PHOTO: Super Bowl XXXIX Most Valuable Player Deion Branch of the New England Patriots holds up the Vince Lombardi trophy after the Patriots beat the Philadelphia Eagles, 24-21 in Jacksonville, Fla., Sunday, Feb. 6, 2005. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)
Fan Files: We've seen this before
By Michelle Vitagliano, Fan Commentator
They say that deja veux is caused by a chemical reaction in the brain. But on Sunday night, the "I've seen this before" feeling I got after watching the New England Patriots' win 24-21 in Super Bowl XXXIX had nothing to do with chemicals and all to do with this being the Pats' third Vince Lombardi trophy win in the last four years. And I'm pretty sure it's a feeling I won't ever get sick of!
I can't imagine what it must be like to be a New England Patriot, Bill Belichick, Bob Kraft or anyone who has anything to do with the Pats because as a fan, I think my body started releasing endorphins since about 10:30 on Sunday night and hasn't stopped since. I've literally gone weak in my legs over excitement at least 4-5 times in the last 48 hours!
I woke up on Sunday and started reading the papers and watching the pre-game shows. At times I felt like the hype was more focused Terrell Owens' ankle and whether or not he would be able to contribute to the game than it was on the two teams playing. Since when does one player carry a team? It obviously didn't happen for the Philadelphia Eagles and it certainly never happens in Patriot's Nation!
The first quarter had its fair share of turnovers but the game was tied 0-0 after 15 minutes. And while the Eagles may have been the first to put points up in the second quarter with a touchdown by Smith, David Givens caught a 4-yard Tom Brady pass followed by a fantastic rendition of Owens' Eagle dance and the always reliable Adam Vinatieri tied it up with the extra point.
Truth is, I was expecting a close game but a tie at the half was definitely a little too close for comfort. In fact, my half-time conversation with my father wasn't much of a conversation at all as the both of us were a little too concerned to talk. So instead, I sat back and enjoyed the no-wardrobe-malfunction half-time show staring Paul McCartney. It was a good show but one I enjoyed more once a friend called us from Alltel Stadium in the middle of Live and Let Die to let us hear it live. It's a great song but I wouldn't consider Hey Jude the type of music that would pump me up for a second half. In the end though, I'm sure the FCC was thrilled that McCartney's private parts remained unseen.
Second half, third quarter, Mike Vrabel somehow managed to catch a Brady pass that went right through the hands of an Eagles' player for a touchdown and then did his own version of the chicken, I mean, Eagle dance followed by a Vinatieri extra point. Something tells me the Pats had some dance lessons before this game! But the Eagles' Westbrook flew in for another touchdown followed by a kick from Akers to tie it up again.
Fourth quarter, Corey Dillon ran the ball in for a touchdown and again, Vinatieri followed up with the extra point bringing New England to a 21-14 lead over the Eagles. Vinatieri then made a field goal kick but fortunately, he wasn't under the game-winning pressure that he has faced in previous Super Bowls and brought the Pats to a 10-point lead. But the Eagles weren't ready to quit just yet. McNabb threw a 30-yard pass to Lewis for a touchdown and another Akers kick would bring the score to 24-21 Eagles. But it was Rodney Harrison that put the icing on the cake when he intercepted a McNabb pass to end the ballgame and secure another Patriots World Championship victory.
Deion Branch was named MVP for his 11 receptions and 133 yards while McNabb's numbers weren't so hot with 3 interceptions and 4 sacks.
It's clear that the Patriots really are a dynasty. I was talking with my friend during the game about getting another Pats jersey but that I wasn't sure which one to get because they players are all so good which makes it hard to decide and that is what makes them such a phenomenal team. They are selfless players who understand teamwork and have what it takes to be champions. So after another Super Bowl victory, I don't see myself waiting for any less than 10 years for my season tickets but I will be watching them no matter what. Go Pats!!!
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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