There has to be an element of magic in anything to make it worthwhile. To make it work.
Efficiency is wonderful, gotta have a plan, discipline, commitment. Without magic you got nothing.
THE PATS have put together a system. A system that has achieved amazing results. Talent that runs deep allowing them to plug in people to fill in for injuries, often without skipping a beat. Even without Tom Brady in 2008 THE PATS went 11 and 5.
They are disciplined when it comes to avoiding making stupid comments. For the most part. They carry themselves professionally and act truly as a team. They broke Super Bowl tradition in 2001 by coming out as a team as opposed to being introduced individually.
They have an approach and that approach is enforced. The players buy into it because it works.
To an extent.
Between 2000 and 2004 THE PATS had The Magic. They had an amazing roster of talent, maybe the best ever. Yeah I know they went undefeated in 2007 but they didn't win the Super Bowl, did they? They had The System chugging at maximum efficiency between 2000 and 2004.
But between 2000 and 2004 they had The Magic and that made all the difference.
No matter what situation they were in, you always believed they would win. If they were down by 15 points with 9 minutes left you settled back and waited for them to win. Expected them to win. The enthusiasm and belief and confidence just emanated off the players. The vibration travelled out of your TV into your head and rattled your brain to believe.
When THE PATS were up 3 zip yesterday I began to think they would lose. They had marched up and down the field, they forced the Ravens to start deep in their own territory time after time, but it felt to me like the Ravens were controlling the game.
They were and they did.
When Brady/ Belichick mismanaged the time out just before the half, my soul began to take on water at an alarming rate.
By the time they lost the game I was not surprised.
Today I am not devastated. That is what bothers me the most. I have been crushed by big losses before, literally taking months before I could talk about them without cringing inside.
I have been conditioned to deal with PATS' big game losses over the last few years and that is part of the reaction.
But it is the lack of magic that has me so flat. For me to experience doubt so early in the game is all the proof I need that The Magic is gone.
Magic is the intangible. It is somehow created by the mix of players and coaches and the atmosphere that becomes what everybody breathes.
I don't think you can control that. I don't think you can make that happen. I can only tell you that I miss it painfully.
I am more upset that I am not devastated than I am at the loss.
In one way I don't give a damn who wins the Super Bowl because I was convinced THE PATS would be playing in it.
In another more elemental way, I hope the Niners win 788 to 0.
Maybe Joe Montana would go out and get all tatted up as a tribute to Colin Kaepernick.