By winning Emmet
What was quarterback Russell Wilson crying about in the aftermath of the dizzying football game between his Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers on Sunday? We should have been the ones who were sobbing.
I had decidedly mixed feelings for the game, much more than a normal non-Patriots game. The winner of this game would face the deflated Patriots in the Super Bowl. I was rooting for Green Bay since I had picked the Wisconsin team in a football pool I had inherited upon the death of my very good friend Walter Griffin. I wanted to do well in his memory. Then my aging friend Chief Al chimed in and wanted to bet $100 on the game. I took $100 off him last year on a Patriots bet last year. He is a member of the Legion of Patriots Haters. Now, The Chief doesn’t know if a football is stuffed or inflated (ask the Patriots). But I took his money last year anyway and had my Honda detailed at Hot Wax.
This time, I let him take the favored Seahawks (at home) and gave him seven points, the Las Vegas line. That meant that the Seahawks had to beat the Packers by seven points to win the bet. Get it?
Despite, the c-note, I was rooting for the Packers to win the game. I always liked the Packers and they had beaten the hated Dallas Cowboys the week before. I hate the Cowboys like most people hate the Patriots. (They killed Kennedy.) I didn’t know who to root for on Sunday. I was rooting for the Packers for Walter. The Seahawks could win by less than seven and I would be all right.
Our Boy Wilson went insane in the first half, throwing pass after pass to the wrong team. Four interceptions. The Packers led 16-0 at half time and I suspected Walter was smiling down on me.
I have been watching football since the New York Giants games came on my Sharon, Mass. television in the 1960’s. I hated them, too just because they were from New York, a city that had tortured my Red Sox for generations. But I had never seen a second half like the Sunday game.
Somehow, the Seahawks scored 15 points in a dazzling 44 seconds, late in the fourth quarter of the game. Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers admitted after the game that he will never get over it. Neither will we.
The Seahawks finally scored a touchdown when Wilson snuck into the end zone untouched. Packers 19-14.
In a football moment reminiscent of Bill Buckner’s 1986 World Series error, Green Bay tight end Brandon Bostick dropped an onside kick and Seattle recovered. You must know that onside kicks never work. You must know that if Green Bay successfully caught that ball. The game would have been over.
But no. Seattle scored quickly and Wilson lofted a rainbow pass for a two point conversion. Any high school football player could have knocked down that pass and saved the day. The entire Green Bay team was in a coma. Seattle ahead 22-19. You must know that two-pointers never work, either.
Naturally, Green Bay’s Rodgers led his team down the field for a tying field goal which tied the score at 22-22 with 14 seconds left. What a game!
I was still rooting for Green Bay in overtime when Wilson completed two 35 yard receptions, the last one to receiver Doug Baldwin for a game-winning touchdown. I was dizzy.
The score was 28-22. According to my Roslindale High School math, that was six points. I expected that the traditional point after touchdown kick would make it 29-22. That would be seven points and the $100 bet would be a “push,” or no bet.
But wait. The Seahawks and their friends were dancing on the field after one of the best football games…ever. There was no PAT. The game was, thankfully, over. Six points.
I won the bet.
I tried to do my best for Walter, but I failed. But I know he would understand. Together, we rooted for the Red Sox for year and years…and years. We are heartbreak veterans.
I will offer Chief Al double- or-nothing on the Super Bowl, if he knows who is playing.