," I said. "They've lost a couple of key players." When I looked back into the rear view mirror, I slowly felt the Brady Trail disappearing like the Buffalo skyline as it was swallowed by clouds.