PHOTO: New England Patriots defensive back Eugene Wilson (26) intercepts a pass intended for New York Jets wide receiver Wayne Chrebet during the fourth quarter Sunday, Dec. 26, 2004, at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. The Patriots beat the Jets, 23-7. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
Fan Files: Santa Delivers A Win to Patriots Fans
Patriot's win was on many fans wish list
by Michelle Vitagliano, Fan Commentator
Perfume check. Clothes ..check. Jewelry check. A New England Patriots win over the New York Jets ..check. Yep, I got almost everything on my Christmas list this year except for an Asante Samuel jersey which I just know Santa ran out of right Dad? Hey, there's always next year, or my birthday!
I was happy to see the Pats, who I believe sent their 100th string down to Miami last weekend, crush the Jets on Sunday in a 23-7 victory that was earned by the offense, defense and special teams. This was an important game for the Pats who are headed into the playoffs and especially after last weekend's devastating upset against the Miami Dolphins. And although the Pats already beat the Jets earlier this season, this was no sure win. But with two touchdown passes and no interceptions, Tom Brady redeemed himself in New Jersey and proved his worthiness as Super Bowl MVP. The truth is, however, you can't single out any one MVP in particular from Sunday's game because everyone seemed to contribute to the win.
Daniel Graham and Deion Branch, who caught seven passes for 82 yards, each scored a touchdown. Adam Vinatieri, who missed a 50 yard field goal (and was off only by width, but certainly not length), scored his 138th point of the season. Prior to Sunday, he had made 23 field goals in a row. Eugene Wilson and Teddy Bruschi both had interceptions. Mike Vrabel had a sack, Rosevelt Colvin forced a fumble and Pat's fans seemed to be the last ones remaining in Giant's Stadium in the fourth quarter minus the few Jets' fans who stuck around to boo Jet's quarterback Chad Pennington. I didn't lose faith after watching the Miami game but the Pats gave us a dose of what we needed to feel comfortable as we quickly approach the post-season.
I love watching the Pats because they define the word team. You never really see the defense carrying the offense or vice versa. And you certainly can't find another team in the league who plays this well even when key players are injured and have been for weeks. It's clear that they have a good chance of making it to the Super Bowl again this season and with a 13-2 record, they certainly deserve it!
In the meantime, I have some things I would like to get off my mind. First off, I wish the papers would stop printing stats just for the sake of it. Sure, there are some worth documenting and between the Red Sox and the Pats, there have been some very interesting numbers this year but does it really matter that this was the 17th game that the Pats scored in the second quarter? Pretty soon we'll be reading about how many games in a row Brady ate Cheerios for breakfast or how many times Bill Belichick sniffled during his halftime speech. Save those for Uncle John's Bathroom reader books! Actually print them as they might be a little more exciting than what's currently there.
Next up is freebees at the Pats games. Two weeks ago at the Cincinnati game in Foxboro, the stadium gave away one of the best freebees yet. They were wind-up banners that said Defense on one side and Go Patriots on the other. If you weren't at the game to get one, you may have received one in your stocking. And if you're one of those who takes a handful of these, at least use ONE of them while you're at the game! They also gave out some trial-size Patriots towels earlier in the season but other than that, it's normally just junk. I don't mean to come off as ungracious but I would like to recommend an alternative to the freebees. How about 50% off a beer? Or maybe just bring the price of beer down completely. Do you realize it costs $10 for a sausage hotdog (which tastes more like dog food) and a hot chocolate at Gillette? And I don't think the money is going to hot water bills because when I go into the bathroom to run my numbing hands under the faucet, out comes ice cold water. Here's some advice Gillette save the money on the freebees and bring down the prices at the concessions. I can almost guarantee you'll still make money!
My last comment is on pink sports hats. I was watching the game with my family on Sunday and saw a girl in the stands wearing a pink Patriots hat. Before I could think, I blurted how much I hate pink sports hats and the second it came out of my mouth, I looked up at my father who was staring at me and I realized that last Christmas, he bought me a pink Red Sox hat which I have never worn. Well, now that the cat is out of the bag, I really hate those hats. They are like wearing a pink t-shirt that says, I know nothing about sports but this pink t-shirt has my home team's logo on it and it's pink and I'm a girl so I'll wear it. Yuk!!!! Listen guys, I have had this discussion with my girlfriends before. Some are huge sports fans, some aren't. Regardless, we all seem to have the same opinion of these pink hats. They're horrible and you should RUN, not walk away from them when you're tempted to buy them. Can you tell that I wouldn't be too interested in reading stats on how many girls actually wore pink hats that were given away as freebees at a game! Worthwhile stats, cheap beer and no pink hats. Is that too much to ask?
The Pats face the San Francisco 49ers this weekend at Gillette stadium for
the last game of the regular season. May 2005 bring them nothing but victories!
Michelle Vitagliano, passionate Boston sports fan that she is, can be found in the insiders forums under the screen name Patriette. Her weekly fan commentary can be found here on the Patriots Insider site, or you can search for her articles on the Insiders by searching for "Michelle Vitagliano". If you're a local, you can find her mostly around the Boston scene on game night, hanging out with her friends.
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